By Colleen McCain Nelson and Damian Paletta
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in his most explicit criticism of the Federal Reserve’s recent moves, on Friday said the central bank was offering the economy nothing more than a “sugar high” that would cause pain for everyone from savers to the U.S. dollar down the road.
The criticisms, made at a fundraiser in New York, came less than 24 hours after the central bank announced open-ended plans to buy mortgage-backed securities to try and help the jobs market. Democrats have cheered the move, though many Republicans have been highly critical. The White House, as is customary on Fed decisions, has not weighed in. Mr. Romney didn’t hold back on Friday though.
“Recognize that as the Federal Reserve keeps on trying to stimulate the economy by printing more money that there’s a cost to that,” Mr. Romney said. “The value of your savings goes down. People who are living on fixed incomes don’t see much interest income any more. And the value of the dollar goes down and the risk for long-term inflation goes up. There’s real cost to these stimulative print-more-money policies. The real course ahead for America is to encourage the growth of our economy not just to go out there and print more money.”
Earlier, in an interview with ABC News, Mr. Romney said the Fed’s move reflects poorly on Mr. Obama’s stewardship of the economy, and moreover, he disagreed with the Fed’s move.
“The president’s saying the economy’s making progress, coming back. Bernanke’s saying, ‘No, it’s not. I’ve got to print more money,’ ” Mr. Romney told interviewer George Stephanopoulos. He added: “I don’t think what Bernanke is doing is going to get the economy going. I think we have to have a leadership in Washington that encourages the private sector. I think printing more money, at this point, comes at a higher cost than the…benefit it’s going to create.”