Gary North writes:
There is talk of a plank in the Republican Party's platform calling for a gold commission. The commission will study the possibility of re-establishing a gold standard.
The likelihood of a positive recommendation coming out of such a commission is as likely as a positive report of another commission to study the feasibility of restoring the Articles of Confederation.
I did a Google search on these terms: "gold commission," Republican, platform. I got 20,000 hits.
That's not too bad. I always like to see public interest in the restoration of gold as the backing for the U.S. dollar.
But there is a lot of deja vu about this. We have been down this yellow brick road before. It is nothing but gold-painted bricks all the way to the Emerald City: Greenback heaven.
In 1980 Senator Jesse Helms persuaded a Democrat- controlled Congress and Jimmy Carter to sign into law a call for a gold commission. Under those circumstances, you can imagine how seriously the President took the bill. But Carter was trounced by Reagan later that year. This offered hope to the more naive gold bugs within the camp of the faithful.
Under Reagan's Secretary of the Treasury, Donald Regan, plans went forward. In March 1982, the Gold Commission began meeting. The Secretary of the Treasury filled the commission with anti-gold Keynesians and monetarists – followers of Milton Friedman – who also favored the Federal Reserve. There were only two pro-gold standard members: Ron Paul and Lewis Lehrman. Out of the Gold Commission came a majority report, which opposed the gold standard, a minority report by Paul and Lerhman, and a detailed history of the legal foundations of the U.S. dollar by Austrian school legal scholar, Edwin Vieira. You can download all three documents here.