Rand Paul And Other Republicans Are Preparing To Hold The Fed Accountable

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Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate will soon be pushing for the “Audit the Fed” bill to pass. Representative Thomas Massie (R.-Ky.) will introduce the bill in the House, and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will introduce the bill in the Senate. Paul said in an interview this week that he intends to introduce the bill in January.

With Mitch McConnell’s ascent to the majority leader position in the Senate, there is a stronger chance for the bill to be passed by both houses of Congress.

Represenative Massie said:

“I think our odds keep improving. His [Rand Paul’s] profile will be raised as he runs for president, which bodes well for this bill, and his relationship with Sen. McConnell I think bodes well for this bill in the Senate.”

The bill was originally designed by Ron Paul, Rand Paul’s father. It passed the House 333-92 in September.

McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said in an email that McConnel “supports the bill, he’s a co-sponsor.”

Fed chairman Janet Yellen strongly opposes the bill and thinks it would threaten the central bank’s independence and make it subject to “political pressures.”

Paul Broun, who introduced the bill in the last Congress, takes a dramatically different position:

“It’s absolutely imperative that we get a transparent, full audit of the Fed so the American public can know what is going on with this entity. Members of Congress are more and more beginning to see how critical it is.”

What do you think? Should “Audit the Fed” be passed? Does it expose a little-known-about public-private institution? Or does it threaten the Fed’s ability to conduct monetary policy? Let us hear your thoughts.

 

h/t Politico

Photo Credit: paul.senate.gov

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Devolution Trumps Secession

Photo credit: Jordi Escuer (Flickr)

The 1996 Salzburg Seminar was a prestigious international gabfest organized to discuss “cross-cultural perspectives on conservatism.” Worldwide political parties and movements designated “conservative” at home or considered as such by Westerners were invited to explain their views on conservatism, to discuss what they held in common. With representatives from across Europe to Turkey, and even from China, obviously there was little commonality.

Playing by the rules, this U.S. representative suggested that localism and community could be a unifying ideal for the right, at which the French representative nearly swooned, furiously insisting that conservatism was precisely the opposite. It was love of the patria and of its representative the national state, whose point was seconded immediately by the Turkish representative. The Spanish, Italian, Belgian, and several Eastern European national representatives actually denounced local nationalistic movements as threats. But when I suggested that sub-national movements were alive even in Britain, the idea was so preposterous the room immediately broke into laughter, with the Englishmen questioning my very sanity.

Two decades later, Scotland massed 45 percent of its population willing to break 300 years of ties to become independent of England. Inspired, a million Catalans went to the street to demand independence; and its regional legislature voted to hold a (non-binding) referendum. Basques threatened the same. Flanders nationalists in Belgium promised that if Scotland received European Union representation, so would they. The Italian Northern League, organized around the ideal of separation, cheered Scotland on. Even Bavaria every so often threatens splitting from Germany. Norway and Sweden did separate in 1905, as did the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

All Europe was centralized under divine right kings and nationalisms at great cost in blood and treasure throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, forcing previously independent nations and peoples into the larger units we know today. Germany and Italy were not unified until the 1870s. Hundreds of independent states were dissolved over the period, but most of the successors retained local customs and institutions, many nursing old and developing new grievances against an often remote and unresponsive state. Even France still has restive Basques, Bretons, Savoyans, and others demanding local rights or independence.

Americans certainly have not been immune to the secession impulse, of course, including a great civil war costing millions of lives. While that war presumably settled the matter, even today a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 23.9 percent of Americans would like to see their state pull away from the union, up from 18 percent in 2008. In the previous year under George W. Bush, 32 percent of liberals thought breaking away would be a good idea, compared to 17 percent of conservatives. Today under Barack Obama, 30 percent of Republicans and even 20 percent of Democrats would have their state secede.

Former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul even claimed a recent “growth of support for secession” inspired by Scotland and demonstrated by the one million Californians who supported dividing the state into six entities, saying this “should cheer all supporters of freedom.” He was congratulated for raising the issue by Daniel McCarthy of The American Conservative, but McCarthy responded that secession is not a principle of liberty. Not only does secession often trade one master for another—as Scotland would do under the European Union and NATO—but there is no guarantee the new state would foster internal liberty. McCarthy argues persuasively that for Scotland and America, secession and union are questions of security and power, which undergird prosperity, self-government, and individual freedom. For much of the rest of the world, poisoned by ethnic and sectarian hatreds, secession means nationalism and civil strife. In both cases, breaking up existing states to create new ones is a revolutionary and dangerous act, one more apt to imperil liberty than advance it.

Indeed, Paul’s own original article on the matter viewed secession sentiments mostly as pressure on a national government to limit its power over local units as opposed to being valuable in itself. He specifically urged “devolution of power to smaller levels of government,” which can be a very different thing from secession. While secession is problematical as McCarthy argues, devolution of power within a national government is essential to liberty.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Secessionists Movements All Over The World Could Be Drawing The Support Of Ron Paul

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Ron Paul recently wrote an article entitled “Scottish Referendum Gives Reason to be Hopeful” in which he discussed the reasons why secessionist movements are good politically.

