RYAN: I'm worried because the Federal Reserve is going to start tapering, we call it. They're going to start going back to normalizing their policy. Interest rates have a tendency to rise under those kinds of situations. And that makes our fiscal situation even worse. There are two ways of tackling this fiscal problem. One, grow the economy, get people back to work, and solid through economic growth. Two, do this kind of comprehensive entitlement reform that we've been long advocating.
PAUL: I have learned that you should never give up on your opposition. Because if you're persistent, and you present your case, they will come your way. So Rick, I appreciate it. You're open to the federal reserve. That's wonderful. But I work from the assumption that freedom brings people together.
GINGRICH: First, the housing bubble came from the Federal Reserve inflating the money supply. Second, I was never a spokesman for any agency, I never did any lobbying for any agency. I offered strategic advice. I was in the private sector. You're allowed to charge money for it. It's called free enterprise. I'm not for bailing them out, in fact, I'm for breaking them up.
Q: Rep. Bachmann, you called Speaker Gingrich a "poster boy of crony capitalism."
BACHMANN: Well, when you're taking over $100 million, and you're taking money to influence the outcome of legislation in Washington, that's the epitome of the consummate insider.
HUNTSMAN: I don't subscribe to the Mitt Romney school of international trade. I don't want to find ourselves in a trade war. With respect to China, if you start slapping penalties on them based on countervailing duties, you're going to get the same thing in return because what they're going to say, because of quantitative easing part one and part two, you're doing a similar thing to your currency. And then you're going to find yourself in a trade war very, very quickly.
BACHMANN: As president, I would not be reappointing Ben Bernanke. With the $700 billion bailout, the Federal Reserve was making loans to private American businesses. And not only that, they're making loans to foreign governments.
Q: Do you agree with Gov. Perry that Ben Bernanke is engaged in treason?
BACHMANN: Well, that's for Gov. Perry to make that decision. My opinion is, I would not reappoint Ben Bernanke.
Q: You stand by those remarks, Governor?
PERRY: I said that, if you are allowing the Federal Reserve to be used for political purposes, that it would be almost treasonous. I think that is a very clear statement of fact. I am not a fan of the current chairman allowing that Federal Reserve to be used to cover up bad fiscal policy by this administration. And that, I will suggest to you, is what we have seen.
ROMNEY: The Federal Reserve has a responsibility to preserve the value of our currency, to have a strong American currency, such that investors and people who are thinking about bringing enterprises to this country have confidence in the future of America and in our currency. People will not invest in this country and create jobs in this country for the American people if they don't have belief in our currency. Of course we should see what the Fed is doing. There should be some oversight to make sure that it's acting properly. But at the same time, we recognize that we need to have a Fed Why do I say that? Because if we don't have a Fed, who's going to run the currency? Congress? I'm not in favor of that. I'd rather have an agency that is being overseen rather than have the United States Congress try and manage our currency.
GINGRICH: I would fire him tomorrow.
GINGRICH: I think he's been the most inflationary, dangerous, and power-centered chairman of the Fed in the history of the Fed. I think the Fed should be audited. I think the amount of money that he has shifted around in secret, with no responsibility, no accountability, no transparency, is absolutely antithetical to a free society. And I think his policies have deepened the depression, lengthened the problems, increased the cost of gasoline, and been a disaster.
ROMNEY: No, I'd be looking for somebody new. I think Ben Bernanke has over-inflated the amount of currency that he's created. QE2 did not work. It did not get Americans back to work. It did not get the economy going again. We're still seeing declining numbers in prior quarter estimates as to what the growth would be. We're growing now at 1% to 1.5%. The plan I put forward will grow our economy at 4% per year for four years and add 11.5 million jobs. That's a very different approach than Ben Bernanke's taken, and it's a demonstrably different approach than Barack Obama has taken, and that's in part because we have very different life experiences.
A: We would have still brought in $200 billion a month. How we make payments [determines] whether we default on any bills. But obviously going forward, we have to put the brakes on spending. I just argue that it will never be easier than now. In the bond market, if no one was buying our debt, that would mean the Federal Reserve printing money as opposed to individuals or countries loaning us money; that's the bond market collapsing--so when that happens, that is a whole lot of money and it has to result in inflation. Russia is the most recent example. As frightening as that scenario is, that's what going to happen. But we can fix this--there's going to be a lot of hardship and pain, but that's better than killing the patient and, the way we're going, we're going to kill the patient in a monetary collapse. But I am an optimist because I think it can be fixed.
A: I think ending the Federal Reserve would be positive but if we end the Fed it's important to point out that that's not the end of the solution. A lot of the central banking function would have to be taken up by regional banks.
A: Well, I think that having some kind of central bank is an important part of how you deal with monetary policy in the modern world. But having Chairman Bernanke deal with hundreds of billions of dollars, some estimates as much as $16 trillion in secret is profoundly against a free society. The feds should be totally audited. It should be out in public. Their decision documents from 2007, 2008, & 2009 should be public. We should know who they bailed out and why they bailed them out. And who they didn't bail out. And I think that it is a scandal that the Federal Reserve is secret. And I think, frankly, their monetary policy since the late 90s has been a major factor in the economic pain we're now going through.
We recognize that job-gain boasts can overreach. An example: Perry's 2009 claim that about 70% of the jobs created in the US from November 2007-08 were in Texas. That was based on statistics from the 14 states in which job gains outnumbered job losses, and disregarded any jobs created in the other 36 states.
Perry got his new figures from the Dallas Federal Reserve, who subtracted the number of Texas jobs in June 2009 (10,287,000) from the jobs as of April 2011 (10,524,000) and determining the 237,000 increase accounted for 48% of the 496,000 jobs gained nationally over that period.
However, the Texas economy has been roaring since 1990, long before Perry became governor, including phenomenal job growth.
The strength of the Texas economy, compared to many other states, isn't in dispute. However, there are many ways to slice and dice employment statistics. Mark Perry's statement Half True.
But after cramming furiously, Palin managed to emerge intact from the Gibson interview--stumbling only over whether she agreed with the "Bush doctrine" ("In what respect, Charlie?") and in discussion why the proximity of Alaska to Russia afforded her insight into its behavior on the world stage. ("They're our next door next door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska").
As Pres. Obama said of the economic boom that went bust: "I think it's important to understand that some of that wealth was illusory in the first place."
Exactly. But let's also understand the source of the illusion and what to do about it. Of course not everyone is instinctively against this illusion-weaving power, and many even welcome it. They just want to get back to the times when "everything was good" even though it was all just a mirage--a creation of the appearance of wealth by the Fed.
Tragically, the innocent who understand little about the complexity of the monetary system suffer the most, while those who are in the know reap great profit whether the market is going up or down.
A: I’m glad they did what they did. But it can’t be just left to a bail-out for the banks. We’ve got to figure out how we’re going to [help] people facing foreclosures. And I have recommendations on that, that do not lend themselves to an easy yes or no.
A: The answer is yes. But we need more transparency, particularly with regard to hedge funds and private equity funds. They are the ones that are causing this thing to go under. And there’s no transparency, no accountability. We don’t know how deep this problem is. I think it’s almost as deep in terms of dollars, not liability, as the savings and loan crisis.