Rick Perry says Fed should open its books
Rick Perry, a 2012 presidential candidate, calls for tax changes on US profits made abroad. Rick Perry also questions some of the Fed's goals and activity.
Cheryl Senter / AP
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry on Wednesday called for more transparency from the Federal Reserve to show that the U.S. central bank was not engaging in unspecified ``improper'' actions.
Under Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, the central bank has embarked on one of the most extended periods of cheap money in U.S. history in an effort to right the U.S. economy. The Fed has been criticized by many for opaque decision making on monetary policy.
``They should open their books up. They should be transparent so that the people of the United States know what they are doing,'' the Texas governor said at a packed breakfast meeting in Bedford, New Hampshire.
``It would go a long way to showing if there had been activities that had been improper,'' Perry said.
Without such action, ``there will continue to be questions about their activities and what their true goal is for the United States,'' he added.
It was a fresh attack on the Fed from Perry, who created a stir on Monday when he said he would consider it ``treasonous'' if Bernanke ``prints more money between now and the election'' in November 2012.
But Perry's tone, in comments made to a non-partisan audience of local business people, was not as harsh on Wednesday. He said he was one of a number of Republicans who have questioned the Fed's transparency.
``I got in trouble talking about the Federal Reserve yesterday. I got lectured about that,'' Perry said.
The White House denounced Perry on Tuesday for threatening remarks toward Bernanke that represented some of the most inflammatory rhetoric of the 2012 election campaign.
Perry had said Texans would treat Bernanke ``pretty ugly'' if the Fed printed more money ahead of the November 2012 presidential election.
Responding to criticism, the Fed has taken several moves to make its actions more open. Bernanke has held press conferences for the first time, and the Fed publishes minutes of its policy setting deliberations soon after they take place.
The Fed holds significant amounts of debt, and has amassed close to $3 trillion in U.S. debt to add liquidity to the financial system. The central bank releases a general breakdown of those holdings that details the type of security and its maturity.
Most of Perry's 11-minute prepared remarks were focused on criticism of President Barack Obama and a comparison between the struggling national economy and the state of Texas.
Lower taxes, legal reform and less regulation have been the cornerstones of Texas' success, said Perry, adding that if elected he would be an ``unapologetic'' pro-business president.
``We followed this recipe to produce the strongest economy in the country. It's time to do the same thing in our Federal government. These simple principles will work as well in Washington, D.C., as they do in the state of Texas.''
As part of a push to add jobs, Perry suggested that corporations holding money offshore should be allowed to bring back their funds at a lower tax rate.
``Have them brought back at substantially less than 35 percent. If it's going for job creation -- like, zero. To get this economy working again.''