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Two top American officials made important statements about the economy Monday. One pledged to help spur growth and get more people back to work. The other was President Obama.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, sounding like the nation’s CEO, said that there are positive signs but that the Fed wants “to see a stronger labor market.”
“There are too many people whose skills and talents are being wasted,” he said at the University of Michigan.
Obama, meanwhile, used a press conference to attack Republicans and announce he would not agree to spending cuts to win a debt- ceiling increase, even at the risk of default. He demanded a blank check for borrowing.
“They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy,” he said of House Republicans, adding that linking spending cuts to debt would be “a negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people.”
His imagery is violent, his logic illogical, and his charges false, but facts don’t get in his way. The media didn’t, either, so he launched into free-range scare tactics, suggesting the GOP wants to toss Granny out of the nursing home and let children starve.
His remarks revealed again that he lacks the gift for governing in a democracy. The art of the deal is beneath him. He’s doing God’s work, and He doesn’t negotiate.
That leaves Bernanke and Speaker John Boehner as the only adults in the room. The Fed is printing money to keep the nation afloat, and Boehner is charged with collecting the taxes and co-signing the endless debts.
If either followed Obama’s approach, the economy would crash. Theirs is the burden of the responsible; his is the freedom of the demagogue.