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Matt Stoller: Democratic Leaders Again Whipping Against Audit of the Federal Reserve

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Matt Stoller is a political analyst on Brand X with Russell Brand and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. You can follow him at http://www.twitter.com/matthewstoller.

Yesterday, on the House floor, there was a furious debate over the prospect for HR 541, Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve. The Republicans are by and large supportive of this bill, seeking to hamstring the ability of the Federal Reserve to act in secret. Democratic members, were they left to their own devices, would be split. But on votes on bills like this, party leaders can choose to endorse a position, or not endorse a position. Some votes are what’s called “whipped”, and some aren’t. There’s an intricate system of whips and assistant whips and staff networks who encourage members to vote a certain way, so when the party takes a position on an issue, it has a big impact on the final vote count. This is a whipped vote, which means that this is one of those times where the Democratic leadership – Steny Hoyer, Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi – are putting their stamp on an issue. They have come out firmly for Fed secrecy.

Here’s the whip notice from Democratic leadership on the House side encouraging members to vote against transparency at the Fed.

Subject: WHIP ALERT – DEMOCRATS ARE URGED TO VOTE NO ON H.R. 459 – FEDERAL RESERVE TRANSPARENCY ACT

This week, the House is expected to consider H.R. 459 – Federal Reserve Transparency Act.  This bill directs the GAO to complete an audit of the monetary policy deliberations, actions, and related matters taken by the Federal Reserve System before the end of 2012, followed by a detailed report to Congress. Most significantly, the bill would repeal existing restrictions on the GAO’s authority to perform audits of Federal Reserve monetary policy activities.

Like all other major central banks around the world, the Federal Reserve is an independent central bank, and its monetary policy actions are not subject to approval by the Administration or Congress. While Congress has set out the policy goals the Federal Reserve is to pursue – maximum employment and price stability – the ability of the Federal Reserve to pursue monetary policy independent of political influence is critical to its ability to fulfill its dual mandate.

Moreover, Congress already conducts regular and robust oversight of the Federal Reserve and actually expanded GAO’s audit authority two years ago in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It expanded the types of audits GAO may conduct of the Federal Reserve, as well as the data that must be disclosed to the public. The Federal Reserve’s financial accounts have long been subject to audit both by the GAO and an outside, independent audit firm.

This bill impedes the independence of this critical institution. In order for the Federal Reserve to do its job effectively, it should not be subject to short-term political pressures. The experience during debate on the debt ceiling last summer should demonstrate to the American public that House Republicans cannot be allowed to hold our economy or our critical economic institutions hostage in order to further their extreme agenda.

DEMOCRATS ARE URGED TO VOTE NO ON H.R. 459.

If you have any questions please contact: [xxxxx] at 5-[xxxx]

A version of this bill was attached to the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, and we did see an audit of the Fed’s emergency lending facilities (which I discussed in one of my first blog posts for Naked Capitalism, in Dec 2010). In addition, Bloomberg secured the records of the Fed’s discount window lending during the financial crisis, which it published. Surprisingly, the world didn’t end. Credit didn’t dry up. Money continued to flow. The Fed continued to deliberate. Were Ron Paul’s bill passed and signed into law as it stands, all of this would continue.

So now, Ron Paul is seeking, along with Republicans and roughly 50 Democratic cosponsors, to pass his full bill in the House. It won’t move in the Senate, and Obama would veto it. Regardless, the House voting to independently audit the Fed does reduce the credibility of the Fed as a source of wise technocratic wisdom, placing it squarely in the realm of democratic deliberation. The Fed hates this, captured as it is by large banks. But the LIBOR scandal and Bernanke’s position as a key actor in the Presidential race have positioned the Fed in such a way that political blowback was inevitable. It is a quasi-fiscal agent conducting its own foreign policy, with swap lines open to foreign central banks without permission from Congress and a regulatory apparatus that is designed to protect the capital structure of the big banks.

If I had to guess, what’s happening here is that the Fed is conducing an aggressive lobbying campaign among Democratic leaders. I described the Fed’s legislative activity in this piece, How the Federal Reserve Fights. The central bank is a powerful agent on the Hill, and the people that run the Fed and the big banks and economics establishment who rely on the Fed want to keep it that way. In 2009, the Fed hired Linda Robertson to lobby Congress. Robertson was the former head of Enron’s lobbying operation and a well-known Democratic establishment player. She is well-suited to run such a lobbying effort against Ron Paul’s bill. She did it in 2009 and 2010. I checked her campaign contributions, and she maxed out to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008, while also being quite savvy about distributing money to both parties when necessary (here’s her work at Enron engaging in what looks somewhat close to bribery). Being a key lobbyist for Enron might disqualify you for a job requiring integrity, but it is apparently a mark of prestige in DC to have that on your resume. It means you have juice, the ability to bring in money, and you’ll always be discrete about the deals you cut. Steny Hoyer, the Democratic whip, listens to people like Robertson.

This kind of maneuver, where the Fed is attempting to get the Democrats back in line, isn’t the most significant event in DC these days. Nothing’s going to happen to the Fed legislatively for some time, and both Romney and Obama would probably take the central bank’s side if something did happen. But the Fed has lost a lot of prestige and credibility, and it shows. Congress is losing its fear of discussing monetary policymaking.

UPDATE: The bill passed, 327-97. A bunch of Democrats flipped against an audit. Just glancing at the roll call, Louise Slaughter, Lynn Woolsey, Marcy Kaptur, Heath Shuler, and Donna Edwards (among others) cosponsored the bill either last Congress and/or this Congress, and then voted against it on the floor. Go Team Blue!

UPDATE, AGAIN: The Democratic leaders, despite whipping, barely got a majority of the caucus to vote no. This is a massive failure on their part, and shows how weak they are.

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54 comments

  1. Tim

    “the ability of the Federal Reserve to pursue monetary policy independent of political influence is critical to its ability to fulfill its dual mandate.”

    Accountability = political influence?

    Even if it did, Congress needs to read the US constitution, upon which they would realize it is Congress’ RESPONSIBILITY to regulate our currency.

    So even if someone rationalized that it was constitutional to legislate to outsource that and related tasks to the Federal Reserve with the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, it would still not justify this hands off approach where the only accountability is the Chairman has to give a “status” periodically. Congress is still responsible and as such sure ensure the outsourced organization is fully accountable to them.

    One more reason why I hate our politicians that in general call themselves leaders, but their idea of taking responsibility after the SHTF is “I’m sorry and it won’t happen again”at best or finger pointing at worst.

    They really have no concept of responsibility when that is 100% of the concept of a republic.

    1. djrichard

      Well they are leaders at risk mitigation. We just got confused on who’s risk they’re mitigating.

      1. Hugh D'Thought

        When I first visited the South down in the ’60s I learned (or is it learnt?) that sorry is an adjective. Yes, this batch of politicians is truly sorry.

    2. Woody in Florida

      Well said Tim. More Americans need to be aware of this need for Congress to focus on their mandate to control our countries money, and maybe they will demand a change.

    3. djrichard

      So even if someone rationalized that it was constitutional to legislate to outsource that … it would still not justify this hands off approach …

      You know, it’s occurring to me that we the populace do the same thing. We outsource our governance to the government. And then we take a handsoff approach to the whole shebang.

      Maybe we should consider options where there’s less outsourcing of our governance to government. Previous to the Internet, I don’t think this would have been viable. But now with the Internet, it seems like there’s opportunity for the status quo to change on this front. What a game changer that would be. Is anybody aware of anybody puzzling through how such a landscape would function?

      1. enouf

        Yes .. might i suggest badquaker.com for starters;

        A Zero-Agression Principle – on all strata of society, from Nation States (claiming to have sovereignty, which they do NOT, the Sovereignty lies within each Individual).

