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.