Can someone please summarize the articlke "How Ben Bernanke Is Enabling Congress," by Rick Newman of the US News?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The basic idea of this article is encapsulated by the title.  The article argues that the Federal Reserve is allowing Congress to act irresponsibly.  The Fed’s policies allow the economy to stay afloat even as the Congress does a terrible job, seemingly trying to hurt the economy.

The article says that there are two kinds of economic stimuli that can be used to help the economy grow.  These are fiscal policy (taxing and spending) and monetary policy (manipulating the supply of money).  The former is done by Congress while the Fed does the latter.  The article argues that Congress has acted irresponsibly in making fiscal policy.  People in Congress have tried to score ideological points off one another instead of actually instituting fiscal policies that would be beneficial to the economy.

However, the article argues, the economy has not crashed because the Fed has been keeping it afloat.  The Fed keeps pursuing a very expansionary monetary policy.  Because they are pursuing such an “easy money” policy, the economy is able to keep out of a recession even as Congress performs so poorly.  The author argues that Congress might be forced to act more responsibly if the Fed were to stop helping out through such expansionary monetary policy.