Friday, January 18, 2008

Why Congress shouldn't set economic policy, episode #4,395

Marcy Kaptur is a 13-term Congresswoman from Ohio, and a senior member of the House Budget and Appropriations committees.

From her positions on free trade (she's against it), you don't really need to know any economics to serve on either of those financial committees. But don't worry, America, Representative Kaptur isn't going to let her ignorance get in the way of scoring political points.

Apparently, you don't even need to know who you're lecturing to score political points. But, you do need to know who you're lecturing in order to avoid being a complete idiot.

As US representatives often do, Kaptur used a Budget committee meeting in order to score points by railing on CEO greed contributing to the subprime mortgage crisis and CEO salaries as a contributor to the current economic malaise (among other very bad things, at least in her mind.) She was lining up to ask Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs other pointed questions based on her knowledge of economics, but there was one problem: she was reading her narrative targeting the Treasury Secretary to the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke.

So, a senior member of 2 important financial committees can't tell the difference between the 2 most important economic officials in America. As Cato asks: "if she can’t tell the difference between the secretary of the Treasury and the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, should she be overseeing the budget of the United States government?"

Of course, this only derailed Kaptur for a few seconds, and she continued to read her Paulson-specific questions to Bernanke.

Better coverage of Kaptur's duh moment is available here, or you can watch a clip from her verbal car crash.

Hat tip to the Cato @ Liberty folks who pointed this out.

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With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
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Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous