Jerome H. Powell Tuesday told the nation’s policymakers they would need to spend some more money if they had any hope of avoiding a weak recovery and inflicting untold pain on millions of American households. What stuns is that the policymakers had to be told.
More remarkably, later in the day, President Trump called off talks on any stimulus package until after the election.
Mr. Powell is chair of the Federal Reserve, the person whose actions guide the nation’s fiscal health. He is not given to needless gestures. He is not guided by politics. He is not a person inclined to urge governments to spend lavishly. He’s smart enough to know that what is lent has to be paid back. His reputation is one of limiting debt, not expanding it.