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Rockwell Blasts Obama, Bush on Economy

Friday, 09 Oct 2009 12:30 PM

By Dan Weil

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Lew Rockwell, former congressional chief of staff for Ron Paul, heaps equal scorn on the Obama and Bush administrations for their handling of the economy.

Some experts say the economy is improving. Rockwell, now chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, disagrees.

“We know that really the economy isn’t better,” he told Moneynews.com.

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“We’re very worried, and rightly so, about the future of the American economy.”

And who’s to blame?

“People like Mr. Bernanke, Mr. Obama, Mr. Bush, Mr. Greenspan. The people responsible for this artificial boom and bust and all the trouble that’s happened to us over these last years since 2001,” Rockwell says.

That’s when Greenspan and Bush really sparked inflation, he argues. And Obama represents more of the same.

“It’s Bushism with just a different face. . . President Bush, of course, gave us the first so-called stimulus: this crazed resurrection of the worst aspects of Keynesian economics.”

Change is necessary, Rockwell says.

“We know that we don’t need more of that conduct. We need a free market, and we need sound money.”

Rockwell scoffs at Obama’s call for stronger financial regulation. “The idea that this industry is under-regulated is just ridiculous,” he says.

“The important thing we should keep in mind when we talk about regulation is it’s not just control by the government. It’s control of private industry for the benefit of the government and big players in the industry.”

He specifically named Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup.

“When the Obama administration talks about more regulation, they mean more benefits for the special interests and more harm against small businesses, certainly more harm for the American consumer and the American investor.”

On the currency front, Rockwell favors a return to the gold standard.

“With the gold standard, you don’t have these systemic booms and busts like you do with paper money and a central bank,” he says.

“If we had a gold standard, I’d be very happy with competitive currencies. Let the dollar stay in existence, but make it legal for other sorts of currencies to come into existence. Right now you’d get put in jail for that.”

Rockwell stresses that he’s not advocating counterfeit money. “That’s what the Federal Reserve does. Ben Bernanke is the counterfeiter-in-chief,” he says.

“We don’t need more of that. But we do need the ability for private firms to come up with gold-based or other competitive currencies.”

It’s all about competition, Rockwell says.

“Just as we know that competition helps in all other areas of the economy, so we should not have a government monopoly in money either.”

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