Thursday, September 19, 2013

Stop the Insani-TEA!

Yesterday, we got quite the surprise. The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee voted unanimously to continue The Fed's $85 billion monthly bond buyback program. Major stock indices immediately shot up when this was announced, as many had been expecting The Fed to "taper" its buyback program.

Yet while the equity market and a whole lot of talking heads were jumping for joy over The Fed's decision to continue its stimulus program, hardly anyone noticed why this happened. Fortunately for us, Steve Benen noticed.

But as we've discussed many times, [outgoing Federal Reserve Chair Ben] Bernanke keeps urging conservative lawmakers to get smarter about economic policy, to no avail.

He has, over the last few years, occasionally abandoned subtlety and explicitly pleadedwith Congress to consider fiscal stimulus -- or at least less fiscal austerity -- but Republicans have always refused. (Indeed, GOP lawmakers haven't just been content to ignore the need for fiscal remedies, they've also demanded that Bernanke stoptrying to improve the economy through monetary measures.)

Bernanke wants Congress to act as a partner, working alongside the Fed to strengthen the economy. Instead, Congress has acted as an opponent, pushing in the opposite direction.

And now that Republicans are threatening to impose economic chaos on Americans on purpose, the Fed chair apparently figures it's a bad time to start scaling back. He's right.

We've said it here before, and we'll say it again today. Investment begets growth! It should be a simple concept for everyone to understand.

Unfortunately for us, the Congressional G-O-TEA Gang just don't get it. Instead, they're pursuing another manufactured crisis and demanding even more austerity. So of course, we now have to live on a razor's edge for the next two weeks as we await the conclusion of this latest and greatest manufactured crisis.

At least now, there are signs of the conclusion approaching. Brian Beutler reported earlier on the latest twist in the latest episode of Republican Insani-TEA. Even though House Republicans are now set to pass their nonsensical and sadomasochistic budget resolution, the Senate G-O-TEA culture warriors who had originally proposed this very plan are now developing cold feet... Just in time for their feet to meet the fire.

Make no mistake, even the likes of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are realizing their fiscal pipe dream has no chance in hell of getting past Harry Reid. Their insani-TEA is about to crash into reality. And at this point, Republicans are left deciding whether to crash and burn with the G-O-TEA culture warriors while forcing everyone to endure a government shutdown, or save whatever is left of their faces by cutting a last minute deal with Democrats.

A favorite philosopher of ours once uttered three words that forever made their mark on pop culture. Yesterday, Ben Bernanke and The Fed shouted out these same three words when announcing continuation of The Fed's stimulus program. And now, it's time for Congressional Republicans to pay very close attention to the advice we're giving them: Stop the insani-TEA!

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