The Wall Street Journal published a short article that should be read by every policy maker in the country. In fact, a simple glance at the accompanying graph should be enough to settle any debate about what it is that policy makers in the federal government and in the various state governments should be focusing on in 2014: jobs, jobs, jobs. Just look:
As you can see, inflation has been trending downward and there has been very little of it this year. Thus, the loose monetary policies of the Federal Reserve, which have helped keep the economy afloat, have not done what conservatives, for many years now, have warned us they would do: create crippling inflation. (Exactly how many times can right-wingers be wrong before media types stop paying attention to them?) Without those loose monetary policies I’d hate to think what shape this economy would be in. But obviously what the Federal Reserve has been doing isn’t enough, even though it should keep doing it. Without the fear of inflation (oh, I know there are those who fear it no matter what the actual numbers say) the Fed should continue stimulating the economy by keeping interest rates low (they’re essentially at zero right now) and by continuing to purchase bonds (known as “quantitative easing”).
But more important is what the fiscal policy makers in Washington should be doing, you know, those legislators who are supposed to be doing things that help job growth, not hurt it. It is past time for them to get off the laps of their donors and get to work at getting more Americans back to work. It is past time for Democrats to express public outrage—real disgust and outrage—at the refusal of Republicans to do anything that might contribute to reducing the amount of unemployment in the country.
And the expression of that public outrage should begin with President Obama.