Quote of the Day: Bernanke on Spending Folly

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From Ben Bernanke, speaking at the International Monetary Conference in Atlanta today:

If the nation is to have a healthy economic future, policymakers urgently need to put the federal government’s finances on a sustainable trajectory. But, on the other hand, a sharp fiscal consolidation focused on the very near term could be self-defeating if it were to undercut the still-fragile recovery….By taking decisions today that lead to fiscal consolidation over a longer horizon, policymakers can avoid a sudden fiscal contraction that could put the recovery at risk.

Translation: Don’t cut federal spending, idiots. Cut it in the future.

Further translation: The economy is fragile, but we at the Fed aren’t going to do anything about it. And I guess Congress isn’t going to do anything about it either. But for God’s sake, at least limit yourselves to doing nothing. Actively slashing spending is almost too stupid to bear thinking about.

Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, the conservative Republicans who have run the Fed for the past 24 years, have now both gone on record telling their fellow conservative Republicans to back away from the cliff and stop being idiots. It’s a sign of what’s happened to the GOP that these warnings have had no visible effect other than to make them apostates to be maligned in stump speeches.

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And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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