What might help to spur the sputtering economy? Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, has been urging Congress to do its part, spending in ways to trigger economic activity, say, through public works or aid to states to support teaching, firefighting and police positions. President Obama actually proposed such steps a year ago, running into opposition in the Republican-controlled House.
On Friday, Bernanke hinted heavily that the Fed could wait no longer. He made a strong argument for taking new steps to stimulate the economy, building on its substantial, if lonely, efforts. “The economic situation obviously is far from satisfactory,” he said. Fortunately, he and his colleagues have the clout to do something about it.