It is being reported that Rand Paul, a senator from Kentucky, is threatening to put a hold on the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next Federal Reserve chair. Paul wants a vote on his Fed transparency bill that would include a provision to audit the Fed.
In order for Paul to be successful in putting a hold on Yellen's nomination, he would need 40 other senators to join him. For this reason, I fully expect Yellen to be confirmed. The only success Rand Paul will see from this is a bit of publicity.
As with many things Rand Paul does, this is a mixed bag for libertarians. Unfortunately, his stand isn't really out of principle. As with so many things Rand Paul does, it seems to be for political leverage. While I think he is the best of the 100 senators (not saying much), he is also not much like his father.
If Rand Paul thinks that Janet Yellen will be a bad Fed chair, then he should oppose her nomination on those grounds. What is his point of holding up her nomination so that he can get a vote on his bill? It is not as if Yellen is specifically known as being against a Fed audit. Of course, she is against an audit of the Fed, but so is Bernanke and almost everyone else in the American establishment. The only reason some politicians have supported a Fed audit is because it was politically popular and because they knew it had no chance of getting passed.
I am glad that Rand Paul is not letting Yellen go through without an ounce of opposition, but I don't think he should tie it to his Fed transparency bill. He should oppose Yellen because she is a hyper-Keynesian who wants to further destroy our economy by having the government spend more and the Fed create more digital money.
Of course, if Ron Paul were in his son's shoes, he would certainly oppose and vote against Yellen as Fed chair. But Ron Paul would also point out that it probably doesn't make much of a difference because it will just be another status quo candidate either way. He would point out that the whole institution of the Fed is our problem, not just the person in charge of it.
At least Rand Paul's little stunt here will make things mildly interesting. I suppose we can be optimistic in that it is one more thing we can use to point fingers at the Fed and all of the damage it is doing to the economy.