Will Audit the Fed Really "Politicize" the Fed?

Critics of Audit the Fed are out in full force in the op-ed pages, newspaper columns, and on cable news shows since Senator Paul introduced S. 264 with 30 bipartisan cosponsors.

In some sense, that's actually a good thing, as their cases for maintaining Fed secrecy still sound as ridiculous as they always have.

But what of the oft repeated claim that Audit the Fed would "jeopardize the Fed's independence" and unnecessarily "politicize" the Fed?



There's another colloquial one-word term to describe these claims, but its use here would seem a bit uncouth.

It's utter nonsense.

Perhaps some of these critics should take a moment to peruse comments from former Senate Banking Committee staffer and now director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute, Mark Calabria, testifying before the House Financial Services Committee in 2011.

On Fed "independence":

The Fed’s authority to regulate the value of money is one delegated from Congress. As Congress can, and has, legislated changes to the Fed, it should be clear beyond a doubt that the Fed is not “independent” of Congress. It is a creature of Congress.

On "politicization":

Subjecting the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy function to a GAO audit does not subject the Fed to “politics” – such a claim is not only insulting to GAO, it is insulting to the very concept of Congressional oversight. GAO exists for the very simple reason that no one member of Congress, or their staff, fully understand and are knowledgeable about the functioning of the various government agencies. GAO exists to inform. And there are few areas less understood by Congress than monetary policy and macroeconomics. Hence there are few areas more in need of a GAO audit than the Fed.

Please take a comment to contact your representative and senators today and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 24/S. 264 and demand that Congress stand up for the American people and for transparency and pass Audit the Fed!

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