Contacting your congressperson to ask them to cosponsor legislation you believe in does work. Oh I know, we're always told that members of Congress care about the views of the folks back home. But, being a libertarian, I am usually on the other side of every political decision that is made. I mean, I haven’t voted for a presidential winner or even the runner up in that contest since 1988. It is lonely in the political wilderness.
That is why this week was special. HR. 1207: Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 would “amend title 31, United States Code, to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited by the Comptroller General of the United States.” In other words, the legislation would force the Fed for the first time in its 95-year history to come clean and submit to an audit similar to the ones carried out against other private banks.
You see, in the last month I have sent two letters to my congressman Heath Shuler D-NC 11th District, asking him to cosponsor this legislation. Just this past Tuesday, I received a response from my representative that was somewhat ambivalent to say the least. The congressman indicated he was a little uneasy with the legislation because “…it is critical that the Board of Governors (of the Fed) not be politicized. This institution is meant to be a part of the government, but it must remain independent of short-term political pressures.” Feeling a bit down because I had once again been rejected politically, I decided that this week’s blog would blast the two- term congressman for his shortsightedness and for turning his back on taxpayers. However, much to my astonishment, on Friday I found out the congressman had committed to HR 1207, becoming its 222nd cosponsor! At last, a brief reprieve from the political wilderness.
In fact, things are looking up a little for we libertarians. It's about time – we are the political descendants of the Enlightenment thinkers and American Founding Fathers who helped usher in the modern world, with its respect for economic and personal freedoms. HR 1207 currently has 224 cosponsors and the numbers are surging (34 new ones since Tuesday)! That is more than a majority of House members. It is by far the most serious threat that the economic oligarchs at the unconstitutional Federal Reserve have ever encountered.
Economic oligarchs? Yes, that is what the Fed is. It is no less a cabal of economic central planners than the old Soviet Politburo, and just as effective. In 1913, Congress gave away its control of our money to the Fed through the Federal Reserve Act. The Central Bank has dictated monetary policy without congressional oversight ever since. Under current law, the elected 535 members of Congress have no authority whatsoever over the 12 unelected members of the Federal Open Market Committee and their decisions on interest rates, buying and selling of government debt, and the printing of new money. Congress cannot force Fed chairman Bernanke to give an accounting of where the $11 trillion of new money and credit have gone since the beginning of this recession. Every act of the Fed is carried out with almost perfect secrecy and impunity.
But again, things are finally, and rightly, moving against the Fed. Perhaps the last straw for Congressman Shuler and the other 33 cosponsors of HR 1207 since Tuesday was the testimony of Bank of America’s CEO Ken Lewis that Bernanke threatened and bullied him into finalizing BoA’s takeover of Merrill Lynch. The threats to his and the Board’s jobs from Bernanke and Paulson were inappropriate and probably illegal. If this is what it takes finally to get a long-overdue report of the Fed’s secret activities, activities which affect every American deeply, then so be it.
As the Fed controls the very lifeblood of our economy, every American should get involved in this issue. Technology has made this very easy. Contact your congressperson at Roll Call – Congress.org and either thank them for cosponsoring HR 1207, or request they do so. The fight for passage of this indispensable legislation has just begun. This commentator is under no illusions about the battle which will be waged to oppose it. But, one thing is certain: contacting members of Congress is an effective way for citizens to support good legislation – even for lonely libertarians.