by Nick Bouterie
From the Times-Picayune:
In an unusual alliance, conservative Sen. David Vitter is teaming with self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders to block a vote on Ben Bernanke’s nomination for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Vitter, R-La., and Sanders, who is officially listed as an independent from Vermont, are joined by Sens. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., and Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in the move against Bernanke. All have said they won’t lift their holds until Senate leaders agree to establish congressional audits of the powerful monetary agency.
In opposing the Bernanke nomination, Vitter faulted Bernanke’s policies in trying to rescue troubled financial companies.
“Over the past year or so, the Fed has doled out several trillion dollars to any number of troubled institutions through a series of programs that were supposed to turn our economy around,” Vitter said. “These programs have worsened our economic crisis by making ‘too big to fail’ a permanent government policy and created further debt that will now be the burden of our children and grandchildren.”
At the very least, Vitter said, the Senate shouldn’t vote on Bernanke, who was first appointed by President George W. Bush, until a process is established for audits of the agency.
Senator Vitter, along with the other three Senators mentioned above, “gets it” on this issue, and they are standing up for U.S. taxpayers. Ben Bernake was one of the accomplices in the recent financial crisis by helping promote policies of “Too Big to Fail” and legislation that led to the vote-buying and blackmail that took place to pass the $700 billion financial bailout in 2008, now known as TARP.
Sen. Vitter has his own faults, but he was one of the few members of Congress and one of the few Republican legislators to stand up to his own party and colleagues and vote against the TARP boondoggle. It also appears he is going to be one of the few to demand accountability from Ben Bernanke and the policies he promoted since the Bush Administration.
Nick Bouterie is a resident of Acadia Parish