As Confidence In Dollar Wanes, Over A Dozen States Push For Gold As Legal Tender

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In more than a dozen states, legislators are pushing for a movement back to a world where gold is considered money. As Bloomberg reports, lawmakers in Arizona are poised to follow Utah, which authorized bullion for currency in 2011. Similar bills are advancing in Kansas, South Carolina and other states to recognize gold and silver coins as legal tender. "The legislation is about signaling discontent with monetary policy and about what Ben Bernanke is doing," which seems confirmed by the recent shift in Texas to bring its gold back from the New York bank warehouse. The new measures would give "people the option of using money that won’t lose any purchasing power to inflation," one supporter of the bill explained, with another adding, "there is a fear that the government, or Bernanke in particular and the Federal Reserve, is pursuing a policy that will lead to the collapse of the dollar." The U.S. Constitution bars states from coining money and also forbids them from making anything except gold and silver coin tender for paying debts. Advocates say that opens the door for the states to allow bullion as legal tender.

 

Via Bloomberg,

Distrust of the Federal Reserve and concern that U.S. dollars may become worthless are fueling a push in more than a dozen states to recognize gold and silver coins as legal tender.

 

Lawmakers in Arizona are poised to follow Utah, which authorized bullion for currency in 2011. Similar bills are advancing in Kansas, South Carolina and other states.

 

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“The legislation is about signaling discontent with monetary policy and about what Ben Bernanke is doing,” said Gatch, who studies alternative currencies at the Edmond, Oklahoma-based school. “There is a fear that the government, or Bernanke in particular and the Federal Reserve, is pursuing a policy that will lead to the collapse of the dollar. That’s what is behind it.”

 

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In Texas, lawmakers are considering a measure supported by Republican Governor Rick Perry to establish the Texas Bullion Depository to store gold bars valued at about $1 billion and held in a New York bank warehouse. The gold is owned by the University of Texas Investment Management Co., or Utimco, which took delivery of 6,643 bars of the precious metal in 2011 amid concern that demand for it would overwhelm supply.

 

The proposed facility would also accept deposits from the public, and would provide a basis for a payments system in the state in the event of a “systemic dislocation in a national and international financial system,” according to the measure.

 

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“We are seeing a distinct movement back to a world where gold is considered money,” ...

 

The measures give “people the option of using money that won’t lose any purchasing power to inflation,” said Rich Danker, economics director at the American Principles Project. The Washington-based public-policy group supports the steps as well as a return to the gold standard, which pegged the dollar’s value to bullion. President Richard Nixon formally ended the convertibility of U.S. currency to the precious metal in 1971.

 

“People in these states find the idea of having the option to use hard currencies appealing over these policies they have no control over,” Danker said.

 

The U.S. Constitution bars states from coining money and also forbids them from making anything except gold and silver coin tender for paying debts. Advocates say that opens the door for the states to allow bullion as legal tender. The measure being considered in South Carolina would recognize foreign or domestic minted coins as legal tender.

 

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In Utah and some other states, the measures also eliminate state capital gains or other taxes on the coins.

 

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Critics say... “It is simply grandstanding to get people afraid that somehow President Obama’s agenda is going to drive us into hyperinflation and economic collapse,” Farley said. “We have enough real problems to deal with. I don’t see undercutting our entire financial structure as a priority.”

 

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The bill’s sponsor, Senator Chester Crandell, 66 of Heber, said he is convinced the move is the “logical thing for the state of Arizona to do.”

 

“I think you look at some of the things that are happening and the amount of money printed by the Federal Reserve and who has control of that money, and I think anybody would be concerned,” Crandell said. “Gold and silver have been around a long time and people are secure with it and we should give them an opportunity to use it.”