The 112th Congress is beginning to take shape, and, well, we have good news and bad news.
Good news first: Ron Paul has been slated to chair the Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee.
The Texas congressman has been toiling away at the margins of power on Capitol Hill for years. A proponent of a gold standard and a free-marketer of the “Austrian” School, he has been a voice crying in the wilderness. One of the few people in Congress who did not treat Alan Greenspan as a divine oracle, he is now one of Ben Bernanke’s harshest critics.
Of course, after recent events and bailouts and all, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke has lots of critics.
As chair of the subcommittee that watches over the Fed, Ron Paul has finally attained a position to accomplish something. This is a major reversal in the power structure. We can’t expect miracles (Ron Paul being but one man), but do expect fireworks.
Now, the bad news.
It’s been less than a month since Republicans in the House voted on a moratorium on earmarks. And already they are, reportedly, beginning to feel queasy. Perhaps as a sign of a general turncoatish nature, the next chair of the House Appropriations Committee is set to be Rep. Hal Rogers.
Sixteen-term congressman Rogers has earned a reputation for pushing pork. His hometown has received so much federal largesse it’s called “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
Still, he says he’ll enforce the pork moratorium. We’ll see.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.