Audit the Fed
Ron Paul may no longer be in Congress, but other conservative members are stepping up to carry issues he pushed in the past. On Facebook yesterday, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) announced that he reintroduced legislation to audit the Federal Reserve:
Today I reintroduced H.R. 24, the “Audit the Fed” legislation originally authored and championed by former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX). My plan is to pick up right where Congressman Paul left off. Our economy is far from recovering, and the recent fears regarding the potential impacts of the ‘fiscal cliff’ and its aftermath prove that the American people must continue to demand transparency from the entity charged with ensuring stable economic and monetary policy.
You can read the official statement from Rep. Broun’s office here.
The legislation will open up certain information to the Government Accountability Office excluded from audits in subsection (b) of 31 USC 714, including agreements and transactions with foreign central banks and discussions between the Treasury Department.
The House overwhelmingly passed the Audit the Fed bill last year. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) refused to bring it to the floor for a vote, despite his past support of more transparency of the Federal Reserve.
One of Mitt Romney’s top advisors said recently that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke needs to “get every consideration” for another term when his current term expires in 2014. When I saw that headline, I had to go read (and re-read) it for myself. Did he really say that?
Yes. Yes, he did.
I take a little comfort in the fact that Romney has previously said that Bernanke wouldn’t likely be returning as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve if he’s elected president. But Glenn Hubbard (no, not this guy) is a top advisor to Romney, and in that YouTube video I just linked to, one of the possible nominees for Bernanke’s job was Hubbard.
While I’m not very concerned about Romney keeping Bernanke around (he’s been a failure under Bush and Obama…it’s time for him to go), the thought that his replacement could be somebody who thinks Bernanke should be considered for another term scares me.
It’s worth mentioning that Hubbard and Bernanke are friends and have been for a long time, so there’s a chance that he’s just trying to be nice and not call his friend a complete miserable failure in the news. But there’s also the chance that he’d continue in Bernanke’s dollar-destroying ways.
Early last month, Ron Paul conceded that his delegate total wouldn’t be enough to contest Mitt Romney for the Republican Party’s nomination in Tampa. Paul did, however, note that his supporters would be at the GOP convention in August, looking to make some changes to the party’s platform.
Paul had also hoped to earn a speaking slot at the convention, which would have been possible with wins in five states. Unfortunately, that hope seemed to die this weekend when Paul’s supporters were unable to score a majority of delegates in Nebraska:
Paul’s forces had hoped to pull out a victory at the Nebraska majority of delegates here would have guaranteed their candidate a speaking slot at the GOP convention in Tampa late next month.
Under party rules, a candidate cannot have his name entered into nomination at the convention unless he has won a majority of delegates in at least five states. Paul had won four.
In the end, Paul won only two delegates, to Romney’s 32.
Some will no doubt say that the Ron Paul Revolution hit with a thud since the campaign failed to gain a significant number of delegates with which to shake up the convention. They will say that this shows that Paul’s message was limited. However, Jack Hunter puts it all into a perspective:
Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee, unless he’s caught with a dead, Muslim, illegal immigrant boy. He will have the difficult task of facing Barack Obama in November. It is no secret that I have my differences with Governor Romney, however for the sake of wanting Barack Obama gone in November, I would like to offer him some free advice.
First thing you need to do Mitt is shut up about the sports team owners you know. We know you’re rich and successful in business, but the problem is, Obama is sending out his class warfare zombies in droves. They will use your success as their best weapon against you. Their goal is to paint you as out of touch with the American people. Also, along those lines, shut up about your dog and his road trip on the roof of your car.
Second piece of advice, be bold on the economy and fiscal policy. Be specific about your proposals and don’t be afraid to defend them. Don’t sugarcoat the fiscal problems we are facing. Propose bold tax reform including a flatter tax with a lot fewer deductions and credits. Eliminate a department or two. Propose real spending cuts and entitlement reform and more importantly, sell it. Outline a free market approach to healthcare as a replacement to Obamacare. Finally, start going after the Federal Reserve by supporting an audit of it.
Third, take a page from the Obama playbook. Set up a version of their “Fight the Smears” web page that they set up in 2008. Eventually Obama and his surrogates will drag the Mormon religion in this race and there needs to be something to address the nonsense they will be putting out.
