For several months, Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, has increased the drumbeat of warnings from the US central bank about America’s soaring deficit.
Although the Fed typically shies away from entering the politically-tricky terrain of fiscal policy, officials also have the duty to speak up if they feel that the fate of the economy could be at stake – and Mr Bernanke has not been shy about pointing out that rising debt levels are a long-term threat to the US economy.
His message seems to be resonating more loudly on Capitol Hill, where conservative Democratic lawmakers joined Republicans in blocking an extension of unemployment benefits and other measures to help stimulate the economy on the grounds that government spending had to stop.
Indeed, Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader and frequent ally of fiscally conservative Democrats, today said America’s debt level was a huge national security problem. “It’s time to stop talking about Read more