Lee Anderson’s reserved ignorance

February 10, 2012 12:28 pm

by Jason · 15 comments

The Federal Reserve has become a hot button issue for Tea Party groups, which have pushed back against the loose monetary policy of the central bank in the months following the 2008 financial crisis.

Rep. Ron Paul, who is seeking the the GOP nomination for president, has for years made reining in the Fed a part of his legislative agenda. Rep. Paul’s Audit the Fed bill, which was co-sponsored by more than 300 members of the House (including most of the Republicans in the Georgia delegation), would open up certain information to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that is currently excluded from audits in subsection (b) of 31 USC 714 (including transactions with foreign central banks, decisions on monetary policy, transactions made via the Federal Open Market Committee, and communications by members of the Fed’s Board of Governors.

Despite overwhelming support in the House and strong support in the Senate, only watered down language resembling Rep. Paul’s Audit the Fed legislation was included as an amendment to the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (known also as Frank-Dodd).

Rep. Paul and his son, Sen. Rand Paul, have both reintroduced stronger measures to bring transparency in actions taken by the Fed, so needless to say, this issue isn’t going away anytime soon.

With that said, it’s important that candidates for Congress in our state at least have a basic understanding of the Federal Reserve. Sadly, State Rep. Lee Anderson, a candidate in GA-12, has not found this issue worth looking into or, apparently, even comprehending.

During a recent candidate forum in Statesboro, Anderson was asked what he would like to do about the Fed; to which he replied, “We must build our reserves even stronger than what it is now…on the federal level.” He then said, obviously referring to revenues, that the legislature is “building back our reserves up now.” You can watch video of Anderson’s comments here (4:08-4:40), courtesy of the Statesboro Herald.

Seriously? Even if you aren’t supportive of Rep. Paul’s effort to audit the Fed, this sort of shallowness from a candidate running for Congress is worthy of a loud gasp.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that a candidate running for office needs to know the ins-and-outs of monetary policy or be schooled in Austrian economics, but it’s painfully clear that Anderson has no idea what the Federal Reserve is or what it does. And not only does he not know what the Federal Reserve is or does, he apparently thinks the federal government has “reserves” of money in the bank we just need to make “even stronger than what it is now”. Word confusion aside, does Rep. Lee Anderson not know that our federal government is running a deficit north of $15 trillion?

The good news is that Anderson won’t be in the Georgia General Assembly much longer. But voters in GA-12 need to ask themselves if they should send another one of those politicians to Washington.

OleDirtyBarrister February 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Did anyone think to ask him what we should do to prevent Guam from tipping over?

elfiii February 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm

No need to. Hank Johnson has been thoroughly investigating this phenomenon and will have an answer to save Guam any day now. Rumor has it he will sponsor a bill to provide “floaties” for Guam.

Mike Hassinger February 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm

The video didn’t show the entire question, nor Anderson’s entire answer, but what it did show looked like he misunderstood what was asked, or that he was giving an answer to a different question. Also, none of the other answers were really all that fantastic either. YMMV.

KD_fiscal conservative February 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm

“The video didn’t show the entire question, nor Anderson’s entire answer, but what it did show looked like he misunderstood what was asked,”
Come on now, Mike….seriously….

It sounds like you are you are already working for Anderson, or I guess you could be giving him a free sample of what a high priced spin doctor could do for his campaign.

ricstewart February 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I was there in person for that event. An audience member tried to clarify the question, after which Lee Anderson bumbled a little more and didn’t really do himself any favors.
If the audience member had not clarified the question, he might have been able to save face by saying he misheard. But it was clear that he didn’t have a firm grasp on the issue.

The Augusta Chronicle has this:

When contacted by phone for comment about the clip, Anderson said, “They’re trying to be dirty already. They can play dirty politics. I go the high road. I run a positive campaign.”

A dirty campaign trick? It was his own words!

“And,” he added, “the federal reserves, we need to get them on a level where we can audit them, so we’ll know exactly what they’re doing.”

Judging by that last statement about “them federal reserves,” I think it’s clear that he still doesn’t get it.

Taggart February 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm

It would seem his staff would have at least given him a paragraph to recite when he gets asked about the blunder. But nope, we get “The federal reserves, we need to get them on a level where we can audit them, so we’ll know exactly what they’re doing.”

View from Brookhaven February 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Lot of stuff twirling around in his head, I guess.

NoTeabagging February 11, 2012 at 9:22 am

I resolve to build our reserves without reservations.

John Konop February 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

If we ended the FED and deleavaged the economy many of you would not have a job. Most employees use leverage for inventory, expansion………….also if you own a home, the value would decrease in value relative to the leverage ratios. This would put the slow recovering real-estate default rates on steroids. And since, We taxayers hold about 70 percent of the debt it would create Armageddon type economy. The gold standard would deleavage the economy by minimally 8 to 1. You guys do understand no leverage no buyers close to the value of your home, business, cars….. Also wth no leverage your employeer cannot buy the inventory and has fewer buyers to sell the inventory because they no leverage and or job……..

With all that said we need controls, but rooting for jumping of the ledge is irrational and or naive.

seenbetrdayz February 12, 2012 at 8:40 am

I’m almost certain that the Fed will push us off the ledge before we have a chance to jump. In other words, the Fed will end itself, but not until after it has transferred a tremendous portion of our nation’s wealth to select insiders.

The Federal Reserve is really *not* the hub of financial genius that so many think it to be. It serves one purpose, to accommodate government spending by printing debt from nothing. Without the federal reserve, we’d have ended these wars and welfare long ago, because the tax rate would have to be rediculously high on everyone to be able to afford it.

But, all I can say is, those who are finding some benefit from short term effects of the Fed’s policies had best enjoy it. There’s not going to be anything left for the next generation.

Taggart February 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Maria Sheffield is the only one who has came out in favor of a full audit, correct?

Dave Bearse February 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Point of detail. The national debt may be $15T, but the deficit is about $1T.

saltycracker February 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm

“The budget, an outline of which was released by the White House Friday night, will show a higher deficit this year than in 2011, up from $1.3 trillion to $1.33 trillion.”

John Konop February 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Between Medicare part d and 2 wars what do you expect. The solutions are fairly simple, the real issue is will we step and do the right thing. The sad part fixing Medicare part d could be done by having seniors buy drugs at the VA, which are 60 percent cheaper rather than having tax payers subsidize drug companies. As far as the military it is time to get out of the nation building business. Obviously we need to make other cuts beyond this, but the biggest out of control part of the budget is healthcare and military.

Mike Stucka February 13, 2012 at 10:40 am

Oh, irony: “Word confusion aside, does Rep. Lee Anderson not know that our federal government is running a deficit north of $15 trillion?”

Word confusion, the deficit’s somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.3 trillion. The debt is an order of magnitude larger. =)

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