Entries in Ron Paul (4)


House Passes Ron Paul's Bill to Audit Federal Reserve

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives today passed a bill to require a full audit of the Federal Reserve by the end of the year, examining its monetary policy decisions over the Fed’s management of trillions of taxpayer dollars.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the author of the bill, called the vote “a good first step” and urged the Senate to follow the House’s lead.

“It has been a long, hard fight, but Congress finally is getting serious about exercising its oversight responsibility over the Federal Reserve,” Paul, R-Texas, said after the vote. “Auditing the Fed is a common sense issue supported by the overwhelming majority of the American people.  The Fed’s trillions of dollars worth of asset purchases and its ongoing support of foreign central banks cannot be allowed to continue without Congressional oversight.”

The vote passed 327-98, successfully achieving a two-thirds majority. Eighty-nine Democrats, nearly half of the caucus, voted with nearly all Republicans in support of the measure. One Republican, Rep. Mike Turner of New York, voted with 97 Democrats in opposition.

“The Federal Reserve lent out $16 trillion dollars during the financial crisis—that is larger than the entire U.S. economy, or worse, our staggering federal debt. Congress holds the purse, but is currently prohibited from looking into where all this money went,” Kansas Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a co-sponsor of the bill, wrote in a statement. “It’s our responsibility to understand how the Fed manages these funds, particularly when it comes to monetary policy. Monetary policy affects every single American through inflation and changes in interest rates, both of which can have a direct impact on economic growth and unemployment.”

While some Democrats warned that the legislation could politicize decisions at the non-partisan Federal Reserve, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, called the vote a “milestone for those of us who have worked for years to demand transparency and accountability.” He urged the Democrat-controlled Senate to quickly pass the bill, although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated he does not intend to bring the bill to the Senate floor for consideration.

“Despite mismanagement and secrecy which has benefited the world’s largest banks at the expense of the people, today the House of Representatives finally called for a thorough accounting of the Fed,” Kucinich said. “As more and more Americans learn about the Fed’s shadowy actions, the Senate will find it impossible to stand in the way of the demands of the American people. Transparency and accountability are coming to the Federal Reserve. After today’s vote, it’s only a matter of time.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul Spars With Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Ron Paul, one of four remaining GOP candidates seeking the nomination for president, returned to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to attend a hearing with one of his chief rivals – the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke.

Paul, a passionate critic of the Fed who has made its demise a cornerstone of his campaign, was recognized by the chairman of the committee, Rep. Spencer Bachus, as Bernanke’s “thorn in your flesh.”

“I guess over the last 30 or 40 years I have criticized the Fed on occasion,” Paul, R-Texas, admitted as he began his opening remarks. “But the Congress deserves some criticism too. The Federal Reserve is a creature of the Congress.”

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The 12-term Republican said that the financial crisis is a sign of the “end stages of a grand experiment” on currency that derives its value from government regulation or law. Instead, Paul once again made the case for returning to the gold and silver standard.

“They’ve been debating currencies for hundreds if not thousands of years and they always end badly, they always return to market-based money, which is commodity money – gold and silver,” Paul said. “People keep arguing from the other side of this argument that [the Fed] is working, it’s doing well, and yet from my viewpoint and the viewpoint of the free market economists, all it is doing is building a bigger and bigger bubble.”

Paul said that the Federal Reserve has “a responsibility to protect the value of the dollar,” but without a consensus on the “definition of a dollar,” the dollar’s value cannot be sustained.

“Every single day it buys less the next day. To me it’s sort of like…a builder had a yardstick that changed its value every single day. I mean, just think of the kind of building we would have,” he wondered. “We have a debt-based system. The more debt we have, and the more debt the Federal Reserve buys, the more currency they can print, and they monetize this debt. And no wonder we’re in a debt crisis.”

Paul predicted that eventually the market will vindicate his position.

“I am betting that the market is smarter, commodity money is smarter,” he told Bernanke. “Nobody is smart enough to have central economic planning.”

Bernanke was invited to testify at the House Financial Services committee hearing Wednesday to discuss the Federal Reserve’s semiannual monetary policy report, which he presented to Congress.

The Tea Party favorite and Fed chairman enjoyed a lengthy exchange about inflation, which Paul said is aggravated by the Fed when it increases the money supply.

When it came time for questions, Paul asked Bernanke whether the chairman does his own grocery shopping.

“Yes I do,” Bernanke answered.

“Ok, so you’re aware of the prices, but you know this argument that the prices are going up about 2 percent, nobody believes it,” Paul continued. “People on fixed incomes – they’re really hurting, the middle class is really hurting because their inflation rate is very much higher than the government tries to tell them and that’s why they lose trust in government.”

Paul compared the purchasing power of a silver ounce from when Bernanke first took over as chairman of the Fed in 2006 to what it could buy today. “I have a silver ounce here, and this ounce of silver back in 2006 would buy over 4 gallons of gasoline. Today it’ll buy almost 11 gallons of gasoline,” he said. “That’s preservation of value and that’s what the market has always said should be money. Money comes into effect in a natural way, not in a edict, not by fiat, by governments declaring it is money.”

“The record of what you’ve done in the last six years is destroy the value of real money,” he added.

“First of all, good to see you again, Congressman Paul,” Bernanke said, drawing laughter from members of Congress as he was finally able to get a word in. “Nobody prevents you from holding silver or gold if you want to. It’s perfectly legal to do that….and it’s also perfectly fine to hold other currencies – Euros or Yen, or whatever else, so in that respect you can do that.”

Paul wasn’t buying what Bernanke was selling.

