Despite the Federal Reserve’s use of QE programs, the U.S. economy experienced one of the weakest recoveries on record following the Great Recession. Not only was real growth disappointingly low, but even nominal growth over which monetary policy has more control was feeble. Why did QE fail to stimulate robust aggregate demand growth? This paper argues the answer is that the Federal Reserve could not credibly commit to a permanent expansion of the monetary base under QE. Both the quantity theory of money and New Keynesian theory show, however, that a permanent expansion of the monetary base is needed to spur aggregate demand growth at the ZLB. The Federal Reserve’s inability to do so meant its QE program got consigned to ‘irrelevance results’ of Krugman (1998) and Eggertson and Woodford (2003) and were never going to spark a strong a recovery. This is the Fed’s dirty little secret. Moving forward, this inability to commit to permanent expansions of the monetary base at the ZLB will continue to weigh down on the effectiveness of Fed policy. As a result, this paper calls for a new monetary policy regime of a NGDP level target that is backstopped by the U.S. Treasury Department.