Montana GOP Rep.: "Pay Me In Gold Before Dollars Have No Value"

Tyler Durden's picture


Jerry O'Neil, six-term GOP state representative in Montana, has asked to receive his salary (which at $10.33 per hour is around $1800 per month) in gold or silver. The long-standing legislator was driven to this decision by his constituents' concerns about the nation's massive debt-load and fears of our country's collapse as "only so many dollars can be printed before they have no value." The long-time Ron Paul supporter, according to Time, cited Article 1, Section 10 of the US Constitution, which says, in part, that "No State shall... make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts." State administrators have denied his request and added that "a bill could be introduced to accomplish this result." O'Neil, like many other, believes "The Keynesian era of financing government with debt appears to be close to its demise."


From O'Neil's Letter (via HuffPo):

It is very likely the bottom will fall out from under the U.S. dollar. Only so many dollars can be printed before they have no value. The Keynesian era of financing government with debt appears to be close to its demise.


If and when that happens, how can we in the Montana Legislature protect our constituents? -- The only answer I can come up with is to honor my oath to the U.S. Constitution and request that your debt to me be paid in gold and silver coins that will still have value when the U.S. dollar is reduced to junk status. I therefore request my legislative pay to be in gold and silver coins that are unadulterated with base metals.


Via Time:

A GOP state representative in Montana who asked to receive his salary in gold and silver coins has been rebuffed by the state’s Office of Legislative Services. Rep. Jerry O’Neil, who hails from the small town of Columbia Falls in the northwest corner of the state, sent a letter earlier this month requesting that his salary from here on in be paid in coins.


Given the state of the U.S. economy and the massive national debt, O’Neil reportedly worried that America’s paper currency could be on the brink of collapse. “Only so many dollars can be printed before they have no value,” he explained to the local Daily Inter Lake newspaper. According to USA Today, O’Neil is a longtime supporter of Ron Paul, the former Texas congressman and perennial presidential candidate who advocates a return to the gold standard.


However, it was O’Neil’s constituents who led him to consider requesting his salary in coins.  O’Neil has never before raised the subject of how he should be paid during his six terms as state representative for Montana’s Flathead Valley. “My constituents, when I went door to door, one of the things they were interested in was the $17 trillion national debt,” he explained to the Huffington Post. “Some of my constituents said we would not have this problem if we had currency backed by gold.”


Making his case to the Daily Inter Lake, O’Neil cited Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constution, which says, in part, that “No State shall… make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”


“How can we in the Montana Legislature protect our constituents?” O’Neil asked in his letter to the Office of Legislative Services.




Montana state legislators are paid $10.33 per hour while the legislature is in session; O’Neil estimated his salary to be about $1,800 a month, close to the market value of one 2012 American Eagle One Ounce Gold Proof Coin, according to Politico.


Sheryl Olson, the deputy director of the Montana Department of Administration, told the Huffington Post that state employees are paid either by a state warrant of payment (basically, a check) or via direct deposit. To her knowledge, O’Neil is the only government worker to have requested payment in gold coin, she said.


Montana legislative attorney Jaret Coles responded to O’Neil’s letter last week, informing him that neither the U.S. Constitution nor Montana state law requires an agency to pay its debts with gold and silver, according to the Flathead Beacon. Coles explained in his letter that if a member of the legislature wishes to be paid in gold or silver “a bill could be introduced to accomplish this result,” reports Politico.


O’Neil has decided not to follow through on this advice and is looking into other options.

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Sun, 11/25/2012 - 01:32 | 3009412 knukles
knukles's picture

In a hairy bull scrotum like a real man.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 22:53 | 3009285 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Keiser Report 371 has a guest on that says silver is about to triple with the Chinese population coming into the market. I agree. The banksters can only manipulate the market for so long and once they lose control via paper manipulation up up and away for Gold and Silver. JP Morgan and Blythe Masters about to run into trouble with their naked shorts.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 23:16 | 3009316 The Duke of New...
The Duke of New York A No.1's picture

Pay him in German Tungsten from the vaults of the New York FED.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 23:27 | 3009324 q99x2
q99x2's picture

In 14th century England gold was thought to be a stimulant.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 00:27 | 3009370 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

I get stimulated when I see a stack of it.

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 23:32 | 3009332 praxis
praxis's picture

Montana legislative attorney Jaret Coles responded to O’Neil’s letter last week, informing him that neither the U.S. Constitution nor Montana state law requires an agency to pay its debts with gold and silver, according to the Flathead Beacon.