        If you can (think you have a ‘Right’ to) Nuke me, guess what? then I (have a ‘Right’ to) can Nuke you. period!

        Individual Rights need to be protected, 1st and foremost.

        IF a ‘Peoples’ collectively decide to self-govern themselves.. then the best solution so-far-as-i-can-see is direct-democracy.

        But then .. (*shudder*) that’ll never be allowed to happen, for if it does, those that believe Mankind is god-like (secular humanism) will surely be …. (you finish that sentence)

        Love

        1. djrichard

          Excellent! Look forward to getting started with the site you recommended. Thanks enouf!

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Great article, GW, thorough and well sourced. Yes, Fed independence is a crock, save its independence from public accountability, and your passage and this quote from Thomas Wood of the Mises Institute states it very clearly:

      “If there is any truth to the idea of Fed independence, it lay in precisely this: the Fed may reward favored friends and constituencies with trillions of dollars in various kinds of assistance, while keeping the public completely in the dark. If that is the independence we’re talking about, no self-respecting American would hesitate for a moment to challenge it.”

      And for the cartel integrally responsible for the crisis of 2008, the watered down audit of 2010, which revealed foreign bank bailouts, only increased suspicion. I suspect that the Fed is now directly manipulating the stock market itself, and when the truth of that comes out, the LIEMORE scandal will pale. This is why a thorough Fed audit can never be permitted—too many bodies swinging from lampposts

  2. jabre

    What are the republican motivations in supporting this bill? Other than Paul, who has been advocating this for years, I am surprised at the alignment? Someone please elucidate.

    1. Matt Stoller Post author

      GOP doesn’t like anything that can potentially be used to finance social safety net programs.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        I don’t follow. How does the Fed finance social safety net programs? They exist solely for cartel members, not society.

        The skewed vote, 75% passage (nearing AIPAC status), was likely staged for political cover, given that it has no hope of a vote in Reid’s Senate in order to save Obama the bother of a veto. The overwhelming vote does make the senate Dems and the emperor look unflatteringly naked though, doesn’t it?

    2. YesMaybe

      I suppose the republicans are just posturing (they’d hate for the fed to be audited, but they know it’s not going to happen and think voters would like the idea).

      I’m more puzzled why the house democrats are taking a party line of this, rather than just letting each one vote how they want. After all, they can’t stop the bill passing the house, and it will just die in the senate anyway.

      1. mac

        This is just another bit of proof that the way the House and Senate work must be fixed. There are generally only really two votes the Republican one and the Democrat one. Might just as well send the rest home and let one from each side vote.
        The situation mostly is whatever one side wants the other doesn’t and that is determined by who gives them the most money or vocal support.
        Obummer just says what ever folks write down for him to say and I suppose to some extent so does Romney folks like Paul just rant a bit.

        1. mac

          An added fact is that many of the members would have no idea how to vote unless they were told.

  3. jabre

    Matt, I’m not trying to be argumentative here but from what I read on this blog the FED is financing the TBTF with cheap liquidity (hidden transactions) more than any safety net programs (open and transparent). Can you share some references please? Again, I’m just trying to understand, not start a blog comment war :-)

    1. Because

      No, no and more no. What they did was basically take enough of the debt off bank books to keep the banks “functional”. Basically it is like crap frozen in time.

      They owe about 7 trillion to the Fed. However, the banks are finding out, much like consumers, is that the innovation crisis has lead toward decreasing capital projections, aka capitalism is imploding. So the profits aren’t there to reboot the system.

  4. Jim

    What to do about the Fed?

    As this financial/economic/political/cultural crisis has dragged on and accelerated, normative visions describing alternative structures of power(including the role or non-role of the Federal Reserve) appear to be in short supply but, in my opinion, are desperately needed in order to more accurately evaluate potential alternative systems of governance as well as to begin to specify what future emancipation might look like.

