The Texas congressman is well known for his opposition to the Federal Reserve. Now, he's been appointed head of the House subcommittee that oversees the central bank. Does he see this as his chance to try to abolish the Fed and put us back on the gold standard?
Texas congressman Ron Paul has long been a fierce critic of the Federal Reserve. In fact, last year he published a book called End the Fed, calling for an end to the central bank and a return to the gold standard.
Now, Paul has been appointed head of the House subcommittee on domestic monetary policy, which, among other things, oversees the Federal Reserve.
So, does Paul see this as his chance to try to end the Fed? "In a partial sense, but not directly," he tells NPR's Guy Raz. "What I'm really asking for is competition, to get rid of the monopoly power of the Fed, because they don't have legitimate power to do what they do."
A Return To Gold?
Paul says he wants to abolish the current legal tender laws and allow Americans to use gold and silver as currency.
"What I want to do is legalize gold and silver, which is the proper monetary system," the only one permitted by the Constitution, Paul says. That would turn up the heat on the Fed, which helps control the value of paper money.
Most mainstream economists discount the possibility of a return to gold, but Paul says it's the only way to bring inflation under control.
"You can't have inflation without somebody artificially creating money and credit out of thin air." He blames the Fed for creating inflation by adding too much paper money to the economy.
Audit The Fed
Paul has long wanted to subject the Fed to more stringent congressional oversight, and he says that's not going to change when he takes the reins.
"The main thing I will do will be to continue the effort to at least get transparency at the Fed, to audit the Fed, to know what they've been doing," he says. "There's nothing that says a secret body should have the right to create money at will and pass it out."
Paul adds that he may not have to do anything himself to bring the Fed down. "I believe that the Fed will eventually end itself, because they're working on a monetary system that is not viable."
Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.