As he wrote:

“Americans who embrace secession are acting in a grand American tradition. The Declaration of Independence was written to justify secession from Britain. Supporters of liberty should cheer the growth in support for secession, as it is the ultimate rejection of centralized government and the ideologies of Keynesianism, welfarism, and militarism.”

Paul was then interviewed on the topic by the National Journal.  Paul did not realize that, prior to the Scottish independence movement, there were more than a handful of secessionist movements in the U.S. He said:

“I was real pleased with that, and a bit surprised. But then, on second thought, you think, ‘Why not? Why not more?’”

Paul pointed to the worsening condition of the U.S. as one of the primary motivations for people to seek secession. He said that the “failure of the federal government is going to get much worse.” Also:

“When the bankruptcy evolves, and maybe some of these pension funds are confiscated, and the wars never end, and bankruptcy comes forth, people [will say], ‘Hey, we’re getting a bad deal from this. Why don’t we leave?’”

If Paul thinks that US secessionist movements contribute to US political discourse, he does not see any of them as being ultimately successful. He told the National Journal if the secessionist movements were successful, the “heavy hand of government would come down,” and “they’d probably shoot them.”

Paul thinks there should be a “concrete right to secede.”

“Even if we never had any secession, or any state declare independence, we would be so much better off, because there would always be this threat. Once the threat of a state leaving was removed, it was just open-door policy for the federal government to expand itself and run roughshod out over the states because the states couldn’t do much.”

Paul’s belief in the value of secessionist movements runs in union with his beliefs in a more limited government.

What do you think? Are seccessionist movements harmful or beneficial to freedom in the US?

 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Ron Paul: Police Should Be Demilitarized

Photo credit: Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com

Former Congressman Ron Paul recently called for the elimination of the Department of Defense program that led to the militarization of the nation’s police forces.

Paul said on MSNBC that it “should be gotten rid of.” “Police are supposed to be local people, and they’re supposed to be peace officers, ” he also said. “They’re not supposed to be warriors.”

He said that it creates an environment that “encourages the police to overreact” and said it is “very, very dangerous.”

Paul also spoke about how “the Founders didn’t want a national police force, but they are very much involved in national police activities, the various agencies from the FBI on down.”

According to James Madison:

In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

When questioned about whether the National Guard should move in, Paul said no because the “National Guard is a military operation.”

How much has the St. Louis County Police Department received from the military? It has received 12 5.56 millimeter rifles, 6 .45-caliber pistols, multiple cargo trailers and utility trucks and night vision equipment from the Pentagon during 2010-2013, plus a helicopter that it received in 2004.

Paul thinks that the Pentagon program that has transferred billions in military equipment to local and state police agencies deserves to be abolished.

What do you think? Has the militarization of the nation’s police forces gone on long enough?

Photo credit: Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

If Ron Paul Is Right, Then It’s Only A Matter Of Time Before This Happens… Again

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Dr. Ron Paul, former Congressman from Texas, Presidential candidate, and libertarian spokesman, declared on CNBC recently that he sees a stock market crash coming. Paul traces back what he believes is a stock market bubble to inflationary policies conducted by the Federal Reserve:

I think there’s plenty of inflation, but my definition of inflation is a little different than the rest, because I think prices going up in the different areas is a consequence of inflation. “There’s a lot of inflation in the stock market. I think there’s a bubble there.”

Paul is a student of the Austrian School of Economics, which contains Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek as a couple of its most brilliant thinkers. The Austrian School has long been critical of central banking; and Paul is no exception, having authored his own book called “End the Fed.” Dr. Paul thinks that the current interest rates are faulty and artificial, caused by the Fed. In turn, says Paul, investors make bad decisions based on the artificial interest rates, resulting in bubbles:

“One thing we have to remember is that when you get false information from artificially low interest rates, that mistakes are made, they’re inevitable. You make mistakes even when you have market rates of interest. But when the market rate of interest is so low for everybody, there’s a lot of mistakes, and that’s why you have the bubbles, and that’s why you go through the catastrophe we had in ’08 and ’09, and I think the conditions are every bit as bad as they were in ’08 and ’09.”

Paul remains steadfast in his belief that an America without a Federal Reserve would be a brighter America. He described the way investors are forced to hang on to every word of the Fed in the current environment:

“One thing you have to do is get rid of the Fed, because, you know, we’re anticipating what word, what phrase, what hyphen is going to be said, so that they can spin, you know, spin that, and the markets will go one way or the other, shifting values of tens of billions of dollars within minutes. That is just a very, very inefficient way to operate a market, to have one individual make one statement, and put so much weight on it. In short term, it’s very, very real, because people are going to make it or break it, you know, on this interpretation. But that has nothing to do with the free market, nothing to do with building capitalism, and savings, and the things necessary to have a growing economy.”

What do you think? Is Ron Paul right to think that a crash will be forthcoming? Or will the stock market continue to plow ahead as it has done since 2009?

 

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Photo credit: Frontpage / Shutterstock.com

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom