Is that really the case? Hardly. It's more like Misesians in the Shire lately. I was going to tabulate it all out, but instead I'm just going to invite people to poke through the subcommittee's hearings while Ron Paul has been at the helm. There are basically three groups of people that are asked to testify during these hearings (and usually any given hearing is exclusively composed of one of these groups):
1. Fed officials or other government employees the subcommittee has oversight over
2. Private industry - often people like gold dealers or others involved directly with monetary affairs, and
3. Academic economists
Under Paul's chairmanship, all of the academic hearings have been dominated by Austrian economists. It's hard to think of a single prominent Austrian monetary thinker friendly to the Auburn crowd that hasn't been invited to testify (guys like Steve Horwitz haven't, but that's largely because of Paul's relationship with the Auburn group, I imagine).
Congressional discussions of monetary policy are very, very friendly to the Austrian school.
What's more, these hearings seem to be a lot more lop-sided than the hearings of prior committees. Take a look at the members of the first (academic) hearing for the 111th Congress and the first for the 112th:
- Dr. Frederic Mishkin, Alfred Lerner Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
- Dr. Laurence Meyer, Vice Chairman, Macroeconomic Advisers
- Dr. James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/ Business Relations and Professor of Government, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas
- Dr. Richard Berner, Chief Economist, Morgan Stanley
- Dr. John B. Taylor, Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics, Stanford University
- Dr. Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University
- Dr. Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Professor of Economics, Sellinger School of Business, Loyola University, Baltimore
- Dr. Richard Vedder, Professor of Economics, Ohio University
- Dr. Josh Bivens, Economic Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.
Compare this to Mishkin, Meyer, Galbraith, Taylor, and Meltzer. They are internationally known monetary economists. They are authors of definitive textbooks with eponymous rules. I don't know Berner, but he's a chief economist at a major bank so that's obviously a valuable perspective.
If you keep working through the 112th Congress hearings for this subcommittee you see all the usual suspects.
If you're a Keynesian or a Monetarist you need international renown and decades of seminal publications to testify on monetary policy before Congress. If you're an Austrian you don't even need to be a freaking monetary economist - you just need Ron Paul in charge. And yet we're often told that it's Keynesians who have the ear of politicians and it's Keynesians that get the special treatment.
It's nonsense, and looking at these hearing rosters is really sad. It would certainly give an uninformed public a skewed view of what economists really think, and I'm concerned it could give an uninformed Congressman the same impression.