The Ongoing Presidential Policy of Inflation
By Justin Williams
In every major United States presidential election until the early 1990's, monetary policy was a major hot button issue. And believe it or not it even captured the popular fancy. For example, The Wizard of Oz written by L. Frank Baum, a populist sympathizer, portrayed the struggles of the movement to add silver to the American currency in his book with metaphors and symbols.
But what most people do not know is that this movement was actually fomented by a group of people who simply owed a lot of money and decided to lobby for a policy of inflation.
As a result, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 actually began a new era of monetary policy in the United States with one primary motivation in mind: controlling inflation. The politicians, conniving as usual, had figured out an easy way to finance their debt… the printing press.
So those who wanted to rein in the recklessness decided that by making the Federal Reserve independent from Congress, they could prevent skyrocketing inflation. But, as so often occur with “the best laid plans of mice and men,” what actually happened was an inflationary credit boom that created the “roaring twenties” and a bust which the world coined “the Great Depression.”
Now if you think this sounds familiar to the current financial crisis with the housing boom and bust, you are not alone. Nor are you observing an exception to the rule.
The Federal Reserve, since it's founding, has fostered a constant uncontrollable policy of inflation. But since they claim that they are independent, they insist that the inflation is not due to political pressures.
This, of course, is completely false.
Economist Thomas DiLorenzo finds that the Federal Reserve board has been little more than the President's handmaiden time and time again. For example, when President Jimmy Carter wanted a strong growth in the money supply to further social welfare programs, Americans saw a jump in inflation to 8.5 per cent. Later, Ronald Reagan, wanted to stop Carter's damaging policies and stabilize the American economy. He called in newly appointed Fed Chair Paul Volcker. And lo and behold, the “independent” Fed reversed its policies.
So, if the Federal Reserve gives in to the pressures of the President, then why is it that mainstream scholars believe that the Fed is independent? Well, the confusion begins at the divide between instrumental versus goal independence.
It's true that the Federal Reserve has the independence to set day-to-day monetary policy without any interference, which is called instrumental independence. But the President can heavily influence and direct the goals of monetary policy, thereby making the instrumental independence worthless.
The President does this by exercising his powers of appointing the members to the Board of Governors. This board is comprised of the most powerful players in the Federal Reserve. With only five of the seven positions filled, President Obama now holds an enormous amount of power because he could add two votes to an already small board, making the current members less powerful and insisting his own appointee further his political goals.
Already, with the massive new amounts of spending, there is no doubt that Obama has been leaning on the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to help finance all of the new bailouts and outright spending sprees to pay the debt.
The argument is that the United States needs to provide liquidity, or more cash, to the banks so that they can continue lending out money. What is going to inevitably occur, of course, is another boom period followed by a catastrophic bust.
All the while, the American people sit in the dark, while their money is being continually devalued by the Federal Reserve's printing press, which will cause an artificial unsustainable boom and allow Obama to claim to be economic savior. Then, when the massive bubble eventually—inevitably—bursts, Obama will be either out of office, or (particularly if the mainstream media shameless idolatry continues) simply out of reach.
Perhaps, the last best hope for preventing all of this is the passage of H.R. 1207. The bill now gathering growing support in Congress to audit the Fed already has a staggering 227 supporters. If it reaches 300, Nancy Pelosi will certainly have to hold a vote.
And the beleaguered American people—victims of the “independent” Fed's obstinacy for well nigh a full century—will finally have a prayer.
Justin Williams is a Contributing Editor of ALG News Bureau.