    A significant portion of the NC commetariat appear to be in favor of some type of 2nd New Deal which incorporates an MMT understanding of our modern monetary system.

    For those of you who support a 2nd New Deal as the way out of this crisis please describe the structure of power which would administer this new regime and how it would differ from our present structure of power. For example, would there be a separate Federal Reserve and Treasury Department? Would there be a private banking system? What about the modern surveillance State?

    For those to the “Left” of a 2nd New Deal platform (some Marxists, Neo-Marxists and other anti-capitalists of various types) what structure of power would replace Big Capital and Big Bank and how would democratic accountability operate in your respective visions? If the present Kleptocracy, Plutocracy, Oligopoly, or Aristocracy is to be dismantled– what is, and how does, your new structure of power function?

    For those of the readership of NC that don’t fall into these above categories, what alternative structures of power do you visualize?

    1. Goin' South

      You’re focused on power and structure.

      I’m not. We can’t be, because those two concepts are the sources of the problem, and obsessing about them will only lead to more misery.

      What’s required is not a new State Socialism or a reformed Capitalism (oxymoron), but a new way of living, thinking, even breathing.

      “When the truth is found to be lies
      And all the joy within you dies,
      Don’t you want somebody to love?
      Don’t you need somebody to love?
      Wouldn’t you love somebody to love?
      You’d better find somebody to love.”

      Our foundation has crumbled. It turns out that lives can’t be built on promotions, refis and cheap loans on a new BMW. Capitalism is eating us and the world around us. Among the biggest dupes are the Dimons and the Blankfeins who deserted their own humanity to pursue pointless and evil dreams.

      Embrace the radical act of loving somebody from whom you cannot benefit. I mean love in the sense of agape, not eros, not even filios. The truly radical act in our society is to seek to help someone even when it cannot possibly help you materially.

      Ayn Rand hated such behavior–always a recommendation.
      And on the other side, the Republicans are right in a way. Our “social services” are constructed in such a way as to demean and disempower those they pretend to help. As long as we are greed/profit driven, this is the perversion imposed upon us in our personal relations.

      From the same songwriter:

      “Don’t change before the Empire falls
      You’ll laugh so hard you’ll crack the walls.”

      The day is coming. Those in power are so sick that they gallop toward their own destruction. Let them.

      But build a new world as they are destroying this one.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Just had some kind of mushroom, chasing rabbits? Go ask Alice.

        Love Jefferson Airplance’s pithy poetry. Indeed, we need a new revolution, a change of heart and change of mind, a fourth great awakening. Thank you for the reminder to become the change we want to see. It is coming.

        1. Goin' South

          Or ask Grace.

          One of her best lines:

          “War’s good business, so give your son.
          But I’d rather have my country die for me.”

          The next time you’re at the ballgame, and they commit that crime against humanity known as “God Bless ‘Murca,” see if there’s a way to fit Gracie’s line in there.

          1. roaring mouse

            There are concepts I would give my life for, including liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Sometimes, the USA still stands for these ideals. While you fail to recognize those who gave their lives so you could verbally take a dump on ‘God Bless America,’ realize you’re walking on the fightin’ side of me.

      2. cripes

        Goin south, interesting comment. I have spent a year helping a homeless, former addict, single mother get housing, furniture, clothing etc. Without any expectation of benefit. People react like it’s crazy. Everyone should do this in their daily lives. Ps, I’m an atheist. Take that, phony Christers.

    2. djrichard

      Good questions.

      would there be a separate Federal Reserve and Treasury Department?

      Nope. Nationalize the Fed Reserve – merge it with treasury. Nationalize the currency.

      Would there be a private banking system?

      Possibly – just to encourage the “animal spirits”. At the same time, any inflation they stimulate should be correspondingly taxed – exploit the “animal spirits” instead of the other way around.

      What about the modern surveillance State?

