WASHINGTON, August 13, 2012 — Prior to the 2008 financial crises, opposition to Federal Reserve orthodoxy was unacceptable in U.S. politics. The treatment of Ron Paul during the Republican presidential debates of 2007 and 2008 is evidence of that. His opponents repeatedly mocked him when he attempted to warn the American people that the Fed’s reckless actions would bring about a terrible financial catastrophe.
In 2012, discussion about the Federal Reserve is very different. The Fed is a topic that is now openly and thoroughly debated, due in part to its abysmal response to the financial calamity unfolding. Thanks in large part to the efforts of Ron Paul and the grassroots movement he inspired, the public is now aware of and debating the central bank’s actions, while alos protesting Fed policies.
The financial catastrophe of 2008 has made the public increasingly mistrustful of the Fed and its covert activities. A poll conducted in 2010 showed that the majority of Americans believed that the Fed should be severely reigned in or abolished. In a separate survey conducted by Rasmussen in 2010, 80 percent of Americans believed that the Fed should be thoroughly audited. As a result of its own actions, the Fed is now hotly debated in print, television, and in our public square.
Anger at our nation’s banking cartel has spawned populist political and grassroots action dedicated to raising awareness of the American public. Fueled by the energy and dedication of Ron Paul, these educational initiatives have been effective. In 1983, when Congressman Paul introduced a bill to audit the Federal Reserve through the House of Representatives, it failed miserably. A reintroduction of the bill by Congressman Paul, very recently, met with a much different result: overwhelming bi-partisan support and a favorable congressional vote of 327-98. Further, a nationwide protest against the Fed is being planned for September 22, with demonstrations to occur in several cities outside of some of the Fed’s thirteen regional banks.
The Fed has become frequently discussed during the 2012 race for the Republican nomination. All of the Republican candidates heavily criticized Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, while also pledging that they would support a full independent audit of the Fed. Of the Republican candidates, Texas Governor Rick Perry probably went further than any other contender for the Oval Office, saying of Bernanke: “If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous – or treasonous in my opinion.”
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s Twitter account tweeted his support for Paul’s proposal to audit the Fed, indicating both his support and the potential of the issue to attract voters frustrated with Bernanke’s failed policies.
After decades of crusading against the Fed, Ron Paul’s efforts are beginning to pay off. The Fed is now running scared of the populist anger directed its way. In a seemingly desperate effort to stem the recent criticism and concerns of the American people, our nation’s central bank is now undertaking a public relations campaign, attempting to convince the public of its transparency and competency.
Many will argue that Paul’s audit bill will never be passed by the Senate, let alone signed by Obama, and will ultimately end in failure. But how does one define failure? Successful passage of the bill or not, Paul has shone light into far, dark recesses, illuminating the secretive, failed, and dangerous economic policies of the Federal Reserve. Having exposed its recklessness and catastrophic potential, he has ensured that the Fed can never again be the financial, forbidden “elephant in the room.” Point, match, set. Victory, Paul.
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