Audit the Fed

Sen. Sanders Remains a Backer in Auditing the Federal Reserve (UPDATE: Effort Fails)

Sanders and Paul on same side on oversight issue.

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If only he understood in other areas how government regulation feeds Wall Street's bottom line.
Credit: Phil Roeder / photo on flickr

Not a few libertarians have noticed that when they're taking quizzes to see which presidential candidates that match their positions, Sen. Rand Paul typically comes in first, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, famously a socialist, famously running for the Democratic nomination, and most certainly not a libertarian in a number of important ways.

Nevertheless, both Rand and his father Ron Paul see eye to eye with Sanders in one important battle: All three support auditing the Federal Reserve.

Today, The Hill reports, Sanders will declare he is backing Rand Paul's "Audit the Fed" legislation. The Hill notes:

Sanders, a noted big bank critic, hopes to make it back to Washingon from the campaign trail for the Tuesday afternoon vote. Most Democrats are expected to vote against the measure, which is opposed by the Fed as well as the White House.

But while Sanders is a Wall Street scold, he also has plenty of scorn for regulators, like the Fed, that he views as treating Wall Street with too light a touch.

In December, Sanders wrote in the New York Times that the Fed is in need of fundamental reform, arguing the institution had been "hijacked" by Wall Street banks.

Among the policy prescriptions Sanders put forward was a "full and independent audit" of the Fed annually.

Matt Welch just interviewed Rand Paul Monday for an explanation of why the Federal Reserve needs auditing. Read more here.

Update: Sen. Paul was only able to get 53 votes in favor of his bill, so it won't move forward. He needed 60. Sanders and Sen. Marco Rubio voted for the audit. Sen. Ted Cruz missed the vote. Only one Republican voted against it.

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  1. Sen. Bernie Sanders, famously a socialist, famously running for the Democratic nomination, and most certainly not a libertarian in a number of important ways.

    My honest guess here is Bernie has allowed himself to remain confused about who his enemies are. Many of the Democratic Socialists have realized the Fed and Big Banks are their friend, and the polices of The Fed can be manipulated in their favor. I think Bernie is (to his credit) an old-school socialist who still wears the peace symbol and “born to kill” written on his helmet. I’m guessing that if we did have a President Bernie, that’d he’d get his head screwed on straight, get on board and come in for the Big Win, and any “fed audits” would very quickly go the way of closing GitMo.

  2. In December, Sanders wrote in the New York Times that the Fed is in need of fundamental reform, arguing the institution had been “hijacked” by Wall Street banks.

    This is probably true. But, it is also probably inevitable if you’re going to have a central bank (which I doubt Sanders wants to get rid of.). The people who have a clue about finance and markets tend to go to work in the financial sector. Unless you want to staff your central bank with morons like our “Masters in development economics” from yesterday, you’re going to find that most of the people you’re hiring have connections to financial services.

    1. the institution had been “hijacked” by Wall Street banks

      Revealing his ignorance of the Fed’s history. The Fed is a “bank of banks”; it has always been run by, and for the benefit of, Big Banking. That has not changed since it was founded.

  3. Not a few libertarians have noticed that when they’re taking quizzes to see which presidential candidates that match their positions, Sen. Rand Paul typically comes in first, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, famously a socialist

    “Not I” said the trash monster. Cruz is consistently second for me, GayJay in close third, and a mishmash of other statists trailing woefully behind.

    1. May explain goings-on at Reason offices, though.

      I kid, because I love. And for all I know, I might Feel The Bern if I fill out one of them quizzes.

    2. Christ, I missed that.

      How the fuck can you claim to be committed to “Free Minds and Free Markets” when you’re willing to support someone who’s entire schtick is against the free market?

      1. Don’t look at us. I got that observation from both Facebook friends (who are Reason readers) and actual commenters here in Hit and Run.

        1. Name names.

        2. To be fair, many of those quizzes absolutely suck and have no nuance. The only one I like is isidewith.com

        3. Fair enough, Scott. I’ll have to take your word for it. Still, I don’t see how you can be a libertarian and come up supporting Sanders, unless the questions are just so insanely worded that the answers lose any meaning.

          1. Many of them are simple yes/no questions. “Do you support war with ISIS?” yes or no?

            Well, if I say no, I could be a globalist, an isolationist, an islamist, a pacifist, or a thousand other things. Without nuance, I’m getting grouped in with Bernie.

    3. Not a few libertarians Reason writers have noticed it. Apparently an old commie is preferable to mean conservative Ted Cruz.

      1. At least with the old commie, our jail cell will be well furnished and we’ll get free healthcare.

        1. jokes on them.

        2. Sure – Gay wedding cakes for everyone who can afford them after taxes.

          1. And by everyone, they mean EVERYONE!!! #feelTheBern

      2. I can see getting Sanders as better than, say, Chris Christie or John Kasich. On isidewith he’s first among Democrats for me, just a hair behind Christie, and I’m pretty Republican for a libertarian.

        Cruz? No way in hell Sanders is better, unless you’re completely ignoring economic issues as criteria and just sticking to drugs and war as your personal platform.

  4. Not a few libertarians have noticed that when they’re taking quizzes to see which presidential candidates that match their positions, Sen. Rand Paul typically comes in first, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, famously a socialist, famously running for the Democratic nomination, and most certainly not a libertarian in a number of important ways.

    What in the fuck?

    1. It’s because Sanders is good on guns and foreign intervention and the Fed, and these online quizzes have no nuance.

    2. #justcosmotarianthings

  5. Libertarian moment, amirite?

  6. Blind, Senile, Delusional Squirrel Finds Nut; Unclear What Happens Next

  7. He got one thing right, slightly right, no doubt for the wrong reasons, but he got there. Something something broken clock something something.

    1. In December, Sanders wrote in the New York Times that the Fed is in need of fundamental reform, arguing the institution had been “hijacked” by Wall Street banks.

      case in point. There was no hijacking, the Federal Reserve is a fucking banking cartel established by a secretive cabal of bankers and shitbag politicians. There is no good form of this institution that has ever existed. Bernie’s “reform” would, at best, just be a restructuring of the cartel to make the government’s seat at the table more influential. Color me not impressed.

  8. Bernia Sanders is on record as completely misunderstanding the first thing about monetary economics. His opinion on the subject is about as useful and thought-out as a chimpanzee’s reflections on G?del’s Incompleteness Theorem.

  9. Sanders also said the Federal Reserve Board of Governors should include ” representatives from all walks of life ? including labor, consumers, homeowners, urban residents, farmers and small businesses.”
    Farmers on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.

    1. urban residents

      Living in a city qualifies you to be on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve?

      1. Bernie: “Abolish the Federal Reserve? No need. All it needs is moar deevercity.”

    2. Yes, and the central economic planning board must include not only bourgeois-educated elites, but also farmers, factory workers, and child-care technicians chosen from among the proletariat. Central banking is a form of price fixing; if we’re going to have to have price fixing, I would rather it be a technocrat with a Ph.D. in statistics doing it than a Wal-Mart clerk who thinks $0.25/gallon gas is “fair.”

      As Obama has reminded us, it can always get worse. Sanders would be about as bad as it could get short of going door to door for guns or putting people in concentration camps.

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