Topics in the News: Federal Reserve

Paul Ryan on Budget & Economy : Dec 15, 2013
When Fed "tapers", interest rates rise & hurts us fiscally

Q: In February, you said, "if we keep kicking the can down the road and we don't face up to these great fiscal challenges we have, we have a debt-fueled economic crisis ahead of us. And if we don't address them now, then it gets ugly like Greece." Here we sit in December. That hasn't happened.

RYAN: I'm worried because the Federal Reserve is going to start tapering, we call it. They're going to start going back to normalizing their policy. Interest rates have a tendency to rise under those kinds of situations. And that makes our fiscal situation even worse. There are two ways of tackling this fiscal problem. One, grow the economy, get people back to work, and solid through economic growth. Two, do this kind of comprehensive entitlement reform that we've been long advocating.

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2013 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rick Perry on Budget & Economy : Dec 10, 2011
The federal reserve is at the root of a lot of our problems

PERRY: Congressman Paul got me really intrigued with the whole federal reserve. Paul got me most interested in a subject that is at the root of a lot of the problems that we have.

PAUL: I have learned that you should never give up on your opposition. Because if you're persistent, and you present your case, they will come your way. So Rick, I appreciate it. You're open to the federal reserve. That's wonderful. But I work from the assumption that freedom brings people together.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa

Newt Gingrich on Budget & Economy : Dec 10, 2011
Don't bail out Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae; break them up

Rep. PAUL: [to Gingrich]: He received a lot of money from Freddie Mac. While he was earning a lot of money from Freddie Mac, I was fighting over a decade to try to explain to people where the housing bubble was coming from. So Freddie Mac is bailed out by the tax payers. So in a way, Newt, I think you probably got some of our tax payer's money.

GINGRICH: First, the housing bubble came from the Federal Reserve inflating the money supply. Second, I was never a spokesman for any agency, I never did any lobbying for any agency. I offered strategic advice. I was in the private sector. You're allowed to charge money for it. It's called free enterprise. I'm not for bailing them out, in fact, I'm for breaking them up.

Q: Rep. Bachmann, you called Speaker Gingrich a "poster boy of crony capitalism."

BACHMANN: Well, when you're taking over $100 million, and you're taking money to influence the outcome of legislation in Washington, that's the epitome of the consummate insider.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa

Jon Huntsman on Free Trade : Oct 11, 2011
China will say our QE1 and QE2 were currency manipulation

Q: Gov. Romney says, "I will label China as it is, a currency manipulator, and I will go after them for stealing our intellectual property, and they will recognize that if they cheat, there is a price to pay." You say that this would risk a trade war. But if China is indeed keeping its currency low, that means that everything they sell in this country is artificially cheap & everything that our companies try to sell in China is artificially expensive. What do you say when people ask, aren't we already in a trade war with China?

HUNTSMAN: I don't subscribe to the Mitt Romney school of international trade. I don't want to find ourselves in a trade war. With respect to China, if you start slapping penalties on them based on countervailing duties, you're going to get the same thing in return because what they're going to say, because of quantitative easing part one and part two, you're doing a similar thing to your currency. And then you're going to find yourself in a trade war very, very quickly.

Click for Jon Huntsman on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP debate at Dartmouth College, NH

Joe Biden on Budget & Economy : Sep 20, 2011
As banks become profitable, start fundamental reforms

Obama began to double back, wondering what his team thought of [Federal Reserve chair] Volcker's idea. Biden, who was an old friend of Volcker's, stepped in during a White House meeting and said that the banks were strong enough to take some medicine now, even if it wasn't fundamental change. They were making money again, gambling with depositors' funds and with implicit, or explicit, support of the taxpayer. It wasn't right. Obama nodded. Joe had said it, straight and true.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind, p.349-350

Rick Perry on Budget & Economy : Sep 12, 2011
Using the Federal Reserve for political purposes is treason

Q: [to Bachmann]: Gov. Perry has suggested that Ben Bernanke, the head of the Federal Reserve, potentially should be tried for treason for what he's doing. Do you agree?

