Utah Sound Money Bill Rocks World
Today Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the Utah Legal Tender Act of 2011 (HB 317) in the Gold Room of the Utah State Capitol in a formal signing ceremony. In a room full of cameras, reporters, fund managers, businessmen, and prominent legislators, HB317 sponsor Brad Galvez, a Utah House Freshman, took to the podium and explained the effect of the bill. Representative Galvez recalled that when the bill was first passed in March, the local media took very little notice. There were a few stories he says, and that was about it. But the rest of the world took note. Galvez mentioned being contacted by reporters from around the world and listed media coverage in New York, London, Germany, other parts of Europe, Asia, Australia, and other parts of the world. Galvez says the legislation is historic.
Utah Senate Majority leader Scott Jenkins, the bills Senate sponsor, explained that the Bill seeks to address inflation of the Federal paper currency by offering Utahan's an alertnative currency to transact with –gold and silver coins. A businessman in the construction industry, Jenkins noted that commodities such as steel used in construction continue to skyrocket in price, even though construction has slowed dramatically with the housing crisis. Jenkins says the rise in commodity prices is due to inflation of the dollar based on Federal monetary policy.
Utah Senator Curt Bramble, Chairman of the Revenue and Taxation interim committee, which will be making additional recomendations for establishing an alternative currency as mandated by the bill, says he is committed to the principles of sound money. Senator Bramble said he has been interested in gold money and the gold standard since he was a youth. He said the committee's recomendataions would be in harmony with the original bills goal of establishing an alternative currency based on gold and silver coins.
The formal signing ceremony demonstrated committment from Utah's highest levels of government to the bill. Utah Governor Gary Herbert said he and the legislature sometimes disagree, but that this was an issue they both agreed was important for Utahans. Before signing the bill, the Governor noted that Utah had been recognized as one of the best managed states, the most financially sound state, and one of the best states to live in. He said that was because of the fiscally conservative principles he and the legislature shared and because of the culture of the people of Utah. Governor Herbert then proceeded with the formal signing of the bill, reviewing publicly what the bill did, saying that it recognized Gold and Silver coins issued by the U.S. government as legal tender in the State of Utah, and removed taxes, including capital gains, sales and income taxes, on the coins. He then signed the bill. Even though the bill was previously signed by the governor and went into effect on May 10th, 2011, the formal signing ceremony today highlighted the importance of the bill and the State's committment to its continued implementation.
Attorney Sean Reyes, who announced at the event that he might be a candidate for Utah Attorney General in 2012, reviewed the Constitutional and legal basis of the bill that he or a future Attorney General may need to defend. Citing landmark legal cases over time and going all the way back to the founding era decision in Marbury vs. Madision, Attorney Reyes explained how the U.S. Supreme Court consistently upheld the States right to declare gold and silver coin legal tender. One case cited involved an Oregon law, upheld by the court, which required Oregon taxes to be paid in gold and silver coin. Occuring shortly after the civil war, one of the parties in the case had paid their taxes using paper US Treasury Notes (a precursor to the current paper federal reserve note dollar.) Reyes said the ruling in that case affirmed the authority of State legislators to legislate in this area without federal interference.
Other speakers focused on the practical aspects of the legislation. Issac Jacobson, a fund manager, says that based on conversations he has had with other fund managers, he expects billions of dollars to come into Utah to take adavantage of the new law. He explains that funds will store their assets in Utah and believes that over time, the average Utahan will see a financial benefit from these billions of dollars being located and managed within the state.
Craig Franco, a current rare coins business owner who is opening the first depository based on the new law, agrees. Franco's new web site and the new "Utah Gold and Silver Depository" aren't even scheduled to open their doors for the first time until next week, but Franco quitely says there are already millions of dollars in deposits ready to be deposited in his new depository. The Associated Press and New York Times recently published articles on Utah's new law and the forthcoming depository and Franco says the interest and response since then has been huge.
Jeff Bell of the American Principles Project, based in Washington D.C., says the issue of Gold and Silver money is not going away anytime soon. He says 14 states are now considering similar measures, including the Carolinas, who appear set to pass measures related to gold and silver money. Mr. Bell notes that the Carolinas have early presidential primaries and thinks the issue of gold and silver money will therefore become a topic in the upcoming presidential campaign debates. Mr. Bell continued, saying he is making a tour through Iowa, one of the very first presidential primary states, discussing gold and silver coin, and already has committments from presidential candidates to participate in the tour.
With a backdrop of yearly trillion dollar federal deficits, exhausted federal borrowing authority, the end of Federal Reserve "Quantitative Easing 2" and a 14 trillion dollar plus pile of existing federal debt to pay back, Utah's "Prepardeness and Prosperity" State based monetary policy approach does indeed seem timely. Mark Waters, of the Secure American Gold Exchange, would seem to agree. He handed out "100 trillion dollar" bills from Zimbabwe at the event. The message was clear: The US paper dollar might also become worthless if the U.S. Congress keeps borrowing and the Federal Reserve keeps printing. Utah's message to the nation and world is equally clear: the paper dollar may collapse, but the silver dollar is ready for business….in Utah.