From Art Laffer’s letter to the editor in today’s WSJ:
It’s normal practice in business, professional football and politics that the leaders of a losing organization also lose their jobs, even when fault is nigh on impossible to prove. The Obama administration has obsessed on accountability, whether it’s TARP recipients paying bonuses, or the firing of GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner. It wants businesses and banks to be held accountable.
Applying accountability principles, there’s no way Chairman Bernanke should be reconfirmed by the Senate, let alone reappointed by the Obama administration. Over the past six years, during the U.S. economy’s biggest train wreck since the Great Depression, Ben Bernanke has been involved in policy at the highest levels. He was a member of the Federal Reserve Board and Alan Greenspan’s right-hand person from 2002 to June 2005. He then became chairman of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors from June 2005 to January 2006, and finally Federal Reserve chairman from February 2006 to the present. He’s been at the helm from the very beginning of this Great Recession. That alone warrants a “no” vote on reconfirmation.
In addition, the Fed’s behavior over the past 15 months has put America on a very dangerous path. The Fed has increased the monetary base (high-powered or wholesale money) by the largest amount ever, from colonial times to the present, times 10. Without an exit strategy, inflation is a virtual certainty over the coming decade, while an effective exit strategy virtually assures a further weakening of the U.S. economy. Chairman Bernanke has put the U.S. economy in a lose/lose situation. So on substantive grounds he also should not be reconfirmed.
Well, yeah, but there’s no accountability in politics.