The Fed and the House Are Both Bringing on a Recession
Plus, Can the Fourth Amendment Survive Digital Surveillance?
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DESMOND LACHMAN: The Fed and the House Are Both Bringing on a Recession.
There is both good and bad news about our country’s economic outlook. The good news is that the Federal Reserve seems to be winning its fight against inflation. The bad news is that it appears likely that the cost of victory will be a recession caused by the Fed engaging in monetary policy overkill coincident with a looming fight over increasing the debt ceiling. The timing is perilous.
After allowing inflation to surge to a multi-decade high of 9.1 percent by means of an overly expansive monetary policy, the Fed has now dramatically reversed course. Last year, the Fed hiked interest rates on four occasions in unusually large steps of 75 basis points, making this the fastest pace of interest rate hikes since the early 1980s. At the same time, it has withdrawn market liquidity at the unprecedented pace of $95 billion per month by choosing not to roll over its maturing Treasury bond holdings. As dizzyingly loose as the Fed was in 2021 in response to the COVID emergency, it is now tightening with alarming severity.
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CORBIN BARTHOLD: Can the Fourth Amendment Survive Digital Surveillance?
The Fourth Amendment guarantees “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” The Founders opposed the British practice of issuing “general warrants”—edicts that allowed government officers to undertake sweeping searches without suspicion. As Justice Robert Jackson put it: “The forefathers, after consulting the lessons of history, designed our Constitution to place obstacles in the way of a too permeating police surveillance.”
The advance of technology has long bedeviled Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. A century ago, in Olmstead v. United States (1928), a case involving the warrantless wiretapping of telephones, Louis Brandeis urged his fellow justices not to let the amendment wither as “subtler and more far-reaching means of invading privacy” become “available to the government.” They did not listen. The Supreme Court permitted the wiretaps, reasoning that the Fourth Amendment cares only about searches of “material things.” Brandeis saw that the “progress of science” would continue, making that position increasingly untenable. At length it became too embarrassing to maintain. The Court overturned Olmstead in 1967.
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Don’t underestimate the House GOP… That’s the argument Jeffrey Isaac makes in Common Dreams.
Meanwhile, in the world of George Santos… It’s not going great! His claims about his mother’s fate on 9/11 seem to be proven wrong, and there’s, uh, this allegation. If true, this'll be the thing that causes the House GOP to turn on him. Just you watch.
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