      The kingdom will always function as an apparatus of the elite, even with MMT. See the iron law of oligarchy. So how can we get the kingdom and the private sector to stop using the peasants as their play things? Well right now, a lot of the power of the kingdom and the private sector comes from keeping the peasants indebted. If we can break out of that pattern, that should put the peasants on better footing to feel their oats as it were. And MMT should help alot in breaking out of the indebtedness pattern. Still, the kingdom can enslave its people in other ways – see China. Can we count on the people to disempower the kingdom? Those require cultural shifts I think – shifts that get us peasants out of our comfort zone in being slaves.

      what structure of power would replace Big Capital and Big Bank and how would democratic accountability operate in your respective visions? If the present Kleptocracy, Plutocracy, Oligopoly, or Aristocracy is to be dismantled– what is, and how does, your new structure of power function?

      Need more churn in the oligarchy. But more importantly need faster discovery of failure. For instance, our kingdom still hasn’t discovered that our economy is failing. When we go to MMT, will we have five year plans, and will we be good at discovering failure of those five year plans? How’s that working in China? Not that China is MMT-based, but they’re certainly a command-driven economy.

      Still at the end of the day, how to get the oligarchy from simply kicking the can may be the central issue. Allowing failure in the private sector helps – no more TBTFs. But if the iron law of oligarchy had a corollary, can kicking is probably it.

      1. F. Beard

        – exploit the “animal spirits” instead of the other way around. djrichard

        Yeah, we see how well that worked. We made a deal with the Devil and thought we’d get the better of him.

        “Animal spirits” are not necessarily a problem but allowing, even encouraging them to steal, IS.

        The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. Revelation 9:20-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB) [emphasis added]

        Wow! It appears theft is a BIGGIE! Yet our money system is based on theft of purchasing power!

      2. JTFaraday

        “Well right now, a lot of the power of the kingdom and the private sector comes from keeping the peasants indebted.”

        The peasants are indebted to generate the fiction of “earnings.” The bank mafia essentially launders its MMT monopoly money through “the peasants” in order to postulate that its bonuses represent real money.

        Without that fiction, the government would never be able to justify effectively giving Lloyd Blankfein tens of millions in monopoly bills, while only giving food stamp recipients whatever food stamps is.

        So naturally, retaining that fiction is a high priority.

  5. F. Beard

    We don’t need the Fed and we don’t need banks. Both are inherently crooked.

    We do need a universal bailout till all private credit debt is extinguished and then coexisting government and private money supplies.

    1. LucyLulu

      Would the US Treasury then be in charge of printing money? Who would decide when and how much money to print? Congress? Is that less scary given our current Congressional leaders?

      1. F. Beard

        1) We need a lot of spending now so private debt can be paid off. Ideally that should mostly be just cash handouts but some legitimate infra-structure spending is needed too.

        2) Longer term, genuine private money alternatives would isolate the private sector from Treasury mismanagement of the government’s money supply and vice versa.

      2. Kyrie Eleison

        Hence the private systems that may pop up, backed by whatever: commodities, “faith”, pogs, &etc.

        Didn’t Utah recently approve some sort of similar system, with other states soon to follow suit?

        Break up the monopolies.

    2. Uptick

      F. Beard

      Just wanted to say hello and I hope all is well with you and your’s. I left a few post at Max site . Stacy was kind enoughf to let me know i could drop a few lines over here. Anyway budy sure miss your witt and laughfs . Peace to you sir.

      1. F. Beard

        Howdy and thanks for the kind words. I’m doing fine.

        I guess I had to leave since I enjoyed picking on Vonda too much. :)

  6. ArkansasAngie

    Neither a republican nor democrat be.

    Audit the dad gum thing and uncover just how non-indepedent it is.

    Benny and the banksters own the politicians in Washington.

    Rest assured this little ole pea picker will write her senators who will not listen .

    You want to stop the crime lords? Audit the fed.

