The mid-term elections last year were in many ways manna from heaven for liberal bloggers. You had Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, and Carl Paladino in New York running for office. All of them had upset “establishment” Republicans in the primaries, all of them were favorites of the Tea Party groups, and all of them were batshit crazy. Which made any political blogging a piece of cake. All you had to do was to check the news, read the latest thing they’d done, and instant blog post! It was with mixed feelings that I watched them go down to defeat. While I most definitely didn’t want them to win, at the same time there was a pang of loss as I realized that no longer would I have the easy subjects to write about. Oh, Christine O’Donnell has managed to reinsert herself into the news, since it’s apparently very illegal to live off your campaign donations, but it’s not the same.
Fortunately for me, and other liberal bloggers, it turns out that there is still a wealth of village idiots who have been given government jobs by the Republican Party. While the Democratic Party’s idiots tend to be in the media, the Republican Party’s idiots are run for office. Sometimes, they’re even elected. This morning, I was reminded of that when I saw this wonderful piece at Talking Points Memo: Georgia GOPer Pushes Bill For Taxes To Be Paid In Gold And Silver.
Georgia state Rep. Bobby Franklin (R) has sponsored legislation to force the state to conduct all monetary transactions with U.S. gold or silver coins.
Seriously. The bill is called the “Constitutional Tender Act,” and it it stipulates:
To amend Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to banking and finance, so as provide a short title; to provide legislative findings; to define certain terms; to require any bank or lending institution serving as a depository for the state or any department or agency of the state to offer and to accept gold and silver coin for deposit; to amend Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state government, so as to provide legislative findings; to define certain terms; to require the exclusive use of gold and silver coin as tender in payment of debts by or to the state; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
Yes, he wants to require that “pre-1965” silver and gold US coins be used because it’s “in the Constitution.” Let’s look at it from this standpoint – if you use those coins, you have to acquire them. Their value in settling debts, taxes, or for purchase is the face value of the coin. A $20 gold coin is worth $20. But, to acquire it costs quite a bit more. In other words, Franklin wants to have people buy coins so they could pay their taxes, which would cost them far more than the face value of said coins. Which ought to be interesting when people realize that.
What’s even dumber? He doesn’t understand what the Constitution actually says. Here’s the phrase he’s misreading: Article 1, Section 10:
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing 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
The title of Section 10 is entitled “Powers prohibited of States.” That means that while states are not allowed to coin money, or can’t specify for themselves anything else a legal tender, there is no such limitation on the federal government. In fact, Section 8 specifically gives to Congress the power to: “To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measure.”
In other words, there’s a group of people out there – led by Ron Paul – who want to return the country to the gold standard. Which is an outstandingly bad idea, particularly now. But they want it. That it’s going to cost people a lot of money to do it – more than they owe in taxes, really, is irrelevant. Yes, by all means, it’s going to be an interesting time for liberal bloggers. Here I thought I’d have to work to find subjects, but it turned out that once the media glare died down, there’s a host of villages whose idiots have been found.