Our American Discourse, Ep. 27: Why the Federal Reserve Is More Politically Constrained Than You Think

We’ve been having a mistaken debate, or so it would seem based on the new book The Myth of Independence. The Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank and most influential economic regulator, isn’t as independent as critics like Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders suggest. Congress created it, and Congress continues to shape it to the people’s will. This new perspective might just change your expectations about Fed policy and your appreciation for their delicate strategic work.

In this episode, Sarah Binder discusses the historical research that led to this new thesis and helps us appreciate the interplay between two of America’s most important political institutions.

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Our American Discourse, Ep. 21: How the Senate Can Beat Gridlock—and Why That’s Not Always a Good Thing

Americans are fed up with gridlock. Congress is one of the least popular institutions in the country. So you might think the solution is for legislators to pass major legislation. But what if the solution is even more controversial than the problem? If you’ve heard of “budget reconciliation,” you probably didn’t hear unanimously good things. That’s because it’s a risky game…a fascinating, strategic game deep in the trenches of our democratic tug-of-war.

In this episode, Molly E. Reynolds teaches us how budget reconciliation works, where it came from, how it’s being wielded, and why you should care.

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