Fourth, stay out of the social issues trap. The left will try to bring up abortion, gay marriage, birth control, and Lord knows what else to try and change the narrative. Yes, address the issues when they come up but don’t let the media trip up the message. The message needs to be about the economy and jobs first.
It seems improbable that monetary policy could become a “sexy” political topic, but Ron Paul has done it. It started during his 2008 Presidential campaign when he continually talked about the Federal Reserve when asked about the economy, continued through his oft-entertaining interrogations of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and most recently has culminated his sponsorship of H.R. 1207, a bill to conduct a General Accounting Office audit of the entire Federal Reserve System. It’s all pretty amazing actually; who would have ever thought that people would be getting excited over the Federal Reserve Board ?
In his new book End the Fed, though, Paul provides a clear, concise explanation for why we all need to be worried about the fiat paper money system that we’ve lived under for decades. As Paul says, the system itself is unsustainable over the long term, and Federal Reserve itself has contributed to economic instability in the 96 years since it’s founding.
This isn’t a detailed economic treatise, it’s a call to political action, and Paul does an excellent job of making his case for the argument that we need to bring an end to the monetary system that is, slowly but surely and inevitably, destroying us and destroying freedom. Instead, he argues that we need to return to the days of the Gold Standard, which doesn’t even need a central bank to function properly. You may disagree with the end scenario that Paul proposes, but it’s hard to disagree with his assertion that liberty in money is as necessary for a free society as liberty in thought or property.
In other news, the bill now has 289 co-sponsors and the companion Senate bill, S. 604, now has 25 Senate cosponsors.
During his time in Congress, Ron Paul (R-TX) brought the idea of auditing the Federal Reserve into the mainstream. Not only was the Audit the Fed bill passed by the House last year, some of the candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination adopted the idea from Dr. Paul.
Though Paul may have retired, the legislation requiring an audit of the Federal Reserve has been reintroduced in both chambers for the current Congress — by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) in the House and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in the Senate.
While some may question the need to audit the Federal Reserve, a new video from FreedomWorks featuring Julie Borowski explains the rational behind the legislation and notes that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who once introduced similar legislation, is the biggest obstacle to a vote in the upper chamber:
Undeterred by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s refusal to bring legislation up for a vote that would shine some light on the activities of the nation’s central bank, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) reintroduced the Audit the Fed bill today:
Following his father’s crusade, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has refiled legislation that would require an expansive audit of the Federal Reserve.
The proposed audit of the bank that oversees the nation’s monetary system has been a longtime crusade of Ron Paul and became a banner issue during his unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign. He argued that the Fed was responsible for manipulating currency and damaging the economy. Ron Paul was able to persuade Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich to also support an audit.
“Harry Reid was the single reason Audit the Fed was not brought to the floor of the Senate in 2012,” John Tate, president of the Campaign for Liberty, said in a statement. “Harry Reid knows full well that Audit the Fed- which he previously claimed to be a strong supporter of- would pass both the House and the Senate if he allowed a vote. It seems the Senate Majority Leader doesn’t want the American people to know what he, President Obama, and the Federal Reserve have been doing to our money and our economy.”
The Federal Reserve announced a third-round of quantitative easing (QE3), during which the central bank will purchase $600 billion bonds in hopes that the debt monetization will stimulate the economy and thus bring down the unemployment rate by one-percentage point.
The move has already been met with derision by GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R-WI), who called the Fed’s actions “insidious” during a speech in Florida on Saturday. Before the Federal Reserve announced its decision last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that many economists expressed doubt that another round of quantitative easing would do anything to stimulate the economy. And if they do manage to do anything, it could be as, Neil Cavuto explains, “substituting bubbles”:
The risk with forcibly keeping interest rates low is you create another bubble, which is odd because we’re in the fix we’re in because we burst out of a real bad financial bubble.
My fear is that we’re substituting bubbles.
We’re encouraging the very reckless hedging and leveraging that brought on the last financial meltdown.
I’m not saying that happens again. But you don’t have to be Nostradamus to see where this kind of stuff goes. It’s inflationary, for one thing, and likely prompts a continued run-up in commodity prices that had stalled for a while.