by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
George Will’s latest column is brilliant. It is difficult to pick one passage to highlight here. I’ll do it anyway.
During the debt-ceiling debate, The New York Times, liberalism’s bulletin board, was aghast that Republicans risked causing the nation to default on its debt. Now two Times columnists endorse slow-motion default through inflation: The Federal Reserve should have “the deliberate goal of generating higher inflation to help alleviate debt problems” (Paul Krugman) and “sometimes we need inflation, and now is such a time” (Floyd Norris).
Ken Rogoff, a Harvard economist, suggests “trying to achieve some modest deleveraging through moderate inflation of, say, 4 to 6 percent for several years.” This is an antiseptic way of saying we should reduce the weight of our indebtedness by reducing the value of the dollars in which it is denominated. But does the nation need more uncertainty? And note Rogoff’s serene confidence in government’s ability to control such things – inflation will be fine-tuned within a narrow band, switched on for just a few years, then off, like a government-approved light bulb.
It is a wonder, this faith-based (and often campus-based) conviction that the government that brought us the ethanol program can be trusted to precisely execute wise policies.
Assignment: Read Will’s column. Compare to President Obama’s remarks in Raleigh later today. Your written analysis is due Friday, 4:00 pm.