Anyone paying attention to the financial system in the US has known for some time that the train came off the tracks a while ago. From congressional spending, to the Federal Reserve’s money printing and tinkering with the economy, to various other government officials—it’s pretty clear the buck no longer stops with anyone around here.
Current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is one of the more notable figureheads who has been playing hot potato with our finances for decades (she previously chaired the Federal Reserve and led the White House Council of Economic Advisers). And her recent boneheaded comments on the Israel-Palestinian war illustrate the lack of discretion and sound money principles that have guided her career.
The Biden administration has pledged “unwavering support” for Israel in its war against Hamas, the terrorist group that launched attacks on Israeli citizens 11 days ago. On Monday, Britain’s Sky News asked Yellen whether the US could afford to provide military support to Israel while it is also sending billions to fight a proxy war in Ukraine against Russia.
The correct answer is clearly a resounding no, we can’t afford either. Our country is currently $33 TRILLION in debt and consistently going deeper. And what was already a fiscal crisis is being pushed to the brink as the Fed keeps having to raise interest rates to try to prevent the dollar from collapsing following the federal government’s spending and printing spree during COVID. Higher rates mean we pay a higher interest on our debt, too, with our future tax-funded interest payments set to soar in coming years.
According to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, interest payments on the national debt are projected to be the fastest-growing part of the federal budget over the next three decades. The interest on our debt alone will likely be $5.4 trillion by 2053—that’s more than we spend on Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and defense.
Yellen’s reply though? “The answer is absolutely.”
She continued her delusional rant adding, “America can certainly afford to stand with Israel and to support Israel’s military needs and we also can and must support Ukraine in its struggle against Russia.” She also claimed that the US economy is doing “extremely well.”
The gaslighting is getting exhausting. And it just kept getting worse.
“Inflation has been high and it’s been a concern to households, it’s come down considerably. At the same time, we have about the strongest labor market we’ve seen in 50 years with 3.8% unemployment. And at the same time, America, the Biden administration, has passed legislation that is strengthening our economy in years to come for the medium term,” Yellen continued.
For the record, prices are still increasing, they’re just not increasing at the breakneck speed they were last year following the Biden administration (and Congress) passing asinine spending bills like the manipulatively titled “Inflation Reduction Act.” The IRA had nothing to do with inflation, in fact, it was a tremendous spending spree on climate agenda items and expanding the IRS that no one, not even Bernie Sanders, seriously thought would reduce inflation. And combined with the “American Rescue Plan,” predictions that the bills would hurt, rather than help, the economy were proven correct.
Not only did Biden’s pet spending policies make inflation worse, he and his people continue to lie about their effects. You don’t have to tell average Americans that life has gotten worse for them financially since 2021. The cost of living is becoming untenable and Americans are being told to blame everything for that—from their landlords, to their bosses, to companies that supposedly just all of a sudden became gReEdy in 2023—except for the true culprits of their plight: progressive spending policies.
Many believe the country is heading for a recession, and even if not, there’s no sign the cost of living is going to come down anytime soon.
The economy is struggling right now, and no manipulating the numbers or PR media spin will change that. The true unemployment number is far higher than the 3.8% she’s claiming (it’s really closer to 7%), and we’re losing hundreds of thousands of full-time jobs as we speak. The country is hurting.
But sure, what’s another war?
Yellen went on to say that the need to release funds for both Israel and Ukraine is a “priority,” and urged Republicans in Congress to select a speaker so that such legislation can be passed.
“We stand with Israel. America has also made clear to Israel, we’re working very closely with the Israelis, that they have a right to defend themselves,” Yellen said, noting that sparing civilian lives “to the maximum extent possible” was of course important.
When pressed on the potential economic impact of the conflict in the Middle East, especially considering that oil prices remain volatile and amid concerns that neighboring powers in the region, such as Iran, could be pulled into the Israel-Hamas war, Yellen said it was “too early to gauge.”
I’m sorry, but a literal monkey could gauge the potential economic impact of such a conflict—and it would be disastrous. Americans can’t afford gas as it is, a larger Middle Eastern conflict (like going after Iran) would skyrocket oil prices (all while Biden continues to make us less independent as he blocks domestic drilling). Could that happen with or without US involvement? Maybe. But it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Israel goes after Iran without us.
This is one of the least important reasons why the US should absolutely not further involve itself in this conflict. The potential for blowback and the further strain on our resources would make all Americans less safe and poorer, and our involvement could easily lead to a much bigger regional conflict, too.
These are the same people who tell you we can’t afford student debt relief, free healthcare, a universal basic income, or free housing for the homeless. And they’re right, I don’t believe we can afford any of that (nor is it the proper role of government). But one would hope that if our financial leaders were going to be hopelessly stupid about money management their errors would at least benefit the American people whose labor funds their idiocracy.