Jack Kemp's Gold Standard Act of 1984 Shows Us How It's Done
December 1, 2016
(This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on December 1, 2016.)
A few years ago, I was involved in a project to introduce a bill into
Congress to require the Federal Reserve to return to the monetary
principle that made America great – a dollar linked to gold.
One of the difficulties we ran into was the actual details of the bill
itself. In practical terms, what would such a thing look like?
In 1984, the extraordinary congressman Jack Kemp introduced the Gold Standard Act of 1984
. It had seven co-sponsors
, including Newt Gingrich (R-GA).
It can be hard to find the original text of this bill
. So, here it is:
To resume a stable monetary standard in the United States
Section 1: This Act may be cited as the “Gold Standard Act of 1984”.
Reestablishment of the Gold Standard
Sec. 2. (a) Not later than one year
after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the
Treasury shall establish a permanent definition of the dollar,
expressed as a fixed weight of gold, nine-tenths fine.
Resumption of Gold Convertibility
(b) the dollar defined as such fixed weight of gold shall be the
standard and unit of value of the United States, and all forms of money
issued or coined by the United States shall be maintained at a parity
of value with this standard.
Sec. 3. (a) Beginning one year after
the date of the enactment of this Act, any person may, on demand,
redeem for gold at any Federal Reserve bank any currency or coin of the
United States, or any demand note or demand liability of a Federal
Provision for Coinage
(b) Such redemptions shall be made either in gold coins or in an equivalent value of gold bullion.
Sec. 4. (a) The Secretary of the
Treasury shall cause gold coins to be minted in such weights,
denominations, and forms as the Secretary determines will best serve
the maintenance of gold payments and the needs of commerce.
(b) Coins minted under this section shall be legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.
(c) Beginning one year after the date of the enactment of this Act,
upon presentation of gold bullion to the Secretary of the Treasury at
locations to be designated by the Secretary, the Secretary shall
exchange such gold bullion for gold coins which contain an equal weight
of fine gold, minus a charge which shall not exceed mint costs and
Sec. 5. The Secretary of the Treasury
and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System shall
prescribe such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out the
provisions of this Act.
Repeal of Restrictions on Gold Payments and Ownership
Sec. 6. (a) The first sentence of section 5118(b) of title 31, United States Code, is hereby repealed.
(b) Section 5119(a) of title 31, United States Code, is amended—
(1) in the second sentence, by striking out “However, the” and inserting in lieu thereof “The”; and
(2) by striking out the first sentence and the third sentence thereof.
(c) Section 5111(d)(1) of title 31, United States Code, is amended by
inserting “, other than gold coins,” after “treatment of United States
(d) Section 11(n) of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 248(n)) is hereby repealed.
Jack Kemp’s vision included both parts of what I call the Magic
Formula: Low Taxes and Stable Money. The Low Taxes part was of course
the Reagan tax cuts; but that was only the beginning. Kemp later
proposed a “flat tax” with a sub-20% rate, which Steve Forbes
championed in his 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns.
Since 2000, over 30 governments worldwide have adopted the Kemp/Forbes
flat tax; unfortunately, the U.S. is still not among them.
A gold standard was always the other half of the strategy, the Stable Money part of the Magic Formula.
Does the Magic Formula work?
U.S. history is practically the story of it working. The U.S. embraced
the principle of Stable Money, and a currency based on gold, for 182
years, 1789-1971, and in the process became not only the most
successful country of that time, but the most successful country of all
time. Since 1971, it has become a country that needs to be made great
again. Kemp showed us how.
Some economists now call the gold standard “crazy.” Oh really? Crazy good, I’d say.
Here for the Traditional City/Heroic Materialism Archive
Here for the How Banks Work series
9, 2016: Why Did Trump Win? Just Look At His Policy
6, 2016: Fixed Or Floating? Maybe Our Monetary Choice Is That Simple
6, 2016: Robert Mundell's Interpretation of the Interwar Period
23, 2016: Nonmonetary Perspectives on the Great Depression 2: Steindl,
Schwartz, and Eichengreen
21, 2016: The "Secret History of American Prosperity" Needs To Become A
Lot Less Secret
16, 2016: Nonmonetary Perspectives on the Great Depression
6, 2016: Team Gold Needs To Get Over The Great Depression
2, 2016: The Interwar Period, 1914-1944
29, 2016: Gold Is 'Money' Because It Is Plentiful, Not Because It Is
26, 2016: The $50,000 San Francisco Home
25, 2016: The "Giant Rise in the Value of Gold" Theory of the 1930s 3:
Supply and Demand
22, 2016: Why Fiat Money Manipulation Can Never Produce Prosperity
18, 2016: The "Giant Rise in the Value of Gold" Theory of the 1930s 2:
Never Happened Before
11, 2016: The "Giant Rise in the Value of Gold" Theory of the 1930s
4, 2016: What Is "Sterilization"? 2: The Complexity of Central Bank
1, 2016: Are the Gold Guys Ready For Prime Time?
28, 2016: What Is "Sterilization"?
11, 2016: The Gigantic Importance of "Supply Side Economics"
7, 2016: Blame France 3: Dump A Pile Of Argle-Bargle On Their Heads
31, 2016: Blame France 2: Balance Sheet Peeping
29, 2016: Don't Be Fooled: "Stable Money" Means Gold
24, 2016: Blame France
18, 2016: The "Price-Specie Flow Mechanism" 2: Let's Kill It For Good
10, 2016: The Tyranny of Prices, Interest, and Money
8, 2016: The 15% (of GDP) Solution
4, 2016: The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776