Yes, that’s Senator Harry Reid advocating a full audit of the Federal Reserve back in 1995. This is the same Harry Reid who recently said he will not even bring Ron Paul’s Federal Reserve Transparency Act to a vote in the senate, despite the fact that it coasted through the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. How Reid goes from saying this in 1995: “I have sponsored legislation every year that would call for an audit of the Federal Reserve system. I offer that amendment every year, every year it gets nowhere,” to acting like even debating the merits of a Fed audit is beneath the dignity of the senate, is beyond comprehension.
Granted, that was 17 years ago, but the Federal Reserve hasn’t changed much. In fact, it’s clearer now than it was then that the Fed is an all-powerful force in the American and global economies, capable of facilitating widespread financial destruction. It would be one thing to oppose an audit of the Federal Reserve in 1995, only to change course now in the wake of the housing market crash fueled in part by the Fed’s easy money policies. But to go from wanting an audit in the 1990s, to not wanting one after the housing crash, the bailouts, the multiple rounds of quantitative easing, the zero interest rate policies, and the $16 trillion in low-interest loans to major financial institutions, is a flip-flop of galactic proportions.
Of course, back in 1995, Reid was not the Senate Majority Leader as he is now. Today, he is a loyal lieutenant in the Democratic Party and of Barack Obama, who oppose opening the Fed’s books. This is not to say the Republicans have been any better. Indeed, the fact that there has never been a full-blown audit of the Federal Reserve since its inception in 1913, shows a total lack of interest in holding the nation’s central bank to account. With the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, Congress delegated immense authority to the Fed to conduct the very economic operations granted to Congress under the expressed powers of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
While it’s too much at this point to ask that Congress reclaim that authority for itself, it is more than reasonable to request that the senate take up the issue. Even if it doesn't pass, at least we will be able to see which senators are on the side of greater transparency, and which are on the side of helping maintain the staus quo that led us into economic disaster.