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New York Sun: Waiting for Republicans to address the money issue

Section: Daily Dispatches

From the New York Sun
Friday, January 6, 2023

The New York Sun favors elevating Kevin McCarthy to be speaker of the House but neither he nor anyone else in the majority has said what we would like to hear. We agree with our columnist Larry Kudlow in the view that Mr. McCarthy would be a good speaker. We're less confident that the Republican majority in the House is going to address the most important issue before the new Congress: monetary reform.

Our concern is not with the issues on which the GOP congresspersons are wrestling -- rules for the caucus and the like. We want to know, say, what rules the Congress is going to insist on for the Federal Reserve as it exercises the monetary powers that under the Constitution are granted to Congress. We realize the House rebels are in an untenable position. Yet what is the answer of the majority to the issues they raise?

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These are questions like, say, the debt ceiling, the failures of the Federal Reserve, and inflationary overspending. Why hasn't the leading candidate for speaker addressed those strategic questions? The Biden economy -- inflation, overspending, over-regulation, debt forgiveness -- is by far the biggest issue for Americans. This cataract of error is the fruit of the Age of Fiat Money. Yet no one in the Republican Party articulates a strategic vision.

The House rebels fear that the GOP under Mr. McCarthy will follow the advice of the longtime speaker, Sam Rayburn -- "to get along, go along" -- and take an accommodating posture to President Biden and the Democrats. "The country can't afford to continue what we've always done to get what we've always gotten," says one of the Republican rebels, Rep. Robert Good of Virginia.

The New York Times derides these rebels as "hard-right conservatives" on a "deeply ideological drive" and describes their aim as being "to drastically limit the size, scope, and reach of the federal government," while also changing "the way Congress works to make it easier to do so." Sounds about right. The Times complains that the rebels also "have pressed for a balanced federal budget -- one that would not permit any deficit spending."

The Sun is opposed to laws requiring a balanced budget. We are also, though, in the camp that sees federal overspending, such as is exemplified by President Biden and the outgoing Congress, as the principal source of the inflation now engulfing the country. And we see the Federal Reserve as the primary enabler of the use of borrowing that makes it possible for Congress to overspend as it has been doing.

We'd like to see the Republican majority address this strategically.  The GOP won the House because voters wanted something different than what Speaker Pelosi and her left-wing camarilla had to offer. The rebels are asking if Mr. McCarthy intends merely to offer a diluted version of the Democrats' roadmap -- going along with continued budget deficits, a swelling national debt, and a failure to reform or even audit the Federal Reserve.

Mr. McCarthy's failure to placate the House rebels -- whose political idealism could admittedly make it more difficult to pass legislation -- suggests to us a missed opportunity. The $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill passed in the lame-duck session suggests how easily fiscal and economic recklessness can masquerade as bipartisanship, earning praise from Democrats and the liberal press while paving the way for more harmful inflation.

Mr. McCarthy, to his credit, lobbied GOP senators to oppose that measure -- to no avail. So if he is serious about taking up the cause of economic freedom, small government, and fiscal rigor, and advocating for the causes cherished by the House rebels, it would behoove him to win them over not with picayune procedural changes but with an agenda in line with their drive to scale back the scope of the government.

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