Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Credit Where Credit is Due

To those of you still residing in Louisiana, I believe Kudos are in order for LA Senator David Vitter. His personal failings notwithstanding, he did the right thing Tuesday when he introduced an amendment to the finance reform bill that mirrored Ron Paul's bill to audit the Federal Reserve System. It's not often I can say "did the right thing" and "senator" in the same sentence, so when it happens, I feel we should publicize it.

Paul's bill failed obviously because he doesn't "play the game" as it were. Any idea coming from his camp must be nuts of course. Likewise, Vitter's amendment failed, but a watered-down version did pass that would audit just the emergency lending the Fed did since December 2008. Its obviously better than nothing, but we deserve better.

Let me take a moment to dismiss notions that I'm simply a Paul parrot or a conspiracy theorist. I like Paul, but I don't line up with him 100%. I'm not sold on the notion the Fed should be abolished entirely or other big issues for Paul like total free-trade. Likewise, I'm not pro-Fed audits because I subscribe to some massive bankers-controlling-the-world conspiracy notion either. But what I do know is a tons (literally) of our money gets funneled through this institution and no one is allowed to see its books. Obama loved to talk about "transparency" and "accountability" in government during his campaign, so where are those buzzwords now? Nowhere to be found. We expect the Fed and Wall Street to be the main opponents of this legislation, but it's abhorent the White House is an equally vocal critic. This is one of the clearest instances yet Mr. Obama does not practice what he preaches, and I'm afraid it shows where his true priorities are. Forget the socialist label, between this issue and his healthcare bill, he's far more of a corporatist than a socialist.

At my job, every task I do ends up somewhere on the audit log that Coke eventually sees. We're doling out their money on a daily basis and we're therefore responsible for providing the information about where it went, when, how much, and to whom. Likewise, the American Public is the Fed's client, and we should be screaming to know what the hell it's doing, not sitting back idly while the wall of federal secrecy is drawn deeper and deeper.

So I urge you send an e-mail or give a call to Mr. Vitter's office letting him know that you appreciate his bold stand for us. If we don't make our appreciation known when they do something right, they'll be less likely to do it next time. (Needless to say Landrieu voted against it, but both TX senators voted for it.)

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