Could it get any better? Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is in line to take over the House Monetary Policy Subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee. Imagine the long-time Federal Reserve critic being able to haul Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke up for a few hearings on transparency, accountability, and more!
Retiring New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg, one of the Federal Reserve's most stalwart Republican supporters, showed up for a meeting at the central bank in November bearing a surprising gift: a box of End the Fed books. As he handed out the 2009 best seller by Representative Ron Paul, a longtime Fed critic, Gregg told the gathering it would be worth reading to see what the other side is plotting.
It may have taken 34 years, but Ron Paul has arrived, and he doesn't plan to squander the moment. His agenda includes landing the chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee panel that oversees monetary policy-a job that will give him the power to push legislation reining in the central bank and to haul Fed governors up to Capitol Hill for hearings.
Of course, Chairman Ben, as well as all of his buddies on Wall Street, are rather less than enthused about this possibility. And the usual "responsible" Republican leaders are talking about denying Rep. Paul the chairmanship.
But doing so would be a clear signal that they plan a go-along, get-along policy on one of the most important of issues: the Federal Reserve's enormous economic influence. That wouldn't be a good message to send to the many frustrated Americans who voted Republican before the new GOP majority has even taken office.
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