Stories by Noah Kristula-Green

Noah Kristula-Green is the Managing Editor and a Contributor to FrumForum. He was formerly a Web Intern at The New Republic. He lives in Washington DC, grew up in Tokyo, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in political science from The University of Chicago. His email is noahkgreen [at] & you can follow him on Twitter: @noahkgreen

Romney Faces Skeptical Social Conservatives

October 7th, 2011 at 1:00 pm 181 Comments

It is the political conventional wisdom that Mitt Romney has a problem with evangelical voters. Ever since he lost the Iowa caucuses in 2008 to Mike Huckabee, Romney’s appeal to the socially conservative base has been in doubt. Whether Romney can appeal to these voters is the question that looms over the Values Voter Summit currently being held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington DC.


Who Gains With a Golden Currency?

October 7th, 2011 at 12:28 am 47 Comments

The Heritage Foundations’ ‘Sound Money’ conference gathered many individuals convinced that something needs to be done to change the monetary system. The strategy advocated by some members of a panel (entitled, “Congressional Changes”) was to offer gold as a ‘competitive’ currency option at the state and national level.

Gold standard advocates have had some success with state-level laws but they are also interested in laws at the national level which will give preferences and advantages to individuals who either already own gold or individuals who plan to make gold investments. Even if a gold standard is not adopted, some gold owners and investors may still benefit from the proposed changes. (Though the question should be asked: at whose expense?)


Meet the Sincere Gold Bugs

October 6th, 2011 at 1:25 am 42 Comments

The Heritage Foundation is currently hosting a conference it bills as a “Conference on a Stable Dollar.” The words “Gold Standard” do not appear in the title of the event but that is what the conference is about.

Near the end of the first panel (entitled: What is a Stable Dollar?), Stuart Varney, a Fox News host and moderator of the panel, asked the audience to raise their hands if they thought that gold should be part of some sort of monetary reform. Nearly the entire audience of wonks, academics, college students, and hedge fund managers raised their hands. How did the conservative movement reach this point?


When the Quotes Change, I Check My Attributions

September 29th, 2011 at 4:48 pm 31 Comments

Mitt Romney is a big fan of Winston Churchill. At a recent GOP debates he promised that if he was elected, a priority of his would be to restore a bust of Churchill back into the Oval Office. Yet it seems that Churchill-philia has gotten the better of Romney. During a Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire, Romney defended accusations that he was a flip-flopper by ‘quoting‘ Churchill:

In the private sector, if you don’t change your view when the facts change, well you’ll get fired for being stubborn and stupid. Winston Churchill said, ‘When the facts change I change too, Madam.’ What do you do?

The problem for Romney is that this quote is often attributed to fiscal stimulus advocate John Maynard Keynes. (more…)

Heritage Joins the Hard Money Bandwagon

September 22nd, 2011 at 3:16 pm 12 Comments

In my interview with economist John Makin, he said that the congressional GOP sent its anti-stimulus letter to the Federal Reserve not because they thought the letter would change the decision, but so they could mark down their opposition to Bernanke’s policies.

Is this opposition cynical or sincere? Do Republicans want the economy to be weaker to see Obama lose reelection in 2012 or do they genuinely believe their new ideas on monetary policy? The fact that the influential Heritage Foundation has decided to hold a conference on monetary policy suggests that many in the conservative movement are convinced that they should support a policy of tighter money.


Fed Action was not Substantial

September 21st, 2011 at 5:30 pm 10 Comments

The Federal Reserve has announced that it will undertake a policy option that the media is calling “Operation Twist.” It will attempt to stimulate the economy by purchasing long term treasuries and selling off its short term holdings, but what will this mean in practice? FrumForum spoke with AEI economist John Makin to unpack the latest FOMC plan.


A Better Policy Than Tight Money

September 21st, 2011 at 3:10 pm 3 Comments

Monetary policy watchers have reason to be discouraged by recent news. The GOP issued a warning letter to Ben Bernanke against further action, and the FOMC is not adopting aggressive stimulus.

Yet some centers of the conservative universe do see the need for Federal Reserve action. The latest edition of the journal National Affairs includes an essay by economist Scott Sumner (of the blog, The Money Illusion) which makes the case for the Federal Reserve to adopt a new mandate: to target nominal GDP.


How is Authoritarian Singapore More Free Than America?

September 21st, 2011 at 12:28 am 31 Comments

There is a new study out which shows that the US is suffering from a decline of “Economic Freedom”. The study was produced by the Economic Freedom Network, which is a project of the Canadian-based Fraser Institute.

Studies like this can be useful because they reveal the cognitive dissonance taking place on the libertarian right. It turns out that some policies which libertarians assume to be incompatible with freedom actually exist in many free societies, and vice versa. Here are two examples from the study:


The GOP Field is Now Closed

September 20th, 2011 at 5:07 pm 26 Comments

Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin is unhappy with the state of the Republican Presidential field and so has come up with a roadmap for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to enter in at the last minute and sweep the primaries and election.

The sheer scale of the plan that Rubin is proposing makes clear that the GOP field is largely stuck. Here is what Christie (or any other last minute candidate) is up against.


Is Daniels’ Jobs Warning A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

September 20th, 2011 at 12:55 pm 6 Comments

I’ve been reading through Gov. Mitch Daniels’ new book to see if he has anything to say about the current jobs crisis that America is in. The early results are a little disappointing. The first third of the book is focused on long term debt, the middle is focused on his time as governor, and the final section deals with his proposals to reform the tax code.

There are worthwhile thoughts in this book, it’s just unclear how immediately relevant those thoughts are. Yet there was a section that did touch on jobs, and that was Daniels’ discussion about Unemployment Insurance (UI).