No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.
–Article I, Section 10, U.S. Constitution
Raise your hand if you knew that was in the Constitution.
State Rep. Jason Overstreet, R-Blaine, knew it. Now he’s doing something about it. He is one of three sponsors of H.B. 2731, the 2012 Gold and Silver Legal Tender Act of Washington state.
I have emailed Rep. Overstreet for some clarification and explanation. At first glance, it almost sounds as though the bill would call for state coinage of gold and silver, but I may be misinterpreting its language.
As I interpret it, the bill would not go so far as to outlaw paper money, and would uphold everyone’s right to continue to use paper money if they choose to do so. But it would also make sure that state residents who prefer gold or silver could conduct their business in bullion if they choose.
Whatcom County Treasurer Steve Oliver said he’s bewildered. Just months after state voters decided it was time for the state to get out of the liquor business, Oliver said, ”we’re seeing a proposal to create a state bank and a state gold exchange … We’re putting the state back into highly competitive businesses.”
Beyond that, Oliver is not thrilled at the prospect of having to accept gold in payment of taxes. How does he make sure the gold presented for payment is real? How does he secure it?
He also agreed that he probably won’t really have to worry about it.