It is appropriate, as this Register editorial does, to take note of the fact that Ron Paul's bill to audit the Federal Reserve system, which he has introduced since the 1980s, finally got House approval this week. I have often thought that when the founders contemplated the Congress they were establishing that they hoped for a Congress full of people like Ron Paul --devoted to the Constitution and thinking first and foremost of making sure the government abides by its strictures. Instead, we have Congress with one Ron Paul and a few others with something 9of a passing knowledge of the Constitution. Ah, well.
Of course it would be nice if this were a serious preparatory step toward abolishing the Fed instead of something of a symbolic gesture fueled mostly by uncomprehending populist anger at a powerful and mysterious institution. But I'm afraid Jefferson was right when he said the natural order of things is for government to grow and liberty to retreat. We get a little pushback now and then -- this vote, a growing sense of unease with Obama and his kneejerk efforts to expand government in every sphere of life -- and sometimes a little advance for liberty. But even hanging on to the oiberty we have, I'm afraid, is the work of a lifetime.