Ron Paul's Platform Victory on the Federal Reserve and A (Sort of) Gold Commission

The GOP platform is out, so it's official now: The Republican Party wants to audit the Federal Reserve and consider new ways to "set a fixed value for the dollar."

Because the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy actions affect both inflation and economic activity, those actions should be transparent. Moreover, the Fed’s important role as a lender of last resort should also be carried out in a more transparent manner. A free society demands that the sun shine on all elements of government. Therefore, the Republican Party will work to advance substantive legislation that brings transparency and accountability to the Federal Reserve, the Federal Open Market Committee, and the Fed’s dealings with foreign central banks. The first step to increasing transparency and accountability is through an annual audit of the Federal Reserve’s activities. Such an audit would need to be carefully implemented so that the Federal Reserve remains insulated from political pressures and so its decisions are based on sound economic principles and sound money rather than on political pressures for easy money and loose credit.

Determined to crush the double-digit inflation that was part of the Carter Administration’s economic legacy, President Reagan, shortly after his inauguration, established a commission to consider the feasibility of a metallic basis for U.S. currency. The commission advised against such a move. Now, three decades later, as we face the task of cleaning up the wreckage of the current Administration’s policies, we propose a similar commission to investigate possible ways to set a fixed value for the dollar.

This may, it turns out, be the only semi-victory this year for Paulite values in the GOP, though the Internet freedom plank the Paul people also talked about as a goal is in the GOP platform as well, though whether it says all a libertarian might want to say about Internet freedom is unclear to me as I write. Excerpts:

We will resist any effort to shift control away from the successful multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations. We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach and that individuals retain the right to control the use of their data by third parties; the only way to safeguard or improve these systems is through the private sector....

The current Administration has been frozen in the past. It has conducted no auction of spectrum, has offered no incentives for investment, and, through the FCC’s net neutrality rule, is trying to micromanage telecom as if it were a railroad network...

We call for an inventory of federal agency spectrum to determine the surplus that could be auctioned for the taxpayers’ benefit...

UPDATE: Former Reason intern Nick Sibilla points out to me that the "Internet freedom" talk is undermined by another part of the platform:

Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support the prohibition of gambling over the Internet and call for reversal of the Justice Department’s decision distorting the formerly accepted meaning of the Wire Act that could open the door to Internet betting. The Internet must be made safe for children....Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Libertarian||

    Did anyone have the stomach to listen to Hannity today? In his discussion with Santorum, it sounded as if they were talking about the GOP rule changes and for the longest time, they tried doing it without using the dreaded name "Ron Paul." I was distracted (driving in a thunderstorm) so maybe I misheard. It was pathetic the way they talked around RP.

  • ||

    The amusing part is Santorum tried to wedge out Romney with various alliances during the primaries. The whole scheme is not to help Romney (he has already won) but to help other presidential candidates in 2016 and 2020.

    Romney is an idiot for letting the establishment block Ron Paul with rule changes. Doing this only hurts him.

    Now all those Ron Paul supporters are going to walk out of the GOP.

    If Romney loses this will be why.

  • Hyperion||

    If Romney loses this will be why

    I've been saying this for months now. The GOP is fucked without Libertarians. But the are apparently just stupid.

    Ron Paul fears that if we don't work within the GOP and split off from it that it will fraction the GOP(and he's right) rendering them weaker. But I mean, we're doing our best, there comes a time when you have to say fuck it and let the split happen. Then we will have 3 major parties instead of 2. That might work out to the benefit of the Dems at first, but their ability to totally fuck shit up will probably wind up splitting them into factions also.

    It's going to get very interesting over the next 8-12 years in American politics. In terms of pure entertainment, it's probably a good time to be watching. In terms of what is going to happen to our country, it's probably better to be watching at home, in another country.

  • ||

    You are forgetting two important things:

    Goldwater lead to Reagan

    And (which really should be looked at more closely)

    Nader lead to Obama.

    Anyway vote for Johnson this time around. The Republicans need to see as big of pie as possible that they are missing out on.

    Hell lets even put it out there for the Dems to try to chomp at.

  • wareagle||

    I stopped listening to Hannity when he 1) kept insisting that Ricky from PA was a conservative and 2) when he and the rest of The Catholic Channel cohort was at its anti-Mormon worst.

    If Romney's not Sean's guy, then just say so. But spare me the bullshit about wanting a true conservative and glomming onto the loser's row of Bachmann, Gingrich, Perry, and Ricky. A bit less condescension toward Paul would have been nice since the '10 turn of the House was due to folks much more like Ron than any other GOPer.

  • SKR||

    I thought the official HandR position was that Santorum was to be referred to as Frothy not Ricky.

