On Friday Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher gave another of his honest and frank speeches. I have quoted part of it below, and posted the link to the speech itself here. Washington needs to get going on regulatory and fiscal reforms soon, or there will be nothing left to fight over.
From his speech: "And yet, even in this blessed state, there are too many unemployed and underemployed, just as there are in the rest of America. We can do better. America must do better.
The question is: How?
To create employment, we must have economic growth.
The simplest of econometric equations posits that the key components of economic growth are: domestic consumption, plus foreign demand for U.S.-produced exports, plus investment by businesses, plus spending by government.
I think it is pretty clear to everyone who lives on the planet that in order to expand our economy and put our people back to work, we must rely on our ability to curry to domestic and foreign consumption and invest here at home to produce the goods and services to sell into the marketplace here and abroad. You’d have to be from Mars to believe that our financially strapped federal and state governments will be the source of much direct spending stimulus to the economy going forward."
At the beginning of this talk, I mentioned Ambassador Mike Moore of New Zealand. His most recent book is dedicated “To honorable public servants, elected or otherwise,” as he put it. He then inserts a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. as follows: “Cowardice asks the question—is it safe? Expediency asks the question—is it politic? Vanity asks the question—is it popular? But conscience asks the question—is it right? … There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”
I would suggest to you that the time is now. Our nation’s economy is at risk. The Federal Reserve is doing everything it can to bolster unemployment without forsaking our sacred commitment to maintaining price stability. I personally don’t care which party is in the White House or controls Congress. All I know is that the “honorable” members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, have conspired over time, however unwittingly, to drive fiscal policy into the ditch. They purchased their elections and reelections with popular programs so poorly funded that they now threaten the economic well-being of our children and our children’s children. Instead of passing the torch on to the successor generation of Americans, the Congress is simply passing them the bill. This is the opposite of honorable, and it must stop.