In retirement, Ron Paul keeps heat on Bernanke

by Peter Schroeder, The Hill  |  published on March 2, 2013

ron paul

Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) may have retired from Congress, but that isn’t stopping him from airing grievances about the Federal Reserve.

On Wednesday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke appeared before the House Financial Services Committee to deliver regular testimony. Paul previously used such events to harangue Bernanke on Fed policy, and in his retirement sought to do the next best thing. Minutes after the hearing began, Paul sent out a statement blasting Bernanke, detailing exactly how he would have grilled the policymaker if he were still in public office.

“While I certainly don’t miss Congress, where politicians are constantly trying to limit Americans’ freedom, during my time there I always enjoyed the opportunity to question the Federal Reserve Chairman about the damage the Fed’s policies do to the American economy,” he said. “Today, unfortunately for the American people, Chairman Bernanke presented more failed policies that will only worsen our economic crisis at the expense of the vulnerable, while enriching entrenched allies and politicians.”

Paul said if he were still in Congress, he would have asked why the Fed is continuing its extremely accommodative policy even as unemployment remains high. He also would have liked to ask Bernanke why central banks are buying gold after Bernanke dismissed Paul’s call for gold to serve as an alternative to paper currency.

Paul built a fervently loyal base that propelled him to several dark horse presidential campaigns largely on his intense criticism of the Fed. The author of “End the Fed” would regularly lecture Bernanke on the perceived woes of his monetary policy. The Fed chairman largely humored his remarks, and politely disagreed with them.

Paul also used his latest statement to heartily endorse one of his pet legislative projects, mandating a top-to-bottom audit of the Fed, which is being sponsored in the current Congress by his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

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