Fed Should Open their Books Instead of Asking Illinoisians to Open their Wallets

Springfield, IL - Fresh off reports of a recent proposal by three economists of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago recommending a 1% property tax levy on the actual value of all Illinois homes to pay for state pensions, I am introducing House Resolution 1091 (HR1091) calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve System.

Enough is enough! Despite having some of the highest property taxes in the nation, the Chicago Fed has the audacity to recommend a massive property tax hike to pay for Illinois’ unsustainable pensions on the backs of middle class taxpayers who are already taxed enough.

I am calling on my colleagues to co-sponsor HR1091 in support of U. S. Congressional H.R. 24, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2017.

Currently the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is prohibited by law from auditing four areas of the Federal Reserve:

•    Transactions for or with a foreign central bank, government of a foreign country, or no private international financing organization;
•    Deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters, including discount window operations, reserves of member banks, securities credit, interest on deposits, and open market operations;
•    Transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee; or
•    A part of a discussion or communication among or between members of the Board and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve System.

The “Audit the Fed” bill would remove these four exemptions and is supported by nearly 75 percent of the American people.

The economic trio of the Chicago Fed offer three options as their only solution—increase sales taxes, income taxes or property taxes.  How about three of my own: restructure government spending; amend the Illinois Constitution to end the pension protection scheme; or have government employees contribute more to their retirement–no economics degree required.

It is beyond ironic that as a part of the Federal Reserve—a major contributor to the circumstances that caused the Great Recession by keeping interest rates too low for too long, along with crushing those on fixed incomes and savers with Zero Interest Rate Policy for a decade--the Chicago Fed looks to Illinois homeowners to once again bail out reckless government spending. Time to Audit the Fed!

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