“But Mr. Chairman, that’s not money. When you pay taxes to buy a coin or you have a capital gains tax. If you have to settle a lawsuit it’s always settled in depreciating Federal Reserve notes,” Paul countered. “People could vote on it. Maybe they’ll give up on the Federal Reserve note and vote for real money.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Presidential Candidates' Homes Range from Modest to Many

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Though they are all vying to live in the White House, the GOP presidential contenders all have charming and sometimes lavish homes to tide them over.  Even the current commander-in-chief still has a multi-million dollar Georgian revival mansion in Illinois -- just in case.

From a Washington, D.C., townhouse to a tony mini-mansion, here are the houses that the seven rivals currently call home.  That is, until or if one of them starts having mail forwarded to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Newt Gingrich -- McLean, Va.
Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and U.S. Congressman from Georgia, purchased his home in McLean, Va., for $995,000 in 2000.  It has 5,206 square feet and features a master bathroom with a marble floor and a chandelier.

Jon Huntsman -- Washington, D.C.
If Jon Huntsman's home looks familiar, it's because it was where the contestants of Bravo's Top Chef resided during Season 7.  The former Utah governor and ambassador to China owns a five-bedroom townhouse in Washington, D.C.  The house was sold for $3.6 million in June 2010, according to public records.

Ron Paul -- Lake Jackson, Texas
Texas Rep. Ron Paul's four-bedroom ranch house in Lake Jackson has been on the market since April 2011.  The Pauls have moved to a nearby home.  His site,, says the home has "four bedrooms, five bathrooms and is approximately 5,500 square feet in size."  The asking price is $325,000 while the median list price of homes in Lake Jackson is $139,800, according to Zillow.  The house has an in-ground swimming pool, two lofts and an office.

Rick Perry -- Austin, Texas
While waiting for renovations to the governor's mansion to be completed, Perry reportedly moved to a home in a gated community in Austin.  The house features five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, three dining rooms and a guest house.  The New York Times said the home, which has a balcony, is worth nearly $2 million and sits on three acres.  On, the home on Hickory Creek Drive is said to have 5,780 square feet.

Mitt Romney -- Wolfeboro, N.H.
The former Massachusetts governor and wealthiest GOP candidate owns the most real estate, including a property on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.  According to The New York Times, he recently sold his homes in Belmont, Mass. and Park City, Utah, but maintains another in La Jolla, Calif., for which he bought in 2008 for $12 million, Zillow reported.

Rick Santorum -- Great Falls, Va.
Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, lives in a Great Falls, Va., house that reportedly cost $2 million in 2007.

President Barack Obama -- Chicago, Ill.
President Obama reportedly paid $1.65 million for his home on the South Side of Chicago in June 2005, Zillow reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Hampshire Primary: Who's the Richest Candidate of Them All?

Nick M Do/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, there are no poor people among the front-runners.

According to financial disclosures filed by the candidates, and to analyses of those filings by watchdog groups and news organizations, none of the six Republicans is worth much less than $2 million.  Some, including Romney and Huntsman, have a great deal more money.

As for the front-running Democrat on the ballot -- President Obama -- he, too, isn't anywhere near the so-called "99 percent": An analysis of the President's financial filings by assigns him a net worth of $2.8 million to $11.8 million. Forbes puts it at $10 million, with the potential for his earning "a lot more after office."

See the net worth of the candidates below:

1. Mitt Romney, Former Governor of Massachusetts

Romney's Aug. 12 financial disclosures for the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) show him to have a net worth of between $190 and $250 million, making him by far the richest of the Republicans still standing.  Successful in his own right as a venture capitalist, he didn't exactly pull himself up by his bootstraps: His father was president of General Motors.

2. Jon Huntsman, Former Ambassador to China, Former Governor of Utah
Huntsman's OGE filing for Aug. 30 shows a net worth somewhere between $16 million and $105 million.  Forbes estimates it as $50 million.  The candidate stands to become significantly richer when his father dies: The elder Huntsman, founder of global chemical manufacturer Huntsman Corp, has a net worth estimated by Forbes at over $900 million.

3. Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House

Gingrich's prime money-making years began in 1999, after his resignation from Congress.  He started a profitable consulting practice, The Gingrich Group, which reportedly earned in excess of $1.6 million from contracts with mortgage giant Freddie Mac.  As a lecturer, he earned fees of up to $50,000 per talk.  His net worth, according to his Office of Government Ethics filing for July 14, is at least $6.7 million.

4. Rick Perry, Governor of Texas
Perry's net worth -- approximately $3 million -- includes a one-third interest in a ranch in Haskell, Texas, according to his Dec. 15 OGE filing.  Some of his wealth has come from lucrative deals with friends and supporters.

5. Ron Paul, Congressman from Texas
Watchdog group puts Paul's wealth at between $1.9 million and $5.2 million, making the diminutive doctor the 87th richest member of the House of Representatives.

6. Rick Santorum, Former Pennsylvania Senator
The former senator has a net worth of up to $2 million according to his Aug. 2 filing with the Office of Government Ethics.  He earned some of it working as a commentator for News Corp's Fox News, which paid him just under $240,000 in 2010 and the first six months of 2011.  He earned more than $330,000 as a consultant to Consul Energy in Pennsylvania and to two lobbying firms in Washington, D.C.

7. Barack Obama, President of the United States
The first couple's joint tax return shows income last year of $1.73 million, down from $5.5 million the year before, with much of it coming from sales of two of the president's books, Dreams From my Father and The Audacity of Hope. Citing financial records, Forbes pins President Obama's worth at $10 million. Like every former president, Obama has the potential for his earning a fortune in book deals and speaking engagement when he leave office -- whenever that may be.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio