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Hard-Money Men, Suddenly Going Soft

5 372 873

I have a confession to make: I have been insufficiently cynical about modern conservative economics.

Longtime readers may find this hard to believe. After all, I declared Paul Ryan a “flimflam man” back when all the cool kids were gushing about his courage and honesty, giving him awards for fiscal responsibility. (Events have settled the issue: Yes, he was and is a flimflam man.) I predicted early and often that Republican cries about the evils of debt would vanish as soon as they held the White House; sure enough, after forcing the U.S. into job-destroying austerity when the economy was weak, once in power they blew up the budget deficit with a tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, despite low unemployment.

But while I yield to nobody in my appreciation of the right’s fiscal fraudulence, I took its monetary hawkishness seriously. I thought that all those dire warnings about the inflationary consequences of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight high unemployment, the constant harping on the evils of printing money, were grounded in genuine — stupid, but genuine — concern.

Silly me.

It’s no surprise that Individual-1, who lambasted the Fed for keeping interest rates low while Barack Obama was president, is demanding that it keep rates low now that he’s in the White House.........

© The New York Times