Tuesday, February 24, 2009

You keep bags of gold and silver handy, right?

State Rep. Bobby Franklin, who is perhaps best known for trying to attach an anti-abortion rider to all other legislation, has filed a bill that would require everyone in Georgia to pay their taxes in gold or silver coins.

The state, in turn, could only use gold and silver coins to make its own payments, and banks would have to keep gold and silver on hand for customers. From House Bill 430:
... the state shall not make anything but gold and silver coins as tender in payment of debts. Federal Reserve Accounting Unit Dollars, having no redeeming value in gold or silver coin, shall not be made a tender in payment of debts by the state.
The bolding is mine. You might note Franklin's choice of phrase for the federal reserve notes appears to spell out "FRAUD" when you look at just the first letters.

Said Franklin: "That was not my intent."

Pure coincidence then. Odd that the the first letter of each word was capitalized in all three references in the bill, but I digress.

Asked if it's reasonable to expect people to pay their taxes in gold and silver, Franklin replied, "absolutely," since banks will be required to make such coinage available. His legislation does allow "other forms of currency" to be used in other transactions if both parties consent.

Franklin then pulled out a pocket copy of the United States Constitution and turned to Article I, Section 10, which does indeed say that:
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.
"This has never been amended," Rep. Franklin said.

I'm not a Constitutional scholar (thank goodness!), but Wikipedia thinks paper money is Constitutional, so it must be true.

Franklin said he hopes his bill will get a fair committee hearing and that perhaps a study committee will be assigned. I will keep you posted.

Rep. Franklin, by the way, represents a portion of the state's best county: Cobb County. But he's way up in north Cobb, not in the awesome part where Smyrna is.

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