Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke didn’t have to deal with Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul in his testimony delivered to the Congress. That still didn’t stop the three-time presidential candidate from critiquing Bernanke’s remarks about budget cuts, quantitative easing, the unemployment rate and the Fed’s operations.
After Bernanke delivered his two-day testimony and answered questions from Congressional and Senate representatives, Dr. Paul released a statement on the House Committee on Financial Services hearing.
Paul began by explaining that even though he doesn’t miss Congress, which consists of eroding the American people’s freedoms, he still enjoyed the opportunity to question the Fed Chairman “about the damage the Fed’s policies do to the American economy.” He added that he also appreciated the chance to educate the general public regarding gold and the need for transparency in the Federal Reserve.
What would Dr. Paul have asked Bernanke? Well, the questions would have been a lot different than what was asked by Paul’s former colleagues, although Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker and Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby were lauded for their grilling of Bernanke.
“If I were still in Congress, and serving as Chairman of the Monetary Policy Subcommittee, I would have asked Chairman Bernanke why, since the continued high unemployment rates show that the Fed’s ‘Quantitative Easing’ programs have not helped the economy, he thinks continuing the same failed policy in perpetuity will help the average American — as opposed to the big banks and the big spending politicians?” stated the retired libertarian-leaning Texas representative.
“I would also ask Chairman Bernanke, how the German Bundesbank’s request for the Federal Reserve to return the Fed’s store of German gold to Germany could affect the US’ standing in the global economy. And most importantly, why are so many central banks buying gold when you told me in 2011 that ‘gold is not money.’”
It was reported in January that the German Bundesbank would be withdrawing billions in gold held at the New York Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the Banque de France. The nation’s central bank wanted to maintain more bullion holdings in Frankfurt.
Dr. Paul conceded that Bernanke’s semiannual visit to Congress is helpful in attempting to bring out transparency and to question his decisions. However, the bestselling author believes that it’s certainly not enough and more must be done.
“The American people deserve a full accounting of the Fed’s operations, which is why it is vital they demand Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid bring Senator Rand Paul’s Audit the Fed (S. 209) legislation to the Senate floor for a vote this Congress.”
The legislation has been harshly criticized by Bernanke because he argues that it could restrict the Fed’s independence and become part of political pressure. Paul has countered this case by noting that the central bank has already become politicized.
Despite the lack of growth in the United States economy, the high unemployment rate and the ever increasing national debt, Bernanke’s testimony didn’t signify that any change in monetary policy would be coming. He warned against the looming budget cuts, he forecasted the unemployment rate to remain above six percent for the next three years and he confirmed that low interest rates are here to stay.
“There still seems to be quite a bit of unused resources, people that could be working, capital that could be used and is not being used,” Bernanke said of the economy Wednesday. “We believe the monetary policies that we’ve conducted have helped get stronger recovery and more jobs than we otherwise would have had.”
Judging by these remarks, it seems the Chairman believes he’s doing one heck of a job, but the economic data would suggest otherwise.
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