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Welcome to the "Wolf Creek Pass" School of Monetary Policy

I don’t know if you folks remember that hit ditty: a humorous tune about two truckers attempting to manhandle an out-of-control 1948 Peterbilt down the “other side” of Wolf Creek Pass – a death-taunting section of U.S. Highway 160 where the elevation drops a hefty 5,000 feet in a relatively short distance.

The song’s two characters – a truck driver named Earl and his brother, who’s his partner as well as the song’s narrator – are taking a flatbed load of chickens on a speedy trip down this winding, two-lane Colorado highway. After the narrator gives Earl the above-mentioned warning, the ancient semi’s brakes fail.

From there on down, the narrator tells us that the brothers’ trip “just wasn’t real pretty.” The truck careened around hairpins and switchbacks, and then raced at an uncontrolled 110 mph toward a tunnel with “clearance to the 12-foot line” – with chicken crates sadly “stacked to 13-9.”

The drivers and the runaway Peterbilt “went down and around and around and down ’til we run outta ground at the edge of town… and bashed into the side of the feed store – in downtown Pagosa Springs.”

Believe it or not, I started thinking about this funny old country tune the other night – right after I’d read a piece about QE3 and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

As zany as it first sounds, the parallels are striking.

  • Featured Story

    Election 2012: How Ron Paul Plans to Get What He Really Wants

    Texas Rep. Ron Paul knows he can't win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but that was only part of his end game.

    Sure, winning the nomination would have been a plus, but Ron Paul's strategy for years has been to bring his libertarian, anti-debt, anti-inflation views square into the mainstream of American politics.

    In that light, the 2012 election is just a means to an end.

    That's why Paul is determined to stay in the presidential primary race until the Republican national convention is held in August.

    Rather than create a schism within the Republican Party or mount a third party challenge - a tactic that never works in American politics -- Ron Paul wants to infuse his philosophy into the GOP by working within the existing system.

    Toward that end, the Paul campaign has stepped up its delegate-collection efforts in recent weeks, taking advantage of often-arcane rules unique to each state's selection process.

    Last weekend, Paul won 21 out of 24 delegates in Maine and 22 out of 25 in Nevada. A week earlier Paul won 20 out of the 24 delegates in Minnesota and 20 out of 40 in Missouri.

    The sticking point is that convention delegates are bound by party rules to vote according to primary or caucus results on the first ballot. That means many of Paul's hard-won delegates will have to cast their first vote for former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney.

    But it also means a lot more supporters at the convention than Paul would have had otherwise. And those delegates will be free to vote as they wish on other issues, such as the official party platform.

    "We want to have a strong, respectful presence that says 'We are here, we are going to participate, and we are ready to talk about the party platform with you if you take our issues seriously," Ron Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton recently told Business Insider. "We're going to send a message that the liberty wing of the Republican Party is strong, and that it isn't going anywhere."

    The Romney campaign has begun to take notice, sending a top lawyer to the Maine GOP convention, though it did little to stop the Ron Paul juggernaut.

    Romney, who still should easily surpass the 1,144 delegates he needs to secure the nomination, may be better served letting the national Republican Party try to rein Paul in while he tries to negotiate for the support of Paul's energized legions after the August convention.

    In fact, some sort of deal between the two camps almost certainly is already in the works.

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