Whose PROBLEM is this, you might be wondering, as you try desperately to save for your children’s college education, pay off your own student loans, keep up with the mortgage payments on a house worth less than what you owe on it, hope that you do not get sick, and contemplate a retirement age of around 80 (which, incidentally, is three years more than the average lifespan of American men and fourteen years longer than the average lifespan of African American men). Whose PROBLEM is this, you wonder, given that this lifestyle seems somewhere between impossible and unsustainable. The answer, of course, is that it is YOUR problem, DUH, seeing as government cannot create jobs and job creators simply do not want to create jobs. But soon, these years spent pinching pennies and praying for health will seem like some sort of golden age because it is about to get much worse, and everybody is under the impression that it is nobody’s job to do a damn thing about it. This is according to NBC news, which has brought us the appropriately titled article “Fed, Congress Fiddles as US Economy Stumbles.” (No, no one is actually playing a fiddle, and that is probably the most surprising thing in this article):
There’s no shortage of finger-pointing over whose job it is to save the U.S. from slipping back into recession.
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke told a Senate panel Tuesday there’s little he can do to offset the likely economic damage if Congress steers the U.S. economy over a fiscal cliff. Nor, he told lawmakers, is that his job.
“I don’t think that’s my responsibility,” he told the Senate Banking Committee. “I’ve been assigned to focus on maximum employment and price stability, not to hold threats over Congress’ head. Congress is in charge here, not the Federal Reserve.”
Isn’t that comforting? Congress being in charge of anything, let alone the economy? Luckily, they don’t agree with Ben Bernanke that they’re in charge (not that Ben Bernanke being in charge is any more comforting, really) so they’re not going to do anything either.
“We can talk all we want — everyone gives speeches how fiscal policy should be the way to go and we don’t do anything,” Sen. Charles Schumer, D- N.Y., told Bernanke. “Given the political realities, Mr. Chairman, particularly in this election year, I am afraid the Fed is the only game in town. And I would urge you to take whatever actions you think would be most helpful in supporting a stronger economic recovery.”
So! There we have it. The economy is slowing and nobody thinks that anyone should do anything about it. Luckily, government interference is inversely proportional to our freedom quotients, so we can all look forward to a healthy amount of freedom in 2013.