Senator Cruz’s Golden Opportunity

The junior senator from Texas calls for narrowing the Fed’s focus to price stability and reiterates his view that the ideal solution is a gold standard.

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
Senator Cruz on May 3, 2023, at Washington, D.C. 'It is simply insane that the Biden administration continues to allow tens of billions to flow to the Ayatollah, adding up so far to almost $100 billion in the last three years,' he tells the Sun. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Senator Cruz’s interview with the Sun Wednesday certainly puts paid to the view that monetary reform is a dead letter in the Senate. The junior senator of Texas calls for Congress to narrow the Fed’s mandate to one goal — price stability — putting an end to its mandates to use monetary policy to push full employment, and to maintain moderate long-term interest rates. He reiterates his view that the ideal solution would tie our money to gold.

Not that the senator isn’t hard-headed about this. He concedes that monetary reform is not going to happen while Democrats control the White House and even one house of Congress. “Today’s Democrats don’t want sound monetary policy,” is the way Mr. Cruz puts it to our A.R. Hoffman. “They want to print money to their hearts’ content. They’ve never met a trillion dollars they didn’t like.” 

It’s no wonder, Mr. Cruz says, that the national debt has soared to an unsustainable $32 trillion from around $20 trillion in 2017. With the borrowing limit debate unresolved, our Mount Everest of red ink is a reminder that the debt crisis is intertwined with a monetary crisis. So it’s heartening that Mr. Cruz leaves little doubt that he would play a role in the monetary reform effort as soon as the Republicans get a mandate to lead the senate.

“If you look at the Fed it continues to be more and more unaccountable,” Mr. Cruz observes. The central bank “behaves as if it answers to nobody.”  Today, he notes, especially after two years of a Democratic White House and Congress “we’re seeing the consequences of that,” including “inflation rising across the economy.” Mr. Cruz avers “we need the Fed tethered to stability, not trying to juice the economy one way or the other.”

Rather, Mr. Cruz said, “The Fed’s mandate should be monetary stability — that’s the advantage of something like a gold standard.” It is “that it focuses on keeping inflation under control and providing a stable currency for the rest of the economy to utilize.” This is not a new talking point for Mr. Cruz. In 2015, as a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, he was the first to call for restoring to our monetary system a proper place for gold.

Mr. Cruz, then as now, backs legislation to “audit the Fed,” a call that has even larger resonance today amid questions over whether the central bank is technically insolvent, as the sage James Grant has observed. Yet Mr. Cruz, in the GOP debate on the economy, saw too that the Fed should drop its efforts to artificially stimulate growth and — as he put it — “simply be focused on sound money and monetary stability, ideally tied to gold.”

If 2016 was a missed opportunity to move monetary reform to the center of the debate, despite Mr. Cruz’s efforts, 2024 is shaping up in a livelier direction. Leading GOP contenders have emerged as Fed critics. Governor DeSantis, for one, decries the Fed’s role in fueling inflation by printing “trillions and trillions of dollars.” The Fed was slow to notice the ensuing inflation, Mr. DeSantis notes, then reacted by “hiking rates very rapidly.”

Vice President Pence, like Mr. Cruz, wants the Fed to “look after the strength of our currency and let elected officials worry about full employment.” Vivek Ramaswamy, too, calls for a “stable dollar.” This is a moment to remember that monetary reform has been one of the founding issues for the Republican party — and a feature of GOP platforms since Eishenhower ran on restoring gold convertibility in 1952.  

That plank sparked a debate between those who thought America would have to stabilize its economy before it could restore a gold standard, and those who thought America would need to restore honest money before it could fix its economy. Several of the GOP platforms in recent years have called for a commission to weigh restoring a link between the dollar and specie. So it’s nice to see Mr. Cruz is prepared to play a role in the fight.


The junior senator of Texas is the correct description of Mr. Cruz. It was given incorrectly in the bulldog.

The New York Sun

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