Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) released the following statement in response to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony on "Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy" in the House Financial Services Committee today.
"With our economy contracting for the first time in four years and our national unemployment remaining stubbornly high, I was hoping Chairman Bernanke would bring us some good news today about the future of our country. Unfortunately, the Chairman's testimony only reaffirms that our economy continues to remain stagnant despite the largest fiscal and monetary stimulus in our nation's history. Since 2009, Washington Democrats have added about $6 trillion to our national debt, and the Federal Reserve has expanded its balance sheet to nearly $3 trillion.
"These extraordinary actions undertaken by the Federal Reserve in recent years significantly raise the risk of inflation or other problems down the road. And currently the Federal Reserve is pumping $85 billion a month into our economy in an attempt to keep interest rates low. But the Federal Reserve has not detailed specific plans on how they will unwind these positions without causing serious harm to the economy.
"As I visit with families and small businesses across the 2nd district, the concerns I hear are over our $16.5 trillion national debt, burdensome regulations resulting from Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank Act, and the ever-present threat of higher taxes from Washington. Rarely do I hear someone tell me that interest rates aren't low enough or that the government isn't spending enough money. However, I was pleased to hear Chairman Bernanke acknowledge that our country faces a long-term debt problem, which the House of Representatives plans to address in our upcoming budget resolution. We're never going to be able to buy an economic recovery, and the sooner Washington realizes this, the better off our economy will be."