WASHINGTON Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin on Monday weighed in on the global debate over the Federal Reserve's $600 billion plan to buy up government debt, suggesting Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke should "cease and desist."
"We shouldn't be playing around with inflation," Palin, who is widely seen as a prospective 2012 Republican presidential candidate, said in remarks prepared for a Monday speech in Phoenix.
"We don't want temporary, artificial economic growth bought at the expense of permanently higher inflation, which will erode the value of our incomes and our savings. We want a stable dollar combined with real economic reform. It's the only way we can get our economy back on the right track."
Excerpts of the remarks were published online by the conservative National Review magazine. Palin's staff was not immediately available for comment. The report said the remarks would be delivered in a keynote address at a trade association convention.
Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, is a top Republican Party figure and leader of the Tea Party movement, which helped Republicans recapture control of the House of Representatives last week.
FED AUDITS, ABOLITION?
The loosely organized political network includes conservatives and libertarians, some of whom would like to abolish the Federal Reserve system, which operates independent of the federal government.
Voter outrage over Fed bailouts and other actions helped propel many Republican candidates on Election Day, including Kentucky Senator-elect Rand Paul, who has favored abolition of the agency.
His father, House Republican Ron Paul, another Tea Party favorite who has run for president twice, intends to push to audit Fed monetary policy decisions next year if -- as expected -- he wins control of a congressional subcommittee that oversees
the central banks.
Representative Paul Ryan, expected to become chairman of the House Budget Committee when Republicans take control of the chamber in January, said on Sunday the advantages of the central bank's move to inject more money into the U.S. economy "are very low."
"I think it's going to give us a big inflation problem down the road," Ryan said.
President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials defend the Fed's decision to buy $600 billion in U.S. Treasury debt as a means to stimulate the economy and maintain global stability.
Palin's remarks add her to a growing list of critics, including officials from China, Germany and Brazil, who are concerned that the Fed plan could bring instability instead.
"If it doesn't work, what do we do then? Print even more money? What's the end game here?," she asked. "All this pump priming will come at a serious price."
She appeared to align herself with recent criticism from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
"The German finance minister called the Fed's proposals 'clueless.' When Germany, a country that knows a thing or two about the dangers of inflation, warns us to think again, maybe it's time for Chairman Bernanke to cease and desist," Palin said.
Palin has not said whether she will make a White House bid in 2012. But she has been using public appearances to build up her political and policy credentials for the job.
(Editing by Philip Barbara)