It has been said, with much truth, that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The U.S. Senate is set to prove that once again today, when it votes on HR 4173, the Dodd-Frank Financial "Reform" bill.
It is clear that in the time leading up to our financial and housing crises, the Federal Reserve grossly mishandling interest rates. Also, the Treasury Department sat still for too long, then launched a massive boondoggle of taxpayer-funded bailouts and government takeover of private businesses.
It is also without question that much of the activity of the Fed during this time period, including trillions of dollars in spending and loan guarantees, are still unknown and that the Fed Chairman refuses to tell the Senate about his activities.
Because of these facts, any reform of the financial markets must start with a full audit of the Federal Reserve, something that does not exist in this bill.
For this reason alone, Rand Paul would oppose the bill.
But it doesn't end there. Not only is there no transparency for the Fed, the Fed's power is actually expanded in this bill, with the creation of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will be under the Fed's control.
Why in the name of reform would Congress give more power to an unelected, thus-far unaccountable Federal Reserve?
Finally, this bill would increase regulation on community banks, potentially causing harm to small businesses and farmers. These are not the banks that had problems in the past, and do not need the burden of increased federal regulations.
Rand Paul would vote NO on this bill. But like on so many other issues, Jack Conway remains silent.