Newsweek offers this startling headline: “Paul, Sanders Join Forces Against Federal Reserve.”
Given Sanders’s surge in the polls as a serious rival to Hillary Clinton, it is very notable that the presidential campaigns’ criticism of the Fed now has turned bipartisan. Newsweek:
Senators Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul are on opposing sides in the presidential race, but the two candidates lined up together Tuesday on a bill to open the Federal Reserve to more scrutiny.
The controversial proposal to “audit the Fed,” as the Paul bill was called, didn’t get the votes to move forward in the Senate. But it showcased a marquee issue that both candidates are emphasizing as they pitch themselves to primary voters.
Newsweek‘s Emily Cadai really nails this issue more perceptively than have any other reporters on the presidential campaign beat:
Sanders’s beef with the Fed has more to do with how its “loose money” policies have benefitted the wealthy, part of a larger critique of rising inequality in the country. The Vermont Independent made a name for himself in the House in the 1990s with his aggressive critique of longtime Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. Their verbal sparring matches at hearings over the years is something the Sanders campaign now points to with pride as evidence of his commitment to the issue.
Senator Paul claimed the mantle for auditing the Fed when his dad retired from the House in 2012. And he’s garnered support from a growing number of Republicans, including fellow 2016 candidates Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who both co-sponsored the bill. But most Democrats, the White House and the Federal Reserve itself, have been fierce opponents.
Paul and Sanders didn’t win their fight against the Fed on Capitol Hill. But they do now have a chance to take their argument to voters, which was the likely aim all along.
Taking the argument to the voters is exactly right.
Sanders’s prominent emergence, both on this issue and as the potential Democratic nominee, is a very big deal. Sanders’s recognition that “loose money” privileges the wealthy and hurts workers is spot on (although plummeting commodities’ prices strongly indicate the pendulum has swung too far the other way now, also hurting workers. What we need is a “Goldilocks Standard,” not too tight, not too loose, just right, which is right where the gold standard would put us.)
APP has been at the fore at pushing the issue of monetary policy into the public conversation and the presidential debate. High integrity monetary policy is crucial to restoring a climate of equitable prosperity to America and the world.
Empirical data shows, as recognized by Sen. Cruz — and just perhaps, according to a chance comment made on WMUR last year, by Donald Trump — that the gold standard would do just that.
Sens. Paul and Sanders deserve high praise for their high profile leadership on the money issue. “Good” — rather than loose (or tight) — money is an issue which any candidate can ride all the way to the White House. Sen. Cruz, so far the sole unequivocal proponent of the gold standard, has demonstrated its political power. Time for the rest of the field to catch up.
The Fed, finally, as it deserves to be, has become a marquee issue. Presidential candidates: Pour it on!
Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics.