Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank president Neel Kashkari said he believes too much attention is paid to what the Fed does with interest rates.
In an appearance at Hamline University on Friday, Kashkari said that innovation, education, and Congressional actions on tax, spending and other fiscal matters are more important than monetary policy.
"Don't get me wrong," he said. "If we screw up monetary policy, it's painful. But the best we can do is create an environment where the economy is overall healthy and can grow. But then it's up to Congress and the executive branch and innovators and educators to take it forward."
This is the first year Kashkari is a voting member of the Fed's interest-rate setting committee.
Kashkari also weighed in on the debate over school choice, arguing that education is the great equalizer that can help break the cycle of poverty.
"It's unfair that poor parents and students don't have the same economic freedom to choose schools that more affluent families enjoy," he said. "Middle class and rich kids in America today have choices. They either send their kids to private school or they move to a better district to make sure their kids get access to good schools. Low-income Americans do not have that choice."