Poor Janet Yellen
By Dr. Harold A. Black
Janet Yellen is one of the few in Biden’s cabinet that is actually qualified for her job as Treasury Secretary. She has been president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She has a Ph.D. in economics from Yale, held a chaired professorship at Berkeley and is married to a Nobel Laureate in Economics, George Akerlof. So unlike Pete Buttigieg at Transportation, Jennifer Granholm at Energy, Marcia Fudge at HUD, Xavier Becerra at HHS and Alejandro Mayorkas at Homeland Security, Yellen should know what she is doing. However, she seems to have no pride and instead of educating the president on basic economics, she has become a political hack.
Remember when she said that the proposal that the IRS monitor bank transactions over $600 was intended to address tax fraud among the wealthy and not spy on ordinary folks? No one believed her and certainly she didn’t believe it either. Yellen knows that a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GNP growth. Yet she has stated, “This is not an economy that’s in recession, but we’re in a period of transition in which growth is slowing.” A period of transition in which growth is slowing? Give me a break. We are in a recession and Yellen knows it. By trying to redefine it, she has no shame. Saying that the economy is not in recession is akin to Mayorkas saying that the border is under control.
She has repeated Biden’s talking points about the economy and inflation, blaming Putin and Covid. She said, “The pandemic has been calling the shots for the economy and for inflation.” Thus, inflation, in her view, is not a result of an out-of-control Federal Reserve and Congressional spending but is because of pent-up consumer demand unleashed by the waning of the pandemic.
She testified before Congress that overturning Roe would damage the economy saying, “I believe that eliminating the rights of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades.” Yellen, citing some economic studies, implies that overturning Roe would mean that some women would be kept from completing their education and would lower the labor force participation rate. What Yellen is saying is disingenuous at best. She implies that women would not have access to abortion when the vast majority of states will still allow the procedure. She also implies that because these women will have babies that they will have to stay home and not complete college (I guess because she is old, she doesn’t know about the internet) and will not enter the labor force (I guess she never heard of working from home via the internet).
Lately, she has been pushing for a global 15 percent corporate income tax. But countries with lower taxes like Ireland and Hungary haven’t been receptive. The Biden administration is threatening to end its trading treaty with Hungary unless it caves. Countries with lower taxes are attractive to corporations chartered in other countries. Yellen is a trained economist. Yet she is denying the benefits of competition and trying to enshrine the inefficiencies of high-tax countries.
Yellen stated that inflation was “transitory”. How she did this with a straight face is a mystery to me. Now she admits that she was wrong saying “there have been unanticipated and large shocks to the economy that have boosted energy and food prices and supply bottlenecks that have affected our economy badly that I, at the time, didn’t fully understand, but we recognize that now.” I’m sorry. She didn’t fully understand that Biden’s war on domestic energy, the Congress’ 1.2 trillion dollar “infrastructure” bill, 1.5 trillion dollars stop gap government spending bill and Ukraine were inflationary? If that were true, she deserves to be fired and have Yale revoke her Ph.D. But in this administration, no one is fired because they are all repeating the same lies as the president. I’m not disappointed with the other cabinet members because they don’t know what they are doing. However, I am disappointed in Janet Yellen.