Restoring Sound Money in America

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"Many different groups. . .[seek] to restore gold and silver to its rightful role as the money of the U.S., as mandated by the Constitution."

A determined grassroots movement in the United States is seeking the restoration of sound money. Many different groups are involved, but all share the same aim—to restore gold and silver to its rightful role as the money of the U.S., as mandated by the Constitution.

In May 2005, I discussed the "New Hampshire Sound Money Bill," which was drafted by Constitutional scholar and lawyer, Dr. Edwin Vieira. It was presented to the New Hampshire legislature, but sadly, remains pending in committee. If enacted, the bill will enable people to use gold and silver in their transactions with the state of New Hampshire.

In March 2007, I testified before the Commerce Committee of the New Hampshire legislature in support of this bill. Though it remains mired in that state legislature's Commerce Committee, the bill has had some meaningful impact. Individuals in other states have modeled similar bills for introducing to their own legislature.

Indiana State Senator Greg Walker has introduced Senate Bill 453. It is called "The Indiana Honest Money Act" and seeks the same aims as the pending New Hampshire legislation.

If enacted, the bill offers citizens of Indiana a choice of gold and silver, coin or an electronic equivalent, to conduct their monetary transactions with the state. By doing so, the bill will bring Indiana into compliance with Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution, which states: "No state shall. . .make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts. . ." It will enable individuals and the state of Indiana to lawfully transact with one another in a constitutional currency.

The Indiana Honest Money Act will be voluntary for citizens, but mandatory for certain businesses. For example, the cigarette industry will be required to pay taxes to the state in gold or silver, which will allow Indiana to fund its Treasury with enough gold or silver to ensure there is sufficient metal in circulation and available for transactions.

As is consistent with the New Hampshire legislation, the use of precious metal is not intended to replace present U.S. currency—namely, Federal Reserve Notes. Instead it enables the circulation of a competing currency, but it is one that complies in all respects with Constitutional mandates.

The new Congress and President Washington obviously understood those mandates when they passed the Coinage Act into law in 1792. Clause 5 of Article I, Section 10 reads: "To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures."

The framers understood that money is no different from other units of measure and, accordingly, they placed these items within the same clause by granting to Congress the power to establish these standards. And so it was, until 1933 with the confiscation of gold by Franklin Roosevelt, which began the process—that continues to this day—of debasing the dollar and moving it further from the requirements of the Constitution.

Hopefully the efforts in Indiana and New Hampshire and, in time, other states will bring about the required change needed to put the U.S. back on the right path, one state at a time. It is what the framers intended. It is the lawful alternative. It is the path to constitutionally mandated sound money.

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