Male News Anchor: [Congressman Ron Paul] is pushing for the Fed to be fully audited by the end of 2010.
Female News Anchor: Right now the GAO’s access is limited to areas outside of monetary policy. Congressman Ron Paul is joining us now on the phone to talk about this. Welcome congressman and tell us why you’re pushing for this. What’s at the heart of what you think is most important?
Ron Paul: I think it’s the whole issue of transparency that’s become a very popular word in this country. Especially since the bailouts started with the TARP funds and the people waking up and realizing that the Congress had appropriated $700 billion and nobody knew where the money went.
But then I took that as an opportunity to talk once again about auditing the Fed, which I’ve been talking about for quite a few years. And all of a sudden it struck a chord with everybody and they said “Yeah, if they’re dealing in trillions of dollars and they loan money to companies and central banks and other governments, we need to know more about it.” And all of a sudden, you know, we had an avalanche of co-sponsors. We got all the Republicans on it, over a hundred Democrats are on it. So it’s very, very popular for us to find out what they’re doing. It’s the responsibility of Congress to know what a secret bank can do. They’re a government unto themselves. They create the money and they spend the money. And under the Constitution, obviously, the Congress is supposed to appropriate money and allocate money; not somebody who can print the money and pass it out.
Male News Anchor: Are you surprised, Congressman, at the bipartisan level here? I mean, you have Barney Frank… frankly this is the last time I can remember Ron Paul and Barney Frank on such a substantive philosophical issue being aligned?
Ron Paul: Well, I’d qualify that a little bit because we have allied ourselves on such things as Internet gambling and few things like that that I could support. But no, it is interesting because in economic matters he’s very liberal. We have have worked together before and we are friends and he has always talked about more transparency of the Fed. This is not new for him, he’s talked about this for years and he actually supported Gonzalez back in the 1970s with his efforts to find out more about the Fed. But it’s our emergency here that makes it more appropriate and has opened up a door for us. So I think something is going to happen.
Female News Anchor: Representative, I was with Mary Schapiro, the head of the SEC on Friday, and she was sympathetically said transparency will be her biggest push. She thinks that it is the best antiseptic for all these problem. Of course, she was talking about markets and organizations that deal with trading. But how important is it for every taxpayer to know? We here at Fox Business had filed a freedom of information lawsuit and the judge ruled in our favor making sure that the Treasury and the Fed would tell us exactly where…
Male News Anchor: We won on Treasury, not on the Fed. They’re still stonewalling at the Fed.
Female News Anchor: Yeah, they’re stonewalling on the Fed. What does that tell you?
Ron Paul: Well, I think it tells you that it’s a sad commentary on the Congress because we should have responded legislatively many, many years ago and it took private sources like yourselves to file these suits and demand it. So the more the merrier, but it points out how important this is. And I think there was a poll then… whoever imagined that there’s be a poll done on auditing the Fed and 75% of the American people said, “Sounds like a good idea to [me].”
Male News Anchor: Well, people now realize how it affects their lives; I think that’s why people are interested. But I got to ask you: there are some concerns and you’re own Republican colleague, Judd Gregg from New Hampshire, says this is a terrible precedent, what you are doing is is putting the camel’s nose under the tent. It is getting Congress involved in how the Fed, which is supposed to be completely independent from politics, will now operate.
Ron Paul: Well, the Fed is not independent. If they passed out money to Goldman Sachs, I mean that’s politicized by a big corporation. What about the politicization of the Fed for getting the Chairman renominated? Chairmen of the Federal Reserve have been known to accommodate the President when they’re up for re-nomination. So it’s always politicized.
But this bill isn’t designed for that. Yes, it’s getting our nose under the tent to find out the things we’re responsible for, to find out who’s getting the good deals and the big breaks and that’s important. But it’s not designed specifically – and this is one thing that Barney and I will probably work on to make sure that we’re not going to be managing the FOMC meetings. That is not our goal, but we do need to know what’s going on.
Female News Anchor: That’s what we hope. We don’t want too much involvement, but enough to say “Tell the taxpayers everything”. Representative Ron Paul, thank you so much for joining us.
Male News Anchor: Thanks so much.
Ron Paul: Thanks for having me.