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It was six years ago and one of those semi-hilarious moments that has unfortunately been lost to history that Janet Yellen sat through what must have been the single most uncomfortable congressional hearing of her life. At the time, you may remember, Yellen was running the Federal Reserve and she was, as she remains today, a lifestyle liberal in good standing.
So, put yourself in her position and imagine the shock she must have felt when members of the Congressional Black Caucus suggested that she, Janet Yellen, was, in fact, a racist, maybe even a White supremacist. What did Janet Yellen do wrong? Well, they suggested what she did wrong was she failed to harness the power of the Federal Reserve to help African-Americans specifically. Now, at first, Yellen seemed confused by this complaint. The point of the Fed is to keep the American economy stable. The point is not to pay off loyal blocks of Democratic voters, and she tried to explain this.
“Our powers,” she said, “can’t be targeted at the experience of particular groups.” That was her response, but the Congressional Black Caucus did not buy it. Their message to Janet Yellen was the same as their message to you and every other person in this country with 350 million people: “Do what we say, or we will denounce you as a racist.” And finally, Janet Yellen got that message. Boy, did she.
Within a year, Yellen had all but abandoned the traditional constraints of monetary policy. Instead, there she was yammering on in public about things like racial equity and environmental justice. Now, those are issues that, unlike economics, cannot be quantified or even specifically defined. They are therefore perfect vehicles for power-hungry politicians hoping to become more powerful.
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Now, Yellen was supposedly an economist. But as she turned 70, she left the field of economics completely and entered the far more familiar world of political activism. By the time she became Joe Biden’s Treasury Secretary, the transformation was complete. Among Yellen’s first acts as Treasury secretary was an order changing the mission of the Treasury Department’s Financial Stability Oversight Council.
Now, that council was created by Congress after the last financial crisis, as its name suggests, to prevent something similar from ever happening again. And for about a decade, it focused on questions that might prevent another meltdown, questions like subprime lending and automated trading on Wall Street, relevant questions, but under Janet Yellen, the council turned its attention to a far more fashionable issue that she was consumed with: global warming.
“We must look ahead at emerging risks,” Yellen proclaimed, “Climate change is obviously the big one.” She sent a letter to the World Bank telling them the same thing. As for inflation, which traditionally was a core concern of government economists, that was the emerging risk they were worried about, Yellen Just shrug that off. Inflation? If that happens, she told us in a now-famous quote, it’ll be “transitory.”
In the history of bad predictions from Washington, which could fill volumes, that might take first place.
In fact, since Joe Biden became president, the price of gasoline has doubled, and so have the prices of many other key commodities that Americans need to live and the worst part is that not only did Janet Yellen, the treasury secretary, fail to see any of this coming. Janet Yellen, more than any other single person in America, caused it in the first place through reckless, loose money policies implemented during her years at the Fed, policies that were bound to cause inflation and did.
So, if you’re mad about the current state of the economy, Janet Yellen is probably the first person you should blame. Why does she still have her job? It’s a good question. And we might have had an answer to that because Yellen was back in front of Congress today, but this time there were no tough interrogatories from the Congressional Black Caucus. No one called her a racist. Instead, they kissed up to her.
As Yellen explained to a deeply sympathetic room of members of Congress, the real problem with the American economy is that she and the Democratic Party don’t yet have enough control over it. Watch.
YELLEN: Look, over the medium term, the critical thing is that we become more dependent on the wind and the sun that are not subject to geopolitical influences and passing clean energy credits that will boost nonrenewable is, I think, really, really critical to addressing climate change and our energy costs for households going forward.
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So just for fun, if you have 5 minutes, rewind the tape, transcribe what she just said, and see if you can make sense of the verbal bouillabaisse. What are you looking at? It’s called intersectionalism. It’s the new religion of government, and it allows bureaucrats when it becomes clear they have no idea what they’re doing to just pivot and talk about something they know even less about. So. here you have Janet Yellen talking about geopolitical influences, clean energy credits, climate change.
What is Janet Yellen talking about? Well, she has no idea. The problem is that there are people out there who actually do understand what she’s trying to talk about. Experts, actual experts, have studied the sustainability of renewable energy for years.
Michael Shellenberger, for example, found that from 2011 to 2017, the cost of solar panels dropped by more than 70% in this country. There are more of them. It’s a supply and demand question. But here’s the interesting part. During that same period as the cost of solar panels fell, electricity prices in California went up five times more than they did in the rest of the United States. Why more solar panels? The solar panels were cheaper, but the electricity they produced was more expensive. Huh? How does that work and how is it helping you?
We know it happens because it happened in Germany at scale from 2006 to 2018. That would be the heyday, the peak years of Germany’s big renewable energy push. Electricity prices went up 50%. Now, why did that happen? Well, let’s compare it to a neighboring country. In France, electricity prices were much lower than Germany’s even though France gets twice as much of its energy from clean energy sources as Germany does.
What? What made France so special? How’d they pull that off? Simple. Nuclear.
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France gets a lot of its energy from nuclear power. Janet Yellen does not consider nuclear power a renewable. When she says renewable, she means wind and solar, which by definition are not reliable sources of energy, but they are and this is always the key, highly profitable to Democratic donors and the government of China.
So, of course, Janet Yellen is for them. Of course, Yellen didn’t go into details on why she thinks what she does, because if you unpack it, if you slow down and speak clearly, it doesn’t make any sense and Janet Yellen knows that. She’s an activist. She gets that logic is irrelevant. Thinking clearly? No, that gets you nowhere. Emotion is what carries the day, and that’s why during today’s congressional hearings, she started talking about yet another topic she knows nothing about – gun crime.
YELLEN: I am also horrified by gun violence. What we’ve seen in recent weeks, over and over many years, and I do hope that Congress will take long-overdue action and put in place commonsense measures to reduce gun violence.
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“Well, I’m horrified about gun violence.” I’m sorry, ma’am, you’re the Treasury secretary. Shh, let’s talk about the economy, which is imploding. Stop with your little abortion talk, your little gun talk. Not your area. Let’s get back into your lane. You’re the Treasury secretary, but of course, she doesn’t want to.
The goal always is to talk about anything other than the economy. Why? Because they destroyed the economy, but there was one exception. At one point, Janet Yellen was asked because it’s a pretty obvious question, how exactly as the Treasury secretary and former Fed chair, as an economist and a genius, how do you miss the inflation you caused? Hear when.
YELLEN: When I said that inflation would be transitory, what I was not anticipating was a scenario in which we would end up contending with multiple variants of COVID that would be scrambling our economy and global supply chains and I was not envisioning impacts on food and energy prices we’ve seen from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. So as Chair Powell indicated himself, both of us probably could have used a better term than “transitory.” I do expect inflation to remain high, although I very much hope that it will be coming down now.
Oh, so you didn’t see COVID coming even though it was here for two years and we shut down the entire economy and then made up for the gap in productivity with profligate government spending where we just printed trillions of fake dollars, but you didn’t think that was going to cause inflation somehow? And you didn’t think a war in the breadbasket of Europe would affect food prices?
Let’s say you were a talk show host on a cable channel with no economic experience whatsoever or even the ability to balance a checkbook and it was obvious to you, but, you’re the Treasury secretary, but you didn’t see it coming? Maybe you shouldn’t call it transitory? And your answer is, and we’re quoting, “I do expect inflation to remain high, although I do very much hope it will be coming down.” Oh, you very much hope? Is that where we are? We are very much hoping? Tell us more about abortion and gun violence if you would. Blame COVID and Putin and call it a day. It is a joke.
Fox’s Hillary Vaughn, to her credit, was not convinced. She asked Janet Yellen whether Joe Biden’s decision to spend trillions of dollars might have contributed to inflation because like when you have more of something, it’s worth less, like your currency, which is almost worth less and here was Janet Yellen’s response.
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VAUGHN: Have you ever warned the White House that increased government spending could have contributed to the inflation that we’re seeing today? (Yellen waves off question and doesn’t answer.)
Go away, peasant, troll, your inflation talk. I’m worried about climate change and gun violence and abortion. Leave me alone, it’s not like the Treasury secretary. Be gone.
She should be gone. This is crazy. And in a functioning country, Janet Yellen would be in a retirement home somewhere writing her memoirs that no one would ever read, but that’s not what’s happening. She’s still the Treasury secretary, and that’s not what happened today. Instead, Democrats took turns bragging about their expensive electric cars. Worried about gas prices? Just get a Tesla, baby. Here’s Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
STABENOW: Well, good morning, Madame Secretary. We’re so glad to have you with us. I do have to say, just on the issue of gas prices, after waiting for a long time to have enough chips in this country to finally get my electric vehicle, I got it and drove it from Michigan to here this last weekend and went by every single gas station. It didn’t matter how high it was and so, I’m looking forward to the opportunity for us to move to vehicles that aren’t going to be dependent on the whims of the oil companies and the international markets.
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Yes, because electric cars don’t actually use energy, so they’re disconnected from the international market. Hey Debbie Stabenow, what’s an international market? You have any idea whatsoever? Do you know anything?
You’re telling us that the oil companies are so greedy they somehow canceled their own leases for drilling. They’re so greedy. They don’t even want to drill oil and that’s why they shut down their own pipelines. Is that right? And that’s why they’re talking about implementing a gas tax, because they don’t want you to use oil. Right?
What’s the reasoning here, Debbie Stabenow? Maybe we should contact Janet Yellen. Maybe she’ll answer. Maybe she’ll wave us away like the peasants we are.
What’s going on here? How can this person be our Treasury secretary? We’re in deep waters. Is there anyone who can pull us out of them?