I like how he quotes the part of the Constitution where it states all debts will be paid in gold and silver and then this attorney makes a statement that completely contradicts it.  I guess since she said so that must make it so.

By the way you should check out Ben Bernanke's face book page and friend him.  He's been very frank about his feelings towards the economy and the Austrian School of economics


Sun, 11/25/2012 - 01:44 | 3009419 knukles
knukles's picture


Now that is seriously fucking funny

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 23:33 | 3009333 Money Squid
Money Squid's picture

Gold? What an idiots. He should demand Bitcoins.

Bitcoin bitchez

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 15:17 | 3010050 unununium
unununium's picture

Foolish junkers.

They must have missed ZH's coverage of bitcoin now on the radar of central banks.  And Wordpress is now the first major merchant to embrace the open source currency as the first way to pay electronically without trusting any third party, including any bank or government (although Wordpress has chosen to use third party Bitpay, it did not have to do this).

Very foolish junkers.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 00:07 | 3009355 IrritableBowels
IrritableBowels's picture

It'd be great to see some ZH turnout concerning this issue and that of state secession/rights on the Billings Gazette website.  People in this part of the country are fearful of being labeled a 'radical' (in light of semi-recent militia headliners) and, being from a rural area, are also easily entranced by the MSM.  Bad combination.  We are a pretty logical bunch though, and if there were a helping hand concerning the values we deep down know is true but are led astray from the 'majority', it would be at the least a positive effect.


Call to arms. Bitchez

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 00:38 | 3009373 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Amazing that "permission" is needed to do what the Constitution already requires.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 00:42 | 3009378 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Austria wants it's gold back:

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 01:45 | 3009420 geotrader
geotrader's picture

No one is stopping him from buying gold and/or silver coins with his fiat.  

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 19:31 | 3010395 bilejones
bilejones's picture

You are missing the point.


He wants to be paid in pre 1967 legal tender.  His salary would increase by a factor of what, 100?

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 02:24 | 3009440 2642370630
2642370630's picture

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Sun, 11/25/2012 - 02:25 | 3009442 2642370630
2642370630's picture

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Sun, 11/25/2012 - 04:41 | 3009485 Supernova Born
Supernova Born's picture

Gold will remain dramatically undervalued in fiat OR gold will be banned.

Only war/genocide can force the correction of the unsustainable imbalances in the world economy.

In retrospect, manipulating gold will have been as useful as the pilot of a hopelessly disabled plane smashing the altimeter to prevent crashing into the ground.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 10:27 | 3009631 lostcause
lostcause's picture

 Go watch one episode of GOLD RUSH and see how hard it is to get just 1 ounce of Gold out of the ground and you will see why all fiat curriencies are doomed to fail.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 12:27 | 3009750 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

indeed, on the show a couple days ago they finished the season with $8k worth of gold each after cost of operations.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 12:25 | 3009748 Translator
Translator's picture

I wonder if he was stupid enough to vote for Obama by casting his vote for Ron Paul?

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 12:46 | 3009784 strayaway
strayaway's picture

I wonder why Romney was stupid enough to allow his thugs to unnecessarily strip duly elected Maine delegates of their credentials at the Republican National Convention and otherwise run the Convention like banana reprublic dictators. Surprise, surprise, disgruntled grass roots Republicans left it up to billionaires to float Romney and the ground game was lost. 

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 14:57 | 3010020 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

Life and politics are not binary, only the thought processes of stupid people like yourself.

Mon, 11/26/2012 - 07:44 | 3010821 cooperbry
cooperbry's picture

Principled people vote FOR what they want.  The Republicans alienated everyone this election and expected the "lesser of two evils" strategy to work.  Surprise, surprise; alienating voters loses votes stupid!

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 13:00 | 3009808 moneybots
moneybots's picture

Six terms and he waits until now to want his salary paid in gold?


How long ago was it that Dick Cheney said that REAGAN PROVED THAT DEFICITS DON'T MATTER?

I am not particularly impressed with the political stunt of the Montana legislator.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 15:00 | 3010026 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

What the hell does Dick Cheney have to do with this issue?  Nothing at all, unless you are an idiot with some weird obsession ( which is cearly the case here).

I am not particularly impressed with your intellect.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 13:50 | 3009895 dojufitz
dojufitz's picture

Pay me in Gold so i can buy Fiat.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 22:45 | 3010626 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Pay ME in Gold so I can buy Mercedes.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!