BACHMANN: As president, I would not be reappointing Ben Bernanke. With the $700 billion bailout, the Federal Reserve was making loans to private American businesses. And not only that, they're making loans to foreign governments.

Q: Do you agree with Gov. Perry that Ben Bernanke is engaged in treason?

BACHMANN: Well, that's for Gov. Perry to make that decision. My opinion is, I would not reappoint Ben Bernanke.

Q: You stand by those remarks, Governor?

PERRY: I said that, if you are allowing the Federal Reserve to be used for political purposes, that it would be almost treasonous. I think that is a very clear statement of fact. I am not a fan of the current chairman allowing that Federal Reserve to be used to cover up bad fiscal policy by this administration. And that, I will suggest to you, is what we have seen.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL

Mitt Romney on Budget & Economy : Sep 12, 2011
Better that The Fed manages currency than Congress

BACHMANN: [to Romney] The Federal Reserve has a lot to answer for. That's why it's important that they're not only audited, but they have got be shrunk back down.

ROMNEY: The Federal Reserve has a responsibility to preserve the value of our currency, to have a strong American currency, such that investors and people who are thinking about bringing enterprises to this country have confidence in the future of America and in our currency. People will not invest in this country and create jobs in this country for the American people if they don't have belief in our currency. Of course we should see what the Fed is doing. There should be some oversight to make sure that it's acting properly. But at the same time, we recognize that we need to have a Fed Why do I say that? Because if we don't have a Fed, who's going to run the currency? Congress? I'm not in favor of that. I'd rather have an agency that is being overseen rather than have the United States Congress try and manage our currency.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL

Rick Santorum on Jobs : Sep 12, 2011
Focus the Fed on sound money, rather than job creation

Q: What is your position on the Federal Reserve?

A: What we should do with the Fed is to make it a single charter instead of a dual charter. I think the second charter that was instituted that had it be responsible for increasing employment and dealing with that leads to a fundamental distrust among the American people that they are taking their eye off the ball, which is sound money. They should be a sound money Federal Reserve. That should be their single charter, and that is it.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL

Newt Gingrich on Budget & Economy : Sep 7, 2011
The Fed's secrecy & power are antithetical to a free society

Q: The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, will come to the end of his term in 2014. Would you reappoint Ben Bernanke?

GINGRICH: I would fire him tomorrow.

Q: Why?

GINGRICH: I think he's been the most inflationary, dangerous, and power-centered chairman of the Fed in the history of the Fed. I think the Fed should be audited. I think the amount of money that he has shifted around in secret, with no responsibility, no accountability, no transparency, is absolutely antithetical to a free society. And I think his policies have deepened the depression, lengthened the problems, increased the cost of gasoline, and been a disaster.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library

Mitt Romney on Budget & Economy : Sep 7, 2011
QE2 didn't work; focus on jobs & higher growth

Q: Would Ben Bernanke have a job in your administration?

ROMNEY: No, I'd be looking for somebody new. I think Ben Bernanke has over-inflated the amount of currency that he's created. QE2 did not work. It did not get Americans back to work. It did not get the economy going again. We're still seeing declining numbers in prior quarter estimates as to what the growth would be. We're growing now at 1% to 1.5%. The plan I put forward will grow our economy at 4% per year for four years and add 11.5 million jobs. That's a very different approach than Ben Bernanke's taken, and it's a demonstrably different approach than Barack Obama has taken, and that's in part because we have very different life experiences.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library

Gary Johnson on Budget & Economy : Aug 21, 2011
We could have avoided default without raising debt ceiling

Q: You've said that you would not have raised the debt ceiling and that it would have still been possible to avoid default. How?

