Monday, June 6, 2011

Republicans: Still not serious about the economy

Blocking the nomination of a Nobel Prize-winning economist for governor of the Federal Reserve until the nominee is forced to withdraw.  Classy.
"It is time for me to withdraw, as I plan to inform the White House," Diamond, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote in an opinion piece published in the New York Times titled, "When a Nobel Prize isn't enough."

The top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, Richard Shelby, has criticized Diamond, saying he lacks monetary policy experience.

At a May 12 committee hearing, Shelby said Diamond "is not the right person for this job," citing his lack of "appropriate background or experience" and his support of "bailing out the big banks during the crisis" and additional stimulus measures.
Can we disqualify Shelby from sitting on the Banking Committee for being a massive idiot?  I'm not a huge fan of bank bailouts, but I'm pretty sure that if the big banks hadn't been saved, the economy would be a whole hell of a lot worse now than it is.  But isn't that always the case with the GOP?  Mitt Romney continues to say we shouldn't have saved Chrysler and GM.  He is effectively telling us that he would have been okay with literally millions of lost jobs that would never return, and the complete annihilation of the American auto industry, which dates back more than a century.  Who can take such stuff seriously?  Probably the same people who can take this seriously:
But at the May 12 hearing, Shelby contended that "we are a nation awash in talented and capable people. Surely the president can find another nominee with the level of experience and temperament necessary to garner bipartisan support."
Excuse me, Senator Shelby, but you just blocked the nomination of a guy with a fucking Nobel Prize in Economics.  America may be "awash in talented and capable people" but I don't think you find Nobel laureates on every street corner.

"It's a pity since Diamond's work on labor markets would be of importance to the committee," said Michael Gapen, a former Fed economist now at Barclays Capital. "This was a case of politics winning out over pragmatism." 
That's putting it mildly.  I would call it the Republicans realizing that the only way they can defeat this president is if the economy is still doing badly in 2012, and doing everything in their power to kill the recovery.  If their dog and pony show on raising the debt ceiling (which even the Ryan plan would require) doesn't prove that, I don't know what does.

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