The Texas Governor and just-announced GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry took on the Federal Reserve this past week. To our Ben Stein it doesn't add up:
I was going to leave you alone for this month and just spend it on my boat up at Lake Pendoreille in North Idaho, a mountain lake where ospreys soar and where I feel at peace.
But Governor Rick Perry of Texas - possibly the nation's next President - has shocked me out of my reverie.
A few days ago, Governor Perry said in campaigning in Iowa that it would be something akin to "treason" for the head of the Federal Reserve Board, Professor Ben Bernanke, to "print" more money between now and Election Day.
That, said Gov. Perry, would only reduce the purchasing power of Americans.
Now, I like Gov. Perry. I agree with him on almost every social issue. But may I respectfully offer him a lesson in economics?
This economy is stuck in a cruelly slow recovery from a recession that started on Bush 43's watch. Mr. Obama, a likeable man, is trying to get the economy going again. Mr. Bernanke, who has made many mistakes at the Fed, is also trying desperate measures to get the economy moving again.
One of the measures the Fed is using is to increase the money supply or what Gov. Perry would call "printing money."
Typically this is a helpful move, although not lately. It's not a radical move. It's not anywhere near a "treasonous" move.
It is not at all clear that in an economy as weak as ours that creating more money would cause inflation.
The idea is to make money cheaper so businesses will borrow and then invest.
Frankly, once again, it has not worked so far. But it is an orthodox, classic move.
It is a move by a man, Ben Bernanke, who wants to help his country recover. To call Dr Bernanke - a patriot doing his best for his country - "treasonous" is a serious mistake.
Gov. Perry is new to national politics. But he's in a way a star, and I can see him someday in the Oval Office. I hope he'll get some moderation in his speech - and some lessons in economics ... and soon.