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.