Surely I’m dreaming. This is beyond fantasy. It’s got to be a hallucination. I don’t know whether to weep, shout hallelujah or just pass out in disbelief.
But there it is in the official record: ninety-six to zero. That was the shocking vote in the U.S. Senate on May 11 to subject the secretive, imperious, all-powerful Federal Reserve System to a tiny ray of democratic sunlight. This had never happened before. Weak-kneed leaders of both parties have been more frightened of the Fed than the Cowardly Lion was of the Wizard of Oz. The Fed, a convoluted and anti-democratic fabrication that allows private banks to wield government authority over our nation’s financial system, has long asserted that it must work its wonders with complete independence from the people’s will and should never have its actions scrutinized by common Congress critters.
But that was before the recent Wall Street collapse caused our current economic catastrophe. As this crisis unfolded, the Fed’s coziness with the powerhouse banks it’s supposed to regulate was exposed, and Fed officials were caught funneling some $2 trillion in public funds to Wall Street. Worse, they refused to tell the public or Congress how much was given to whom or what was done with our money!
The giveaway reeked of such deep institutional corruption that even the Senate gagged. Under the shrewd legislative guidance of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the members have now voted unanimously to open the Fed’s books to a public audit of its backdoor bailout. This is only a start, since the audit is likely to reveal a whole nest of nastiness. At long last we may be headed toward democratic reform of this plutocratic system.
Find more information on Jim Hightower’s work–and subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown–at www.jimhightower.com