Congressman Mel Watt (D-NC) is either a charlatan or ignorant of basic economics. Either way he is unfit to serve in Congress let alone serve as chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee. This week Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) announced that Watt took the knife to his bill to audit the Federal Reserve – The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 (HR 1207). According to Paul, Watt as chair of the above mentioned committee cut out “just about everything” in preparing the bill for a full committee vote.
Specifically, Watt eliminated the provisions requiring audits of the Fed’s transactions with foreign banks, its deliberations on monetary policy, the activities of the Open Market Committee, and disclosure of communications between the Federal Reserve Board and reserve banks. Essentially the bill has become a shell of its original self. Paul, of course, does intend to attempt to restore the bill to its original form during Financial Services Committee deliberations, but that is not the point. The point is why has Congressman Watt gutted a bill that has over 300 cosponsors in the House and the support of a large majority of Americans?
It could be because he is repaying the financial industry which has throughout his career in Congress contributed over $890,000 to his campaigns. That would be only fair given how much they have helped him maintain power and the privileged perks of members of Congress – great healthcare, great salary, and a great pension plan.
But, what is funny and ironic is that the industry that is second in contributions to Watt is organized labor at $873,000. Big banks and labor unions make strange bedfellows? You would think their interests are so diametrically opposed that they would not be #1 and #2 in contributions to the same member of Congress. Labor union support of Watt is also curious given that North Carolina is a Right to Work state and not nearly as unionized as the People’s Republics of Massachusetts and California. But, not to worry, Congressman Watt has traditionally taken care of unions as well. He has supported every “entitlement” program that comes down the pike to the benefit of their leadership. The list has included minimum wage, the “right” under law to collective bargaining, so-called fair employment practices, social security, socialized medicine — the list goes on and on.