is here! Searching for leadership, congressional Republicans have
finally turned to Ron Paul. Well, to chair
the House subcommittee on domestic monetary policy, at least.
But that does put Congress’s leading critic of the Federal Reserve
in charge of the panel that oversees the central bank.
beware. The 12-term libertarian-leaning congressman from Texas has
written a book-length manifesto – titled simply End
the Fed – calling for the Federal Reserve’s abolition.
He will likely call leading Austrian economists affiliated with
the Ludwig von Mises Institute to
Capitol Hill to testify alongside staid mainstream economists. Fortune
magazine recently asked, "Will the Fed be able to survive
Paul laboured in obscurity. He ended his first stint in Congress
with an unsuccessful run for US Senate in 1984 (he
lost to eventual Senator Phil Gramm in the Republican primary).
Before returning to the House 13 years later, in order to join the
stalled government-shrinking "Republican Revolution",
Paul was the Libertarian party’s presidential nominee in 1988.
But it was
Paul’s first Republican presidential campaign in 2008 that really
put him on the map. Debating alongside John McCain, Rudy Giuliani
and Mitt Romney, Paul stood out as a voice for peace and civil liberties.
Unlike all the other Republicans on stage, he opposed the Iraq war
and the Patriot Act. A strict constitutionalist, he was also more
consistent than the rest of them in his rejection of debts, deficits
and runaway government spending.
on war and peace remain deeply controversial within the Republican
party. When Paul defended Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, for
instance, the conservative
blog RedState denounced him as "al-Qaida’s favourite member
of Congress". But when it comes to economics and the requirement
that federal legislation be explicitly based on the Constitution,
Paul’s philosophy is starting to resonate.
leaders resisted pressure from the banking industry to block him
from his new subcommittee chairmanship. Every GOP member of Congress,
and a not insignificant number of Democrats, co-sponsor his bill
to audit the Fed. His son Rand was elected to the Senate from Kentucky
in November. According
to a Paul profile in the New York Times, “others are
beginning to credit him with some wisdom — or at least acknowledging
his passionate following.”