A: We would have still brought in $200 billion a month. How we make payments [determines] whether we default on any bills. But obviously going forward, we have to put the brakes on spending. I just argue that it will never be easier than now. In the bond market, if no one was buying our debt, that would mean the Federal Reserve printing money as opposed to individuals or countries loaning us money; that's the bond market collapsing--so when that happens, that is a whole lot of money and it has to result in inflation. Russia is the most recent example. As frightening as that scenario is, that's what going to happen. But we can fix this--there's going to be a lot of hardship and pain, but that's better than killing the patient and, the way we're going, we're going to kill the patient in a monetary collapse. But I am an optimist because I think it can be fixed.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Interview by Scott Holleran on blog

Gary Johnson on Budget & Economy : Aug 21, 2011
Ending the fed OK, but that's only part of the solution

Q: Is it your position that we should audit, not end, the Federal Reserve--that ending the Fed may be desirable but not immediately realistic?

A: I think ending the Federal Reserve would be positive but if we end the Fed it's important to point out that that's not the end of the solution. A lot of the central banking function would have to be taken up by regional banks.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Interview by Scott Holleran on blog

Newt Gingrich on Budget & Economy : Aug 11, 2011
It's a scandal that the Federal Reserve is secret

Q: You say the unemployment problem has been made worse by the policies of the Federal Reserve. You call for auditing the Fed and stripping it of its banking powers. But Rep. Paul thinks the Fed needs to be abolished to create lasting prosperity. Why is the Fed worth saving?

A: Well, I think that having some kind of central bank is an important part of how you deal with monetary policy in the modern world. But having Chairman Bernanke deal with hundreds of billions of dollars, some estimates as much as $16 trillion in secret is profoundly against a free society. The feds should be totally audited. It should be out in public. Their decision documents from 2007, 2008, & 2009 should be public. We should know who they bailed out and why they bailed them out. And who they didn't bail out. And I think that it is a scandal that the Federal Reserve is secret. And I think, frankly, their monetary policy since the late 90s has been a major factor in the economic pain we're now going through.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa

Rick Perry on Jobs : Jun 14, 2011
FactCheck: Texas job growth is strong, but pre-dated Perry

Perry says Texas accounted for 48% of jobs created after recession's end, in an interview with Glenn Beck.

We recognize that job-gain boasts can overreach. An example: Perry's 2009 claim that about 70% of the jobs created in the US from November 2007-08 were in Texas. That was based on statistics from the 14 states in which job gains outnumbered job losses, and disregarded any jobs created in the other 36 states.

Perry got his new figures from the Dallas Federal Reserve, who subtracted the number of Texas jobs in June 2009 (10,287,000) from the jobs as of April 2011 (10,524,000) and determining the 237,000 increase accounted for 48% of the 496,000 jobs gained nationally over that period.

However, the Texas economy has been roaring since 1990, long before Perry became governor, including phenomenal job growth.

The strength of the Texas economy, compared to many other states, isn't in dispute. However, there are many ways to slice and dice employment statistics. Mark Perry's statement Half True.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: FactCheck on 2011 Presidential primary by

Gary Johnson on Free Trade : May 2, 2011
Eliminate needless barriers to free trade

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Presidential campaign website,, "Issues"

Bernie Sanders on Government Reform : Sep 29, 2010
Introduced Federal Reserve Transparency Act with Ron Paul

When Fed Chair Ben Bernanke refuses to give us information about the trillions of dollars of credit that he recently passed out in the bailout process because that would be "counterproductive," he is really saying, "It's none of your business."

He may well be protected by the law, but he is in defiance of the Constitution. The courts, under today's circumstances, will never rule that the Federal Reserve Bank chairman must reveal the information that the Congress or the people seek.

One thing I have noticed in studying the issue is that the more power the Fed has gained, the greater the secrecy they demand. Transparency is currently a hot issue in Congress because the people have awoken and have sent a message. This is not a conservative or liberal issue; it's not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is pervasive, across the political spectrum.

