This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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Rep. Ron Paul, a 12-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, has become the chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services, which was formerly the Banking & Currency Committee.
Gold advocates now will have a strong spokesman in a position of power and coin collectors will have someone who understands their issues.
His subcommittee also oversees the Federal Reserve, an institution he has said should be abolished.
The Subcommittee has conducted oversight hearings for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, U.S. Mint, Federal Reserve and United States Secret Service.
Dr. Paul, who is a medical doctor (specialist: obstetrician), has a quarter century of House service, but it was not continuous. He represented Texas 1977 through 1984, when he did not seek re-election. He was re-elected in 1996 and has served ever since. His son, Rand Paul, was elected U.S. senator from Kentucky last November.
He served on the U.S. Gold Commission 1981-1982.
For about 12 years, he had a partnership with California coin dealer Burt Blumert, selling into the rare coin industry.
Here’s a brief summary of some of Paul’s proposals that have circulated recently:
He plans to introduce legislation this year to force an audit of U.S. holdings of gold. He says it’s “a possibility” that there might not actually be any gold remaining in the vaults of Fort Knox or the New York Federal Reserve bank.
“If there was no question about the gold being there, you think they would be anxious to prove gold is there,” he told Kitco, a major precious metals dealer.
“Gold as currency would render the Federal Reserve obsolete,” he told Forbes.com, Jan. 13, 2010.
“We cannot maintain the zinc standard” for pennies he said July 20, 2010, at a congressional hearing on the cent.
“Where are we going to get the planchets” for palladium coins he asked at the same July hearing.
In January 2010 he introduced legislation that would have ended taxes on coins and bullion and repealed legal tender laws allowing anyone to introduce a system of competing currencies.
With Chairman Paul in charge, the next two years will be interesting.