Right and left set aside differences to support auditing the Federal Reserve System
“Would you like your money to be held in a bank that’s never been audited?” asks Kevin Duewel, Sacramento Campaign for Liberty organizer. There’s a pregnant pause. “That’s a rhetorical question.”
The Folsom resident is speaking about the Federal Reserve System, the system of one central and 12 regional banks that controls the U.S. money supply, and the U.S. Senate and House of Representative bills recently introduced to reform the auditing process for that system.
The House bill, called the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, was introduced by Rep. Ron Paul, the conservative libertarian from Texas. As it happens, Sacramento Campaign for Liberty, which has 130 registered members, is the local remnant of the national movement that supported Paul’s quixotic run in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries.
On Saturday, August 8, from 4 to 8 p.m., the group plans to gather at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium to promote “Sunshine Day,” which takes its name from the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent progressive from Vermont.
It would be difficult to find two members of Congress more diametrically opposed on the political spectrum than Paul and Sanders. However, the Fed’s refusal to disclose where trillions in bank bailout money has been spent brought the unlikely pair together. Which also explains why Rep. Dennis Kucinich, one of the most liberal members of the House, has enthusiastically endorsed Paul’s bill.
The Federal Reserve is currently audited by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. However, the results of those audits are accessible only to the Federal Reserve’s board of governors. Both Paul and Sanders’ bills seek to reform the process by making the GAO’s report available to Congress.
It may be an idea whose time has come. In fact, 282 representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of Paul’s bill. Sanders has gathered 23 co-sponsors in the Senate. Interestingly, local Republican representatives Dan Lungren and Tom McClintock are among Paul’s co-sponsors; but Democratic Rep. Doris Matsui has yet to throw down. Neither Sen. Dianne Feinstein nor Sen. Barbara Boxer, both Democrats, are supporting Sanders’ bill so far.
“Why wouldn’t they be in favor of making accessible audits of the Federal Reserve done by the GAO?” asks Paul Lozancich, Sacramento Campaign for Liberty spokesman. “This is hardly consistent with the American principle of checks and balances.”
That may be the understatement of the past century, according to the Fed’s most vehement critics. It’s important to understand the Federal Reserve is federal in name only. In 1913, Congress granted the Fed the power to control the money supply, a power that some opponents say is granted only to Congress by the Constitution. The Federal Reserve is a private banking system that’s owned by other large multinational banks and investment houses—Goldman Sachs, Chase Manhattan Bank, Bank of America, et al.
As Duewel says, “It’s about as federal as FedEx.”
In Web of Debt, author Ellen Hodgson Brown argues that the debate between granting government sole control of the country’s money supply or turning that power over to private bankers dates to pre-revolutionary times. For example, President Andrew Jackson informed Congress in 1829, “If the American people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.”
That statement applies as much today as it did in Jackson’s era, although you’re much more likely to be branded a crackpot for speaking it out loud in our time. Consider how Kucinich and Paul, the only true anti-war candidates running in the 2008 presidential campaign, were marginalized by the media and even their own parties. Straying from the middle of the track is the third rail of American politics today.
Still, while Kucinich and Pauls’ supporters may be small in number, they potentially represent a powerful voting block if they can come together. Considering the trillions of taxpayer-backed dollars being funneled through the Fed into the casino sinkhole known as Wall Street, supporting the Sunshine and Transparency acts seems like a great place to start.