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DES MOINES, Iowa – Has the gold standard become “a litmus test of GOP presidential candidates?” It is, according to Think Progress‘ Matthew “Big Media Matt” Yglesias.
The Iowa Tea Party’s statewide, 21-stop bus tour culminated in a rally on July 2 in Des Moines lit by the suddenly incandescent candidacy of Rep. Michele Bachmann. (Disclosure: Her presidential campaign has retained one of this columnist’s partners, Robert Heckman.) Monetary policy is showing up in the core platform of almost all the GOP aspirants, including Bachmann’s.
At least six of the 10 generally recognized members of the GOP presidential field have put monetary policy — a strong dollar and opposition to abuses of the Federal Reserve — as a major campaign theme. Monetary policy hasn’t been a major campaign issue in a long time — maybe not since the 1896 presidential race. Bachmann spoke at length and with eloquence on the integrity of the dollar, much more than a rhetorical flourish.
As reported by Marie Diamond of Think Progress, Bachmann’s stump speech in South Carolina on July included:The shorthand way of describing to you what quantitative easing is a license to print money without any value behind it…In the last two years of the Obama administration, if you pull a dollar out of your pocket, you have lost 14% of the value of that dollar. That means the federal government has stolen that money from you… They’ve been printing essentially valueless money and flooding it into the money supply. I don’t stand for that. A dollar in 2011 should be the same as a dollar in 1911. A dollar should be worth a dollar.