It is not surprising that House Speaker Paul Ryan is unimpressed with President Obama's economic record. What is surprising is who Ryan thinks does deserve credit for helping the recovery: the Federal Reserve.
"I think the Federal Reserve has done more," the speaker told reporters on Tuesday, after being asked if Obama "deserves any credit at all" for the recovery. "What's happening is people at the high end are doing pretty darn well because of loose money from the Fed," he said. This will be news to followers of Ryan's career. He's long railed against loose money from the Fed, claiming it will debase the dollar and lead to inflation. (It hasn't.)
It's not crazy to claim, as Ryan did, that the Fed's policies amounts to "trickle down economics." But there is nothing in Paul Ryan's history to suggest he thinks monetary policy can help the economy at all, even if it's just at the top. Plus, if that's his critique, there are some progressive money-printing enthusiasts — and even some conservative ones — who would probably like to schedule a chat with the speaker.
To recap: Paul Ryan thinks loose money helped the economy. But Paul Ryan opposes loose money. He also thinks loose money favors the rich too much. But shows no indication of wanting to make loose money favor the poor. Jeff Spross