Montana legislator says no to dollar, yes to gold
November 27, 2012 70 view(s)
November 27, 2012 -- Shortly after being reelected to legislative office earlier this month, Montana State Rep. Jerry O’Neil (R-Columbia Falls) filed a formal request asking to be paid in gold and silver coins directly, citing an anticipated instability of the U.S. dollar. As reported in both the Huffington Post and Politico, O’Neil said that the idea for the request came after visiting with many of his constituents face to face during the election season, and hearing of their grave concerns about the national debt and its threat to the U.S. greenback. He stated that one solution he saw, that might help the people of Montana, would be for the state to pay his salary and other debts in gold and silver coins “unadulterated with base metals." O’Neil, a backer of Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) presidential bid, submitted his formal request to the State of Montana. “It is very likely the bottom will fall out from under the U.S. dollar." wrote O'Neil. "Only so many dollars can be printed before they have no value. The Keynesian era of financing government with debt appears to be close to its demise." “If and when that happens, how can we in the Montana Legislature protect our constituents?” his letter continued. “The only answer I can come up with is to honor my oath to the U.S. Constitution and request that your debt to me be paid in gold and silver coins that will still have value when the U.S. dollar is reduced to junk status. I therefore request my legislative pay to be in gold and silver coins that are unadulterated with base metals.” O’Neil’s salary from the state is about “$1800” per month, which he has received in U.S. dollars without complaint for six years. "Some of my constituents said we would not have this problem if we had currency backed by gold,” he told the Huffington Post. Although he reached out to other legislators about his letter, none would agree to sign the formal request, and O’Neil does not know if the law, as it is currently written, will allow him to be compensated for his services with precious metals. The State of Montana has not indicated what action it might take in response to his request.