  • Hyperion||

    His name is sweater vest. Do we really have to endure another GOP primary in 4 years that will include both sweater vest and Nukular titties Grimgrinch. The horror.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Libetarian,

    It was pathetic the way they talked around RP.

    Good thing you did not listed to Joe Pags this morning and yesterday. It was as if Paul had suddenly grown long hair and donned a flowery shirt and bell-bottom jeans. It was really pathetic and offensive to the mind.

  • ||

    Why on earth would you ever listen to that fucking retarded ape Hannity? He couldn't be a bigger TEAM RED dirtbag if he tried. He's the Ed Schultz of TEAM RED.

  • Hyperion||

    There's not many moments over the last few years that I have been more totally pissed off as when Rand Paul endorsed Romney sitting beside that grinning asshole. It took me weeks to get over that. The only time that trumped it was that $$%@@### Bastard SOB #$#*!!! Roberts, fucking bastard... I can't think of any words bad enough to describe him, and I still am not over that debacle.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Ron Paul got his Fed transparency in the so-called "audit the Fed" portion of the Dodd-Frank Act.

    And he still doesn't know what the word "audit" means.

  • ||

    The ECB is more transparent about their activities then the FED.

    Shouldn't the US central bank be more transparent rather then less transparent then the socialists?

  • Palin's Buttplug||


    I just provided a link that provided all the so-called "secret" loans from the 2008 bush financial crisis.

    What could the Fed be more transparent about? Their audited financial statements are public as well as their emergency loans.

    "Audit" to Paultards means a return to the gold standard.

  • ||

    For one the FED does even report transaction of their discount window.

    The ECB gives full quarterly and weekly reports on all their activities.

    Hell just type ECB into google...they post all their reports on the web.

    You can't find anything near as comprehensive and transparent for the FED.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

    And he still doesn't know what the word "audit" means.

    You're right: He does not understand (and neither anybody else in the universe) what your mind believes "audit" means.

  • ||

    through an annual audit of the Federal Reserve’s activities.

    This is weak sauce.

    How about the FED reports all of its activities/transactions of the day at the end of the day?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    They do, in summary form.

    If a bank needs an emergency loan that report is delayed so short sellers cannot sabotage the equity of the bank.

  • ||

    OK give me a link to all of the FED's discount window activities for the past week.

    You can't because it does not exist.

  • ||

    so short sellers cannot sabotage the equity of the bank.

    Why on earth would keeping information from the open market be a good idea?

    "Oh so your bank is hurting because you suck at running a bank. Here is some free money and we will hide the fact that your bank sucks so you can keep being terrible at your job. Can't let more skilled competitors take away your business now can we"


  • Palin's Buttplug||

    "Free money"? Don't be ignorant.

    They are loans backed by Treasuries. WaMu got neither in 2008.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

    They are loans backed by Treasuries.

    A fact that gives a frightening perspective on the meaning of the word "fiat currency."

    "Bonds, Scarlett. War bonds."

  • ||

    They are loans backed by Treasuries.

    What are the interest rates on those "loans"?

    What interest do banks make when they turn right around and purchase Federal bonds?

    Nice try Shrike. Getting a free loan then using the money to get interest from the government is free money.

    Hell they don't even have to buy loans...they can just keep it in their bank and FED will pay them interest.

    No wonder Banks are not giving out any loans to the private sector.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Bullshit. The Fed pays 1/4 of one per cent in IOR to banks.


    On $1.6 billion on reserve.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    $1.6 TRILLION rather.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The New York Fed paper showed that, since 2008, the funds that U.S. banks held on deposit at the Fed have spiked from near zero to some $1.6 trillion, the vast majority of which are excess reserves.

    The spike had the effect of increasing the Fed's total liabilities while, over the same period, the Fed's large-scale asset purchases boosted its assets. Together this increased the overall money supply in the economy, or "monetary base."

    Because lowering the IOER would not change the quantity of assets held by the Fed, the economists concluded, "it must not change the total size of the monetary base either."

  • ||

    It's official: One Mitt to Rule Them All

  • OldMexican||

    President Reagan[...]established a commission to consider the feasibility of a metallic basis for U.S. currency. The commission advised against such a move. Now, three decades later [...] we propose a similar commission to investigate possible ways to set a fixed value for the dollar.

    A commission that will promptly emulate the previous one and advise against it. Then the Republirats will have their excuse to throw their arms into the air and say "well, we tried!"

    Never mind that commissions have no delegated power to impose anything and never mind that the Constitution itself clearly states that only gold and silver are to be used as currency.

  • Virginian||

    People, how many times do I have to explain this?

    It's over 100 years old. OK? More then 100 years old. Very old. Like, over a hundred years old. talking to a wall here.

  • Suki||

    We were on the gold standard in 1929. Seems like the fed is the bigger problem.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties