Texas Congressman Ron Paul has won probably the biggest political victory of his three tenures in the House of Representatives with the passage of HR 459. The bill would allow the GAO to do a full audit of the Federal Reserve System, otherwise known as the Central Bank of the United States.
Paul believes the Fed should be audited because of how much cash it churns out and the fact interest rates have stayed low.
He’s long been pushing for this, but the calls grew louder after a 2010 New York Times article revealed the Fed had given out over a trillion dollars to a variety of sources during the 2008 crisis. Banks like Barclays and Citigroup, along with businesses like General Motors and Harley Davidson all received money. Even some foreign central banks, including Britain and Japan, received cash in hopes of keeping the market stable. Several businessmen, including an aide to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, all received loans as well.
Without the taxpayers, or Congress, knowing it had been done.
The banks and businesses who received cash were either able to “’take the money and run’ or realize they were being funded by the federal government, instead of their own cash. To quote, of all people, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in1995, “it is taxpayers’ money that is being used.” And the taxpayers had no idea this was being done.
This is extremely troubling and something everyone, not just conservatives and libertarians, should be concerned about.
This isn’t a private company, which can, within reason, do what it wants to with its own money. This is the federal government.
The big question is why people should care about this. For one, it’s your money being used. At a time where the U.S. deficit is 15-trillion dollars and showing no sign of stopping, an audit could show how the books are being kept.
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, may complain this is “politicizing monetary policy,” but I don’t think so. This is the federal government, which should be held accountable by the people.
Peter Schweizert has already detailed how some Congressmen and Senators have used their power to make personal gains from legislation. An audit of the Fed would reveal whether the same thing is being done by either the reserve chair or members of the Federal Open Market Committee.
The solution now is to lobby the U.S. Senate to take action. Which means calling, emailing and writing them. Several times a day if necessary until it comes up for a vote. The legislature is supposed to represent its constituents. Lobbying Senators can show people actually care about an audit being done.
After all, it is your money. And we need to know what it’s being spent on.