    1. Because

      That won’t stop anything. The Fed is so irrevelant to the main problems, you cannot understand.

  7. Because

    Lets note that if the banks implode, so does America. Thanks to the innovation crisis, capitalism cannot grow enough to support its system. Alot of the debt buildup in the latter 20th century before the blowup was warning of this.

    That means capitalism will die soon. I think trying a liquidation is important for the people to understand how that will lead toward its end. The banks will fail, middle class wealth wipped out. Even healthy banks will struggle as jobs are being destroyed as such a rate, they can’t keep up either as their clients implode. It will be a wakeup call for the people that the system has indeed failed.

    Once the failure is understood, replacing capitalism can progress. Lets note, I don’t have a problem with actual capital accumalation, but there are limits and times when it is not such a good idea. When history sees lower growth potential, these are those times. You need a balance of laws to keep a country going. Not one dominant theme.

  8. LucyLulu

    I can see both sides of this issue. The original purpose of having central banks, or at least one, is to limit Congressional power over the money supply, precisely because politicians are so prone to corruption and undue influence. As much as the Fed may be bungling things, given the current state of our Congressional leaders, could you imagine if they were in charge of our money supply right now?

    Unfortunately, it appears that a private banking system is no less prone to corruption and undue influence. Only the players have changed. At this point, let’s say we find out what the Fed has been doing, and its rotten to the core. No doubt we’ve been funneling money to the Eurozone to prop up Dimon’s bad bets. Does anybody think that Congress would pass any legislation that would make meaningful changes? Have past disclosures resulted in any action?

    Stop the crime lords? Yeah right, just like they have with Corzine and the massive mortgage and MBS fraud? The current system is working out great for our appointed leaders in D.C.

    1. F. Beard

      You just made an argument for co-existing government and private money supplies so each can keep the other honest. Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely. Government money is the ONLY means to pay taxes so it need not be legal tender for private debts too. Private monies would NOT be legal tender for government debts but if the Treasury mismanaged its money supply (e.g. bailing out banks, pointless wars, bridges to nowhere, etc.) then people could abandon fiat for the payment of private debts.

  9. JohnB

    Jesse’sCafeAmercain said it nicely:

    “Far be it from me to tell anyone what to do. But I will say that I have stopped trading all options, both in stocks and commodities.

    The rigging that characterizes the markets overall, through the manipulation of price and the mispricing of risk, is most pronounced in the paper derivatives such as options and artificial constructs like some of the ETFs which are designed to lose almost without regard to what the market does.

    Gold and silver could go either way here. I do not have enough visibility into where the suckers are placing their bets, and where the wiseguys are placing theirs, at least for the short term.

    I do believe that one of these days a major player is going to pop these markets, and rip the faces off some of the funds and specs who are leaning nakedly on the short side in a particularly painful and protracted rally from hell. I just do not know if we are there yet. The more I look at the structure of the Comex and their position and delivery policies the more it looks like a paper Ponzi scheme that could be tough to beat on its own turf.

    Despite some of their identifiable predilictions, the Banks and big machers of the Street are very open minded about screwing anybody and everybody. They have no abiding loyalties or allegiances except to themselves.”

  10. joebhed

    Gee, why would the Republicans ……….. ?

    But, why would the Democrats ………..?

    Hope y’all are paying attention to Neil Barofsky’s tell-all on the money power and the political parties in this country.

    That’s why.

  11. Tom

    We have the structures we need.

    1. Implement Glass Stegall to separate community banking from investment banking; write off casino derivatives debts that will never be repaid.

    2. Recreate the Bank of the United States with the specific mission of issuing credit to employ people in real physical economic development of transformative infrastructure and manufacturing.

    3. Follow the New Deal model of building great dams, water and power projects to drive economic development — viz. the impacts of the Hoover Dam, the California Central Valley project, etc. in enabling the economic boom of postwar California. We need to build the NAWAPA project that was designed in the Kennedy years to bring water from Alaska to the great plains of Canada and US and to the arid southwest. This continental scale engineering is how we can mitigate the kinds of severe droughts such as we have this summer – dramatically increase real production – and put at least four million people to work in skilled productive jobs, not make work.

