Ron Paul’s HR 1207 transcends partisan politics and upsets Congressional leadership
On Wednesday a highlight of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee was the five minutes he endured relentless questioning from Florida Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson. Grayson refused to allow Bernanke to avoid the question of why $500 billion had gone to foreign central banks instead of remaining in the United States. In the end Bernanke did not have any logical answers for Grayson.
That moment was a microcosm of something larger that is taking place in the House of Representatives as a result of HR 1207. Alan Grayson was the first Democrat who cosigned House Resolution 1207, Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve. Since Grayson cosponsored the bill over 90 of his fellow Democrats have followed.
HR 1207 is a perfect example of Congressmen willing to come together, though they might not agree across the spectrum of their political platforms, on an important issue by important issue basis.
So the question that keeps coming up is, “if HR 1207 has such tremendous bipartisan support, why is it still having a difficult time being brought to the House floor for a vote?”
The answer that Ron Paul continues to give is that the leadership in Congress want nothing to do with the bill, at least until it is substantially watered down.
The next question then becomes what does the leadership in the House (i.e. Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank…etc.) have against having transparency in the Federal Reserve System?
I do not believe they have a vested interest in the continuing secrecy of the Federal Reserve System other than their interest to obey orders that are coming from President Obama’s administration.
Once the Obama Administration becomes the focus of the question the picture begins to come into focus.
Obama himself received over $1 million in campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs, an organization that has benefited greatly from the Fed’s recent actions.
The close ties between Wall Street and the White House has for many years allowed the
Federal Reserve to continue to operate unsupervised by the Congress.
The subtlety of Ron Paul’s bill to simply audit the Federal Reserve is its genius, not to say he has been secretive that he believes that an audit would be followed shortly by public outrage.
But the focus on transparency is something that is difficult for most Congressmen to put up a valid argument against. This leaves the Federal Reserve, namely Ben Bernanke, and eventually the leadership in the House and Senate (the Senate has a similar bill that as of this writing has 17 cosponsors) looking foolish when they are forced to use illogical arguments to justify not bringing the bill to the floor.
Ben Bernanke’s argument has essentially boiled down to his fear that if Congress had the power to audit the fed, it would politicize monetary policy, such as the setting of interest rates…etc.
The politicizing of monetary policy is already here and would be no worse if there were transparency. Transparency would simply give Congress the ability to criticize the actions of the Fed with evidence. Instead of the guessing game that has been taking place in recent hearings.
After an audit, Congressmen would be able to level accusations during hearings with solid evidence to back up their accusations. Rather than Bernanke being able to play dumb and claim to not know key information.
Perhaps the most intriguing part to me about a potential audit of the Federal Reserve is something Donald Rumsfeld famously called “the unknown, unknowns.”
Ron Paul and everyone solidly in his camp has a good idea that an audit would cause outrage not only among members of Congress but across the nation, but there could be things lurking in those books that send shock waves around the world. I’ll let you use your imagination…