Montana Politics

Denny Rehberg, Economist

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Today, from the mind of our renowned economist and Representative, Dennis Rehberg:

The Fed was created to protect the value of the dollar. Since 1913, the dollar has lost 95% of it’s value. Time to #AuditTheFed

While it’s a laudable attempt to shore up the John Birch/Ron Paul wing of the Montana GOP, it’s not exactly sound economic theory.  At Matt Yglesias notes:

It’s difficult to know how to make sense of the claim that the combination of mild inflation and compound interest means currencies decline a lot in value over giant time scales. If you assume governments should put a very strong priority on the interests of people who want to save large sums of money in shoeboxes, I guess this is a damning statistic. But it seems to me that the relevant issue is that real income in the United States has increased enormously over the past 100 years and that we’ve done better in this regard than most countries.

It would seem Representative Rehberg would be better served sticking to frivolous lawsuits than economics.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

19 Comments

  • The Fed intentionally sets an acceptable level of inflation by manipulating the money supply, a modest rate, as it is hard to maintain an even keel, and deflation is destructive. Not an issue – all countries do this with their currencies.

    It is always a mistake to look for meaningful content in political speech, in either allowed party. Those words, especially as an election approaches, are crafted by campaign specialists who, by use of polling and focus groups, have identified significant groups that can be manipulated through imagery. Rehberg’s recent use of a Jesus statue is just such an effort, and this too.

    But none of it on either side will have any impact on public policy. It is far more productive to join an Occupy movement than to try to affect policy by use of the ballot, meaningless in a thought-controlled society.

  • I’m in no mood to defend Rehberg or any other shithouse economist on either left or right. And looking at historical returns Yglesias is right (whom I don’t consider a shithouse economist.) But there is cause for some concern about the Fed insofar as with core inflation running at 1%+ and headline inflation running at +/- 3% we are, in fact, experiencing negative real rates of return considering the 90 day T-bill is yielding 0% – .25%.

    So, regardless of how one feels about monetary policy the current yield curve damages savers, feeds magic profits to previously bailed-out banks, and supports stock investors.

    I’m not smart enough to know if this is good policy or not but it’s pretty easy to see that Fed intervention hurts savers and rewards borrowers. That’s far more troubling to me than systematic depreciation of fiat money.

  • I don’t really see how how exactly this is different between the Daily News getting this out this or some blog. Material like this must to be released out more to the public. I would hope that others in the USA would take a stand like this.

  • This is a good subject to talk about. Generally when I come across these sort of things I like to post them on Digg. This article probably won’t do well with that crowd. I’ll take a look around your site though and submit something else.

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