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One outcome of the U.S. midterm elections is that the results have effectively marginalized the executive branch when it comes to dealing with the economy. The debate over stimulating the economy versus shrinking the deficit has been concluded and the winner is . . . paralysis.

The GOP majority in the House of Representatives will prevent the government from taking substantive action. Any hope for goosing the economy will have to come from the Federal Reserve. The Fed has taken up that challenge with its decision last week to pursue another round of quantitative easing. It is not clear if “QE2,” as the move is known, will do the trick. If it does not succeed, the United States could be running out of options.

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