    All 3 elements are needed — Glass Stegall, federal credit for great projects, and build NAWAPA.

    1. Goin' South

      Yes, by all means. Let’s multiply the lunacy in the name of “Progressivism.”

      Why not bust up what’s left of the Antarctic ice pack and use it to make Guymon, OK another Garden of Eden?

  12. Yzyer

    Just curious,

    What is wrong if all the banks fail and we have a paradigm shift?

    Why is that a bad thing.

    I will arugue this before a response that 40,000 Americans (at least) die every year because healthcare is hoarded in this country and not distubuted to those who have too low of a net worth.

  13. Hugh

    The independence of the Fed is a joke. It is controlled by the banks, or as F. Beard likes to call them the counterfeiting cartel.

    To ask what structures we need is to ask the wrong question. Just as movements precede parties, society comes before government. We need to ask ourselves what kind of a society we want. Where we want to go will determine the structures we need to get there.

    That said, currently, neither government nor parties address the needs of the 99%. Both must be reconstituted. Society’s resources almost all of which have been given over to the 1% to own and the elites to manage must be returned to the 99%. The system of quasi hereditary privilege of the elites must be eliminated. The Fed’s functions and powers must be returned to the Executive and the Congress. Plain vanilla banking should be treated as a public utility. It can either be privately owned or run through a governmental entity like the Post Office. Healthcare should move to Medicare for All, that is a single public payer but private providers. The privatization of education and the commons should be reversed. The government should act as an employer of first resort and pay a living wage. Education should be free and public. If people want private schools, they should receive no public support but they should be required to meet minimum public standards. An HOLC should be recreated to deal with the mortgage mess. Corporate personhood should be ended. Corporate boards and management should be civilly and criminally liable.

    In structural terms, the Senate should be abolished. It violates the principle of one person one vote. The electoral college should also be eliminated. Congressional districts should be decreased in size to three to four hundred thousand and congressional districting should be turned over to nonpartisan commissions. The Supreme Court should be reconstituted as well either with a new membership or by adding a dozen new members. Lifetime tenure should be eliminated throughout the federal judiciary.

    1. Acmerecords

      !
      The solutions are apprehendable by everyone – including those who choose to throw their energies behind sustaining selfishness
      I was at a Vishnavite wedding recently where the couple was warned to end ‘I, me, mine’ in their lives
      One gift of the Vedas from 2000 years before the Christ (also mined by a beatle)

  14. Chauncey Gardiner

    Matt,
    Thank you for raising this important issue. We’re talking about public audits here, including the dissemination of information and enabling We the People to ascertain what is going on with respect to the key institution in our monetary and financial system. Findings by the GAO during their recent audits have shown that regular, thorough, independent public audits of the Fed are both necessary and desirable from a public policy perspective.

    With respect to the Fed, there are many other issues that need to be addressed besides the need for audits. These include the selection and number of primary dealers, the powers and actions of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, frequent capital market interventions, whether Fed independence is desirable policy, and consideration of changing the Fed’s so called ‘dual mandate’.

  15. Benedict@Large

    “Congress is losing its fear of discussing monetary policymaking.”

    Wonderful. Now Congress can talk about something else it knows nothing about.

  16. Scott Patrick

    We can see that while these Dem’s/”progressives” are not representing “we the people” in voting against this bill. They are the “enemy” and seek to be the enablers of those who are guilty of stealing the wealth of the nation. They continue to threaten the national financial security of the US. The Fed poses a greater threat than any foreign terrorist group. The sabotage of our economy has been with the support and help of the Fed. It is time that “we the people” revolt and if need be, shut the economy down until those who “represent us”, fear us! We see what master they serve.

Comments are closed.