Competing Currencies – a Defense Against Profligate Government Spending

by Ron Paul

The end of June marked what is hopefully the end of the Federal Reserve’s policy of quantitative easing. For months the Fed has purchased hundreds of billions of dollars of Treasury debt, enabling the government to fund its profligate deficit spending, push the national debt to its limit, and further devalue the dollar. Confidence in the dollar is plummeting, confidence in the euro has been shattered by the European bond crisis, and beleaguered consumers and investors are slowly but surely awakening to the fact that government-issued currencies do not hold their value.

Currency is sound only when it is recognized and accepted as such by individuals, through the actions of the market, without coercion. Throughout history, gold and silver have been the two commodities that have most fully satisfied the requirements of sound money. This is why people around the world are flocking once again to gold and silver as a store of value to replace their rapidly depreciating paper currencies. Even central banks have come to their senses and have begun to stock up on gold once again.

But in our country today, attempting to use gold and silver as money is severely punished, regardless of the fact that it is the only constitutionally-allowed legal tender! In one recent instance, entrepreneurs who attempted to create their own gold and silver currency were convicted by the federal government of “counterfeiting”. Also, consider another case of an individual who was convicted of tax evasion for paying his employees with silver and gold coins rather than fiat paper dollars. The federal government acknowledges that such coins are legal tender at their face value, as they were issued by the U.S. government. But when it comes to income taxes owed by the employees who received them, the IRS suddenly deems the coins to be worth their full market value as precious metals.

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Reining in Congress: An Enforceable Balanced Budget Amendment

There is growing sentiment that one or more constitutional amendments may be necessary to rein in the runaway Congress.

The principal mechanism the Founders built into the Constitution for such contingencies is the procedure in Article V by which two thirds of the state legislatures force what the Constitution calls a “Convention for proposing Amendments.”    Essentially this is a meeting of state legislative representatives for the drafting of one or more amendments on subjects designated by the legislatures.

Of course, Congress and its apologists have every reason to prevent such a convention from being called, so they have widely misled people as its nature and powers.  But if corrective amendments are to be proposed, there is no alternative to such a convention. History has shown that Congress will not do it:  Repeal of Prohibition aside, Congress has not proposed a constitutional amendment to limit or define its own powers since it passed the Bill of Rights in 1789!

In other posts I have dealt with the convention bugaboos—see, e.g., here and here. They need not detain us at this point. The more important questions are:

* What amendments are appropriate? and

* How should they be drafted?

Many people have their own pet amendments they’d like to see passed, but realistically, any such proposal must meet at least four criteria. To illustrate, I’ll test versions of balanced budget amendments against each of the four:

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Not in YOUR front yard.

I have a friend that I am going to call Sally for the sake of this post.

I would best describe Sally as a left leaning progressive. She believes strongly in using the strong arm of government to facilitate “social justice.”

Today Sally found the thumb of regulation on the other hand. And it pressed firmly down on her vision for America.

Sally tenaciously advocates for organic food, and involves herself heavily in urban farming. On Friday, she learned that city officials in a Detroit suburb charged a woman with a misdemeanor for growing a garden in her front yard. Seems that runs afoul of the authorities’ vision of “suitable” front yard vegetation.

“If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster’s dictionary, it will say common. So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what’s common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers,” Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski told WJBK Fox 2 in Detroit.

So basically, Kevin gets to use his power as a city planner to legislate his vision of a nice front yard on every Oak Park Citizen.

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Constitutional Sentence Frags

There is one trick that the progressive left likes to use which is to fragmentize the constitution in order to get the meaning that they want. A good example of this is the commerce clause where they use the narrow phrase ‘regulate commerce’ to suggest that congress has the power to regulate commercial activities.

They fail to read the entire sentence which suggest that congress only has the power to regulate commerce between states, Indian tribes, and foreign nations which sounds more like the basic power to control the flow of goods across a border. They hope that the public will not read the document in its entirety and use a few sentence fragments to get the meaning they want.

Recently, in this article it has been reported that Obama is going to ignore the debt cap and is claiming another sentence fragment in the fourteenth amendment. That fragment is “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law”. When you take that one sentence fragment as it is it sounds like all public debts are valid but if you look at the entire sentence “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. ” it says something much different.

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Texas Leadership Fails Texans

Co-authored by Steve Baysinger and Brian Roberts

This week after a little time to reflect, Texans are wondering what happened to the TSA bill last week. A month ago it looked like shoe-in, then it looked dead, then it was reborn, then it was delayed in creative ways only to find the dustbin at the end of the special session. Barring reintroduction in a second special session, the bill is dead for the immediate future. But what happened? Why are Texas leaders refusing to step between the TSA agents’ fondling fingers and citizen’s dignity? Why are Texas leaders allowing the TSA to run around the clear limitations set forth in the Fourth Amendment?

Lots of questions. Very few answers.

But there is one answer that remains clear… the Texas leadership completely failed Texans!

Less than a month ago, the confidence level in passing the TSA bill was high. The Texas House had just passed the bill with a vote of 138-0. The Senate was next and was widely reported to have near unanimous support for the bill as well. Then it would be off to Gov. Perry’s office. This was a strongly worded piece of legislation that rejected outright invasive searches without probable cause. Few state representatives at the time were willing to side with a federal agency that groped innocent citizens and denied Texans their Fourth Amendment rights. At this point in time, passing the legislation looked like a sure thing.

Suddenly, without warning,  the Department of Justice engaged head-on  the Texas legislative process, threatening Texas with a no-fly zone should this legislation pass. From then on everything changed. Never mind, the DOJ letter was laughably inaccurate in its suggestion that the Supremacy Clause could be used to deny Fourth Amendment protections. Never mind,  the TSA is acting as a rouge agency without laws authorizing its behavior.  Never mind, that an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would be required to negate the Fourth Amendment so that such authority might be given to the TSA. Never mind, the wide range of confirmed incidence of overzealous TSA gropers of babies, pre-teens, grandmothers and even a Miss USA contestant. Never mind, the exact purpose of this bill was to say “NO” to the federal government!

Regardless, everything changed.

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