Feature

Stop taking cheap shots at Bernanke

“As much as anyone, Bernanke contained the crisis,” said Robert J. Samuelson at The Washington Post.

Robert J. SamuelsonThe Washington Post

Bashing Ben Bernanke has become the “sport of choice” for GOP presidential hopefuls, said Robert J. Samuelson. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said the Fed chairman’s actions might be “treasonous,” and Newt Gingrich called Bernanke the central bank’s most “dangerous and power-centered chairman” ever. Such rhetoric is so “beyond over-the-top” that it should “suggest disqualification for the White House.” These candidates know Bernanke is an easy target, since the Fed chairman can’t fire back. But scapegoating him makes no sense.

“As much as anyone, Bernanke contained the crisis.” If he hadn’t provided credit to besieged markets, unemployment today would be far higher. Bernanke’s critics have accused him of increasing inflation, having no accountability, and deepening the recession. It’s all false. Consumer price increases under Bernanke have been the lowest for any Fed chairman since 1970. And Bernanke’s Fed has been remarkably—and historically—transparent.

Yes, Bernanke’s policies “have disappointed in spurring recovery,” but “it’s not clear anyone else could have done better.” That makes bashing Ben “a cheap shot that reflects more on the attackers than the attacked.”

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