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Rand Paul: Scrap the tax code; start over

Rand Paul

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(NaturalNews) Rand Paul understands that, as a nation, there must be a system of revenue collection so that the federal government can fulfill its constitutional duties. It's just that he thinks the current system of revenue collection -- specifically, the nation's byzantine tax code -- is not something that can be tinkered with around the edges and made to become more efficient, fair and equitable.

Rather, he thinks the thousands of pages' worth of tax code should be scrapped altogether and that Congress should start over from scratch.

"The IRS is too big, too powerful, and we absolutely should scrap the code," Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky, responded during a question-and-answer session on Facebook, when he was asked if Congress should abolish the tax collection agency.

"Look for my tax plan later this spring," he continued. Paul is a prospective candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Congress has no role in fiscal policy

Paul has also been a primary force behind an "Audit the Fed" campaign, in which he seeks congressional authority to examine the central bank's books, citing the Legislative branch's constitutional duty to set the value of the nation's currency. But as you might expect, Fed officials are opposed to any attempt at congressional oversight, complaining that it would politicize monetary policy, The Hill newspaper reported.

Indeed, the issue has already been politicized to some extent, with Senate Democrats circling their wagons in opposition to Paul's legislation.

As reported by Reuters:

Democrats on the Senate Banking committee on Wednesday voiced opposition to a bill that would expose the U.S. Federal Reserve to a full government audit.

The support from Democrats shows they are starting to form a united front against Republican-led efforts to open the Fed's internal discussions of interest rate and other policy matters to the public.

The panel's top Democrat, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, has supported Fed transparency bills in the past, but his spokesman, Meghan Dubyak, told Reuters in an email that now "he does not see how this legislation will benefit working Americans."

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a committee member, has also said he is against Paul's bill. Ironically, so is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., another banking committee member who is also being touted as a potential Democratic presidential contender, and who has come out hard in favor of more transparency for private sector banks.

"It promotes congressional meddling in the Fed's monetary policy decisions, which risks politicizing those decisions," Warren said in an emailed statement.

Even though such "congressional meddling" is called for in Article I, Sect. 8 of the Constitution, which states, in part, that Congress shall have power "To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures."

But other experts are very supportive of Paul's audit bill. They include David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan and fiscal iconoclast.

Where have politicians been, exactly, on Fed policy?

In a recent post on his blog, Stockman ripped opponents like Warren and Fed officials who are claiming over-politicization of Fed decisions by Congress, regarding recent central bank fiscal policies:

For crying out loud there is exactly zero evidence that "politicians" had anything to do with zero interest rates. And ZIRP defines the ultimate level of "ease" according to Bernanke himself, who famously described his policies as positioned at the "zero bound".

Indeed, given the very earliest expected date for "lift-off" in June, the Fed will have pinned the money market rate at zero for 80 months running. This unprecedented tsunami of "easy money", of course, happened with nary a Congressman or Senator darkening the door at the Eccles Building.

Read Stockman's entire post here.





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