U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Ron Paul has launched his expected campaign, as the new chairman of the
House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, to audit the Federal Reserve, that secretive, private organization that runs the U.S. monetary supply.

His plan isn’t new, and even with Republicans in the minority in the U.S. House a year ago, he collected support from some 320 members – a majority – of the House.

An announcement from his office today confirmed that HR 459, “The Audit the Fed Bill,” has been introduced to the 112th Congress. The announcement said it is very similar to HR 1207 from last year, and “calls for a full and complete audit of the Federal Reserve by the Government Accountability Office.”

It would require a report to Congress by the end of 2012.

“I was very pleased that so many of my colleagues were willing to stand up for transparency and accountability in government by cosponsoring HR 1207 in the last Congress,” Paul said. “I am optimistic about our prospects for a full and complete audit in the 112th Congress.”

He noted that because of the public demand for information about the Federal Reserve, it hired a fulltime lobbyist for the 111th Congress.

Paul’s goal of transparency, especially in the policies that manage the nation’s finances, has been around for years.

There’s been much conversation in recent weeks about transparency, and in fact, there has been some. California has declared a fiscal emergency, Illinois hasn’t paid its bills in six months, and Arizona has sold off state buildings.

Even on the federal level, there’s been more openness about the money that the government owes, largely because of the stratospheric heights that total is approaching.

But what hasn’t been so far influenced by the move to “transparency,” has been the Fed, and Paul places much of the blame for condition of the nation’s financial picture today on that organization.

In an interview with WND, Paul said he’s going to be asking tough questions and he expects answers.

“Right now,” he said, “it’s a struggle just to find out what the Fed has done. I want to know what the Fed is planning on doing. I think the transparency argument could be translated into whether we know if the Fed is getting ready to spend $500 billion and send it to certain companies and banks overseas.”

He’ll pursue the answers he wants with hearings that Congress will hold on the Fed and its activities.

“The relationship between the Fed and unemployment may be one of my first hearings. In mid-February, I hope to hold hearings relating to how the Federal Reserve is really the cause, not the salvation, of our unemployment problems. I want to have a serious conversation about the business cycle and how the Fed creates the business cycle. It is responsible for the slumps because they are a consequence of bursting bubbles. It’s popular to talk about unemployment, but no one explains why people are unemployed – how it happened. If we don’t deal with the monetary system – how it contributes to unemployment – how can we ever solve the problem,” he said.

Paul said he feels an obligation to begin tracking down the information he feels can affect the nation’s economy.

“There’s always been public pressure on the Fed to be more open with its minutes and such, but until now, Congress really hasn’t exerted its responsibilities. I hope to do this and let the people know why it is our responsibility. Most members respond positively to this,” he told WND.

But that won’t be all.

“There will be a lot of economic issues that I’ll be pursuing, but ultimately, we have to cut spending. If we don’t cut spending it will do us in. Governments don’t default by not sending out checks, they default by sending out money that doesn’t work. We have to get the bad debt off the books, and we haven’t done anything yet to eliminate the bad debt. Instead, we bought the bad debt with TARP and Fed funds and now the Fed has those worthless housing derivatives and bad mortgages. The debt is still there,” he said.

Aware of the falling value dollar, Paul warned solutions need to be adopted before it’s too late.

“If the dollar can lose 97 percent of its value over a long period then the currency is destined to lose the remaining percentage fairly rapidly and that’s when panic occurs,” he said.

“There are those,” he said, “who believe we are immune to default, but I don’t. When you have to go hat in hand to the Chinese, you know there is something big going on.”

Paul said there are real challenges ahead, but he believes they can be handled.

“Congress is starting to learn, but I think the people are always ahead of Congress,” he said. “Remember, it wasn’t the leadership of Congress that went out and stirred up the grassroots movement, it was the grassroots movement – the people – that got excited and said this is what we want.”

He said the people, with the GOP leadership in the U.S. House, now are “in a position … where the American people and Congress are interested in the workings of the Federal Reserve like never before, and I intend to be persistent.”

Paul also is known for his determination to return the U.S. dollar to some form of a gold standard.

One of his concerns is that Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution assigns to Congress the right to coin money; the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 created the Federal Reserve. There is no mention of a U.S. central bank in the Constitution.

Paul’s been busy sounding the alarm as Barack Obama’s federal deficits have rocketed and the national debt now is approaching $14 trillion.

He previously has said, “Throughout its nearly 100-year history, the Federal Reserve has presided over the near-complete destruction of the United States dollar. Since 1913 the dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power, aided and abetted by the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy.

“How long will we as a Congress stand idly by while hard-working Americans see their savings eaten away by inflation? Only big-spending politicians and politically favored bankers benefit from inflation,” he wondered.

Oversight of the Fed, he said, is “long overdue.”

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