Thinking harder on the GOP letter to the Federal Reserve yesterday, I want to say that even though I think the policy they were pushing was entirely wrong, I wish more politicians would offer opinions about this kind of thing.
In my view, the best model for central bank independence would be our independent Supreme Court. The justices’ decisions are not subject to veto by congress, and the justices don’t stand for election. But the justices are part of the political process, and the power to appoint Supreme Court justices is rightly understood as an important aspect of presidential authority. Candidates for the presidency are required to talk about their approach to judicial appointments, and it’s expected that important judicial decisions will be debated by political figures including incumbent members of congress. That’s not “politicizing” the court, it’s a recognition of the fact that the Supreme Court is an important government institution.
By the same token, the Federal Reserve is an important government institution and the elected officials in the government ought to talk about it.