If there were any lingering doubts that official Washington rewards incompetency and lack of foresight, Thursday’s Senate confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to a second four-year term as Fed Chairman should put them to rest.
The Senate voted on December 24 to allow the federal government to borrow an additional $290 billion, thereby increasing the total federal debt from $12.1 trillion to about $12.4 trillion. The House had already approved the measure during the previous week.
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds," poet-philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in the 19th Century. Small minds, at least those belonging to the ruling class in Washington, D.C., have broadened considerably since then. Senate Republicans, for example, may often be foolish on the subjects of taxing and spending. But at least two dozen of the current crop of GOP Solons have insulated themselves against any suspicion of consistency.
The Senate Banking Committee convened Thursday morning, December 17, and voted 16-7 to confirm Ben Bernanke for a second four-year term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.