I introduced a Federal Reserve audit bill the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, HR 1207, which Bernie Sanders introduced in the Senate.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: End the Fed, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.174-175

Sarah Palin on Foreign Policy : Jan 11, 2010
2008: Learned about two Koreas, and Saddam did not plan 9/11

In Sept. 2008, Palin prepped for her first network interview with ABC News's Charlie Gibson. The campaign advisers found that, although she'd made some progress with her studies, her grasp of rudimentary facts and concepts was minimal. Palin couldn't explain why South and North Korea were separate nations. She didn't know what the Fed did. Asked who attacked American on 9/11, she suggested several times that it was Saddam Hussein. Asked to identify the enemy that her son would be fighting in Iraq, she drew a blank. (Palin's horrified advisers provided her with scripted replies, which she memorized.)

But after cramming furiously, Palin managed to emerge intact from the Gibson interview--stumbling only over whether she agreed with the "Bush doctrine" ("In what respect, Charlie?") and in discussion why the proximity of Alaska to Russia afforded her insight into its behavior on the world stage. ("They're our next door next door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska").

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p.397

Barack Obama on Budget & Economy : Sep 16, 2009
Some wealth of the last economic boom was illusory

The Fed has one power that is unique to it alone: it enables the creation of money out of thin air. We are talking about an awesome power. It is the power to weave illusions that appear real as long as they last. That is the very core of the Fed's power.

As Pres. Obama said of the economic boom that went bust: "I think it's important to understand that some of that wealth was illusory in the first place."

Exactly. But let's also understand the source of the illusion and what to do about it. Of course not everyone is instinctively against this illusion-weaving power, and many even welcome it. They just want to get back to the times when "everything was good" even though it was all just a mirage--a creation of the appearance of wealth by the Fed.

Tragically, the innocent who understand little about the complexity of the monetary system suffer the most, while those who are in the know reap great profit whether the market is going up or down.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: End the Fed, by Rep. Ron Paul, p. 2-3

Newt Gingrich on Tax Reform : Sep 1, 2007
Eliminate the capital gains tax to encourage investing

We must eliminate the capital gains tax to encourage investing. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified that the most economical rate for taxing capital gains is zero because tax-free capital gains will encourage much greater risk-taking and lead to more entrepreneurial behavior. This leads to more prosperity, a bigger economy, and better jobs.
Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Gingrich Communications website,, “Issues”

Joe Biden on Budget & Economy : Aug 19, 2007
More transparency for hedge funds and private equity funds

Q: The Fed lowered the discount rate for banks to address the mortgage crisis. Should they lower rates for everyone else?

A: The answer is yes. But we need more transparency, particularly with regard to hedge funds and private equity funds. They are the ones that are causing this thing to go under. And there’s no transparency, no accountability. We don’t know how deep this problem is. I think it’s almost as deep in terms of dollars, not liability, as the savings and loan crisis.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week”

  • Additional quotations related to Federal Reserve issues can be found under Budget & Economy.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Budget & Economy.
Candidates on Budget & Economy:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
Secy.John Kerry
Secy.Chuck Hagel

 Related issues:
Bailout & Stimulus
Campaign Finance
Death Tax
Flat Tax
Supreme Court
Tort Reform

2016 Presidential contenders:
Amb.John Bolton(R-MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(R-FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(T-MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(R-NJ)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Ted Cruz(T-TX)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(D-NY)
CEO Carly Fiorina(R-CA)
Rep.Peter King(R-NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(I-VT)
Gov.Brian Schweitzer(D-MT)
Gov.Scott Walker(R-WI)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(D-MA)
Sen.James Webb(D-VA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
2012 Presidential:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(T-MN)
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(R-UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Sarah Palin(R-AK)
Gov.Deval Patrick(D-MA)
Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(R-OH)
Gov.Mitt Romney(R-MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Donald Trump(I-NY)
Please consider volunteering for OnTheIssues!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Jan 23, 2015