A Preview of 2012?

Saturday, May 29, 2010
By Paul Martin

80% Favor Auditing the Federal Reserve


Eighty percent (80%) of Americans now agree with Congress that auditing the Federal Reserve Board is a good idea, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Just nine percent (9%) oppose an audit of the Fed, and 12% more are not sure.

This marks little change from December. But it’s up five points from last July when Congressman Ron Paul’s proposal began to gain steam in Congress.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has consistently opposed such an audit of the Fed’s monetary policies, but it’s included in the major financial regulatory legislation now being pushed through Congress. Forty-six percent (46%) of Americans oppose more government regulation of the U.S. financial system, but 37% are in favor of it. Just 27% favor giving the Fed more regulatory control over the financial system.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. Adults was conducted on May 21–22, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/–3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Investors support an audit of the Fed even more strongly than non-investors.

Republicans and adults not affiliated with either major party also favor an audit more than Democrats do, but support for auditing the Fed is high across all demographic groups.

Congressional supporters of the audit see it in part as a way to check how much the Fed’s actions are influenced by political pressure. Sixty percent (60%) of Americans believe the Fed chairman is influenced by the president in his decision-marking. Just 20% say the chairman acts independently.

Bernanke and the Fed have been key players in the Obama administration’s unpopular stimulus and bailout plans.

Americans were evenly divided over whether Bernanke should stay or go just before the Senate confirmed the president’s nomination of him to a second term as Fed chairman.

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