Dumbass: Janet Yellen says she didn't know inflation would spin out of control?

With Joe Biden's polling numbers in the tank and runaway inflation the number one issue on voters' minds, in steps Biden's Treasury Secretary, and former Chair of the Federal Reserve, to take one for the team.

Washington (CNN) US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted Tuesday that she had failed to anticipate how long high inflation would continue to plague American consumers as the Biden administration works to contain a mounting political liability.

"I think I was wrong then about the path that inflation would take," Yellen told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" when asked about her comments from 2021 that inflation posed only a "small risk."

The admission was the latest indication that the administration's expectations of a normalizing economy were thrown into disarray by the continuing pandemic and the war in Europe.

"As I mentioned, 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 didn't -- at the time -- didn't fully understand, but we recognize that now," she said.

Dammit, Janet. What a stupid person. Who the heck's job was it to keep an eye on inflation, which affects 300 million people participating in the economic system in our country? That's right, Janet Yellen, who as Treasury Secretary has the explicit job of guarding the value of the currency, and as former Fed chief under President Obama, had an even more serious job of setting monetary policy which has the highest impact on the value of the currency. She's been placed in jobs of enormous power -- she was the hand on the button of the money press -- and now she's admitting that she doesn't even know basic economics

Who's job was it to watch for inflation? That's right, hers. 

Her 'duh, I didn't know' response makes her look insanely stupid, given that inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon, as the late Milton Friedman famously put it. All goods are priced in dollars, not barrels of oil, not gold, not what have you. Mess with the dollar by printing too many dollars and suddenly too many dollars are chasing too few goods, and the price of everything goes up. That's inflation. How'd we get too many dollars? Through the money presses, and why were those turned to 11? Because the federal government spent like a sailor on one COVID relief package after another, putting mountains of money into the system. What the heck did Yellen think the money-printing presses were about? Anyone with any serious knowledge of monetary policy would know that that's how inflation is created, but somehow she didn't.

The Federalist's David Harsanyi has a very good summary of just how many Democrats (let's skip the Republicans) knew this hard, immutable fact about economics, very, very, well: 

But with midterms approaching, there’s been a concerted effort underway to exonerate the president, and thus Democrats, of any culpability for rising prices. Biden sycophant “Morning Joe,” for example, contends that anyone who blames the president for more than a “passing impact” on inflation is a “lying hack or an ignorant rube.” One wonders if that group includes former Obama adviser Steve Rattner, who argues that inflation has been driven by government putting “too much money in people’s pockets?” Or Obama’s one-time Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers, who had been warning for more than a year that cash infusions would exacerbate inflation? Or Jeff Bezos, who correctly pointed out that the “administration tried hard to inject even more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy?”

Those economists have got to be murmuring to one another about this kind of ignorance of basic monetary economics.

And this, despite the fact that she's an old lady, she would remember easily the Carter years, and as a top monetary and financial official, would also know all about the nations around the world who got themselves into an inflation pickle and needed IMF bailout help or some kind of macroeconomic stabilization. Helloooo, Argentina. Very likely she interacted with many of them, too. Over in Russia, the locals went through some monster inflation in the 1990s and with hard realism, cleaned up their monetary and fiscal act for decades. Janet apparently didn't hear about those guys, either.

Worse still, she still doesn't know what she's talking about. She still has no idea where inflation comes from. 

Look at the second part of her answer to CNN: "...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 didn't -- at the time -- didn't fully understand, but we recognize that now."

The old "Putin did it" blame strategy, pioneered by the spin team of Joe Biden's White House gnomes. Well, heck, who could have anticipated Putin? After admitting she didn't know much about economics, she laid the blame squarely on Putin, instead of herself. Yes, indeed, inflation comes from Putin that clever, wily bastard, who somehow managed to create inflation for at least a year before he invaded Ukraine last February.

It's a mea culpa without a mea culpa and boy, does it make her look double-stupid.

This person has been given (and still has) enormous power of state, and yet she now admits she has the knowledge of the average Joe on monetary economics. If she were a CEO and gave those kinds of ignorant excuses to explain the latest negative profit report, she'd be out on her ear. She should be flipping burgers, given the "value" she adds to the federal money operation.

The country's in the very best of hands, as Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds often puts it. This person needs to be booted from office yesterday.

Caricature by DonkeyHotey, via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

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