End the Fed, Save the Dollar: Ron Paul
This post was written by my colleague, Brian Beers a Senior Producer here at CNBC.com
"Nothing good can come from the Federal Reserve," writes Texas Congressman Ron Paul in his latest book hitting shelves this week, titled "End the Fed."
"It is the biggest taxer of them all. Diluting the value of the dollar by increasing its supply is a vicious, sinister tax on the poor and middle class."
Paul makes the case that the Fed is the main culprit responsible for the current economic mess the country faces through the destructive policies of cheap credit and excessive money printing.
"Prosperity can never be achieved by cheap credit," says Paul. "If that were so, no one would have to work for a living. Inflated prices only deceive one into believing that real wealth has been created."
The Federal Reserve, created in 1913, has been acting as the main central bank of the United States for nearly one hundred years. Many Americans are either not sure or not interested in what role the Fed plays in managing the economy. "The economic crisis has changed everything," writes Congressman Paul.
Paul is currently pushing for passage of a bill, H.R. 1207, that would allow for an unprecedented audit of the Federal Reserve. The bill has 289 co-sponsors, and is gaining solid momentum in the House of Representatives.
"The worse the economy gets, the more power Congress is willing to grant to the Federal Reserve. Trillions of dollars created and distributed by the Fed with no requirement to submit to any oversight" argues Congressman Paul.
"End the Fed" is a sharp counter to Keynesian economic theory, and takes aim at the hazards of a managed economy.
Paul, a strong advocate of free-markets and the Austrian school of economics counters those looking to blame the near collapse of the financial system on capitalism by penning, "Manipulating the money supply and interest rates rejects all the principles of the free market, and so it cannot be said that too free a market caused this mess. The market was not free at all. It was manipulated and distorted."
Didn't Fed Chairman Bernanke hint that the recession may already be over?
Wouldn't that indicate that the "emergency interventions" of the past year or so worked to stabilize the economy, and all is on its way back to normal?
Paul writes, "The Fed is using all its power to drive the monetary base to unprecedented heights, creating trillions in new money out of thin air. From April 2008 to April 2009, the adjusted monetary base shot up from $856 billion to an unbelievable $1.749 trillion. Was there any new wealth created? New production? No, this was the Ben Bernanke printing press at work. If you and I did anything similar, we would be called counterfeiters and be sent away for a lifetime in prison. But, when the Fed does it - complete with a scientific gloss - it is seen as the perfectly legal and responsible conduct of monetary policy."
On the inflation front, Paul adds "It's as if we still believe that money can be grown on trees, and we don't stop to realize that if it did grow on trees, it would take on the value of leaves in the fall, to be either mulched or bagged and put in a landfill. That is to say, it would be worthless."
You get the feeling after reading this book, that Paul sees his goal of cutting off the power of the Fed as attainable in the long run, but needed a "playbook" to help educate the general public as to why they should care, and what they should demand be done about it from their elected officials.
The passage from the book that stuck with me the most. "When we unplug the Fed, the dollar will stop its long depreciating trend, international currency values will stop fluctuating wildly, banking will no longer be a dice game, and financial power will cease to gravitate toward a small circle of government-connected insiders."
Ron Paul's case for sound money policies and the end of "Fed domination" marches on, this time in hardcover.
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