Tea Partiers support audit of Federal Reserve

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Though Republican Rep. Ron Paul told The Daily Caller last week that he was worried that “some people have slipped into the Tea Party who are awfully close to being part of the establishment,” on at least one particular anti-establishment issue close to the Texas congressman’s heart — auditing the Federal Reserve — Tea Party leaders told The DC that they are all for it.

Paul introduced legislation in early 2009 pushing for more accountability at the Fed, but it hasn’t yet garnered enough support to get through Congress. Nonetheless, FreedomWorks and other Tea Party groups nationwide say they support the effort.

FreedomWorks vice president of public policy Max Pappas said the PAC has signed onto Paul’s “Audit the Fed” movement as a way to hold the institution accountable.

“A call for an audit of the Fed has been pretty popular,” Pappas told TheDC in a phone interview.

Pappas said news media continually want to label the entire Tea Party movement as a proponent of or a proponent against a particular recommendation, like auditing the Fed, instead of trying to understand the movement is bonded together on core values.

“What brings together the Tea Party movement is general agreement over free markets, fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government,” Pappas said. “It [the Tea Party movement] is not a think-tank that produces white papers saying, ‘here’s what needs to be done at X agency or Y agency.’”

Tea Party Patriots, the least “politically active” of the major Tea Party groups nationwide because it’s more aimed at organizing local chapters and promoting Tea Party values, hasn’t come out with any specific goals regarding the Fed. But Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Mark Meckler told TheDC that most Tea Partiers favor an audit of the Fed and all are in favor of shrinking the institution’s size.

“We believe in fiscal responsibility, and at a minimum that requires transparency of all government and quasi-government institutions,” Meckler said in an e-mail to TheDC. “Obviously that does not exist at the Federal Reserve at this time. I think it would be fair to say that most tea partiers across the nation believe that at a minimum, the FR [Federal Reserve] should be subjected to a thorough and well disclosed audit of its actions.”

FreedomWorks President and CEO Matt Kibbe told TheDC he thinks transparency and accountability should be top priorities for the Fed.

“We have to do that because there’s a lot of mysterious liabilities on the books of the Fed that we’re all held accountable for,” Kibbe said in a phone interview. “I think it’s much like Fannie and Freddie: there’s a ticking time bomb there that needs to be discussed in a transparent way.”