Tag: gold standard
Via email, State Rep. Jason Overstreet has provided some additional information on the Gold and Silver Legal Tender Act that he is sponsoring in this session of the State Legislature.
Here is Overstreet’s email:
“The Gold and Silver Legal Tender Act was proposed to give citizens of the state of Washington access, if they so choose, to sound money in accordance with the U.S. Constitution’s Article I, Section 10. Section I of the Act states that “The legislature intends to provide a choice…and does not intend to compel a person to tender or accept gold or silver.” Section 5 also states that “The use of gold and silver is strictly voluntary…”.
“The Act recognizes Federal, domestic and foreign specie gold and silver coin, the fair market value of which is to be established using “the common standard of the dollar as provided for in the U.S. Constitution.” The Coinage Act of 1792 defined the dollar as 371.25 grains (troy) for fine silver. “The state treasurer must post daily the value of fine silver and the proration to gold per the average closing prices…”.
“To speak to your question: “Does the Act propose that the state mint its own gold and silver coins?” The Act does not propose that the state would mint its own gold and silver coins, rather that it “…provide its citizens with gold and silver coins as an alternative currency.” An amendment has been prepared to clarify that the Act would “allow its citizens to use” gold and silver coins.
“Most people know intuitively that their purchasing power is diminishing, but don’t know why. With our fiat paper Federal Reserve note currency, every time the Federal Reserve prints another note, the value of existing notes is debased, ultimately driving prices higher and higher. Past Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan understood well the implications and reasoning behind leaving the gold standard, writing an amazing primer on why governments choose to leave the gold standard. The work is titled: “Gold and Economic Prosperity”.
“George Washington said it best: ‘Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.’”
End Overstreet email.
Apparently the law is being amended to change that language about “providing” citizens with coins. I’m still not 100 percent clear on that, and I’ve asked Overstreet for further clarification if possible.
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.