JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (TheStreet) -- It's probably best that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke didn't appear on live television today. He might have lost his cool. He might have said what he really thinks about the ineptitude of the political leadership in Washington.Bernanke's "speech" from the Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming was clearly directed at policy makers. Reading between the lines, he basically told Congress to get its act together and do something about job creation. I imagine his jaw was clenched tight as he carefully penned his words, mindful of the need to remain above politics, holding back a seething anger that he and the Fed seem to be doing all the heavy lifting while political leaders exchange election-year barbs. The original draft of the speech in his mind probably said something like: What the hell is wrong with you idiots? You gripe and moan about Fed policies but you don't do a thing yourselves. Prudently, he wrote the following instead: "The quality of economic policymaking in the United States will heavily influence the nation's longer-term prospects." I'm sure he wanted to offer some sharp words about how Congress embarrassed the nation and screwed things up royally with the irresponsible debt ceiling debacle. But he more cautiously noted that "the country would be well served by a better process for making fiscal decisions." As he considered how to express his concern that Washington just doesn't get how dangerous an overdose of fiscal austerity would be at a time when the economic recovery is barely taking hold, he probably wanted to say something like: Get over your petty political agendas and open your eyes to the massive unemployment problem in America. But gentle Ben wrote only that: "Although the issue of fiscal sustainability must urgently be addressed, fiscal policymakers should not, as a consequence, disregard the fragility of the current economic recovery."
Glenn Hall in New York.