To the editor:
I see on page 5A of the Oct. 11 Journal-World that Pat Roberts opposes the confirmation of Janet Yellen as the next chairperson of the Federal Reserve because “the Federal Reserve has pursued ... ‘destructive’ fiscal policies and ... he expects that Janet Yellen would continue them if promoted.”
The Federal Reserve conducts monetary policy, while fiscal policy is determined by Congress which (sometimes) writes a budget and appropriates funds to enact its budget. Roberts complains that the Federal Reserves policy of maintaining low interest rates has encouraged government borrowing. Congress alone determines how much the government needs to borrow by making appropriations and determining how much revenue will be collected in taxes.
It’s hard to understand how the low cost of borrowing has hurt taxpayers when Congress forces the government to borrow to make up its budget deficit. Higher interest rates would help those who depend on interest income for expenses, but low interest rates mean all taxpayers have to pay less to fund interest on the deficits. If Roberts thinks the government’s fiscal policy is destructive, perhaps he should start looking in his own yard for its cause.