Inquiring minds are gazing upon where Sarah Palin, ex-beauty queen without a lot of sophistication, is in Phoenix today delivering a major address challenging the plan of the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, to inflate the dollar. Outakes of her text were posted Sunday onto National Review Online and immediately began cirlcing the globe…no doubt, at least in part, because of the (in)famous Palinesque phrasing (this time she scolds Mr. Bernanke to “cease and desist.”).
The NYSun editorial shows where Mrs. Palin has been the lone politician to grasp what is wrong with the economy and how ahead of the game she has been:
…In October 2009, we issued an editorial called “Palin and Paul,” in which we noted that those waiting for a politician to pick up on the monetary issue were perking up to a posting on Mrs. Palin’s Facebook page, which she had noted that the Gulf oil states were reported to be negotiating with Russia about abandoning the dollar as a unit of pricing, observed that an official of the United Nations had called for a new world reserve currency, and, most importantly, warned that the value of the dollar was collapsing in terms of gold. Her posting, we wrote, suggested that she was ahead of the rest of the undeclared contenders for 2012.
At the time, the value of a dollar had slide to just less than a 1,000th of an ounce of gold. Today it has plunged to barely better than a 1,400th of an ounce of gold. In other words, in the year since Mrs. Palin took up this issue, the Bernanke Dollar — or the Obama Dollar, or the Pelosi, as we’ve sometimes called it — has lost a third of its value. The chairman of the Federal Reserve is now on an announced plan to try to inflate it further. So far the Congress that has oversight of the Federal Reserve has been largely mute, though there have been some notable exceptions (Congressman Paul Ryan, for example, and Dr. Ron Paul, of course; among the big newspapers, only the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal has been in front of this issue).
Mrs. Palin is looking upon the future, past this quantitative easing:
She attacked QE2, as the second quantitative easing of monetary policy is called, head on. “The Fed hopes doing this may buy us a little temporary economic growth by supplying banks with extra cash which they could then lend out to businesses. But it’s far from certain this will even work. After all, the problem isn’t that banks don’t have enough cash on hand – it’s that they don’t want to lend it out, because they don’t trust the current economic climate. And if it doesn’t work, what do we do then? Print even more money? What’s the end game here?”
Mrs. Palin is looking over the horizon: “Do we have any guarantees that QE2 won’t be followed by QE3, 4, and 5, until eventually — inevitably — no one will want to buy our debt anymore? What happens if the Fed becomes not just the buyer of last resort, but the buyer of only resort?” She comprehends how it is going to get to the voters she’ll be courting. “[E]veryone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so. Pump priming would push them even higher. And it’s not just groceries. Oil recently hit a six month high, at more than $87 a barrel. The weak dollar — a direct result of the Fed’s decision to dump more dollars onto the market — is pushing oil prices upwards. That’s like an extra tax on earnings.”
She has been spot on this whole time and her dire warnings of what the consequences are of this easing are prescient:
The worst part of it, in Mrs. Palin’s warning, is that “because the Obama White House refuses to open up our offshore and onshore oil reserves for exploration, most of that money will go directly to foreign regimes who don’t have America’s best interests at heart.”
So, in the words of the editoria writer:
she is reasoning out a coherent economic and geopolitical argument that she and her party — Tea, if not the mainstream GOP — can take to the voters. She is moving effortlessly from her Facebook page, which has more than 2.3 million friends, to our intellectual journals. So as we asked at the outset of this editorial, how has it happened that she is the first to brand this issue?
Was it her time running a state whose economy is tied to oil, which often tracks gold? Is it that she can see Russia from her door? Is she just smarter than the other candidates? Is it her savvy, and her husband’s, at running a fishing business? Is it her journalistic instinct? Or does she read more papers than Katie Couric? No matter, she is now out in front of yet another issue as there is about to convene a new Congress of the United States in which she has a brace of allies indebted to her for her help in getting elected. Mr. Bernanke seems to have blithely ignored his other critics, but it will be more dangerous to ignore the Mamma Grizzly.
Do Bernanke’s digest well? Do their remnants stick around and constipate the process long after they are gone?
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