Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar

In today's NY Times, Tyler Cowen writes "It's Monetary Policy, Not a Morality Play ... Cheer for the heroes and boo the villains (but only if there are any)."

That's always a worthy idea and I am trying to tie it to yesterday's blog re the Cato Journal's interesting symposium about monetary policy. It cites various policy errors made over the last half century. I am not sure that they rise to the level of villainy.

Jagdeesh Gokhale asks "Is the Fed Facilitating an Unpleasant Fiscal Arithmetic? ... Is the U.S. headed for an unprecedented economic disaster?" The worst numbers in the story come from unfunded Medicare liabilities.

Only last week, Hillary Clinton told an AARP audience that benefit cuts are off the table. The same piece cited Barack Obama countering that nothing should be off the table -- except privatization. At least Bush-Cheney-Rove (alias Simon Legree) once floated the privatization option.

I hope that I did not get carried away by Gokhale's piece. But I did read it just one day after finding the report Clinton-Obama position on the problem. Nevertheless, Tyler's advice is called for and his piece is now on my refrigerator door.