Opinion Brief

Sarah Palin vs. Ben Bernanke

The Federal Reserve starts pumping more money into the stalled economy, and the Alaskan conservative tells it to "cease and desist"

After taking on Obamacare, the "Ground Zero mosque," and RINO conservatives, Sarah Palin has a new target — the Federal Reserve. In a speech on Monday, the former vice-presidential candidate blasted the central bank for its new attempt to stimulate the economy by purchasing $600 billion worth of government bonds. Palin told Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to "cease and desist," saying the move, known as quantitative easing, amounts to printing money out of thin air and could spark runaway inflation. "If it doesn't work, what do we do then?" Palin asked. "Print even more money?" Is Palin right, or is she unqualified to criticize monetary policy? (Watch a WSJ discussion about Palin's gripe)

Palin is clueless about the economy: Palin thinks nobody should mess with the money supply, says blogger Zandar at his Zandar Versus The Stupid blog. But that's precisely what the Fed is there for — to use interest rates and other means to "affect inflation as a method of controlling the economy's throttle." It's scary that someone who might run for president could be so clueless about economic policy."Macroecono-moose"

She ought to be applauded: Palin made an intelligent and timely contribution to this debate, says an editorial in The Wall Street Journal. Republicans "need to be alert to the dangers" of misguided monetary policy, and Palin is leading the way. Her remarks showed both her sharp "economic instincts" and her talent for "putting a technical subject in language that average Americans can understand.""Palin's dollar, Zoellick's gold"

It will only strengthen her brand: Palin's speech is designed to "bolster her standing in two ways," says Michael Muskal at the Los Angeles Times. It offsets criticism from Karl Rove and others that she lacks the "gravitas to be president." And it continues "the narrative that unites Republicans and the Tea Party movement." It's just more brand positioning from "one of the leading Republican presidential aspirants in 2012.""Sarah Palin to criticize Federal Reserve's plan to purchase Treasury bonds"

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