Idiocracy in Action

Great news: The Federal Reserve will retain its right to operate in secrecy.


“Thank God for Rule 16!”

Late yesterday, the Senate majority put the kibosh on a last-hour provision in the 2010 spending bill that would audit the Fed. Not because it’s a bad idea… but because of the arcane Rule 16, which prohibits policy legislation from being added to spending bills. (The kind of “rule” that’s only evoked when the majority gets uncomfortable.)

“The Federal Reserve will create and disburse trillions of dollars in response to our current financial crisis,” said Sen. Jim DeMint, who spearheaded the failed audit addition. “Americans across the nation, regardless of their opinion on the bailout, want to know where the money has gone.” Under his proposed plan, the Government Accountability Office would take a look into the Fed’s discount window lending, various funding “facilities,” bank bailouts and agreements with foreign players. 

Shame on Mr. DeMint for such an outrageous request. Down-to-the-wire appropriations should be reserved for truly exigent causes… like protecting the makers of wooden arrows designed for use by children.   Why bother wasting the time of the GAO with a simple audit of the most unaccountable monetary body in the world? 

You can watch Mr. DeMint get what’s coming to him here.   Ron Paul’s bill — that other shameful attempt to audit the Fed — now has 249 co-sponsors in the House. Wonder what brand of parliamentary fine print Barney Frank or Nancy Pelosi might summon to quash that one.