Some lawmakers are finally
getting it, with the latest example coming from Jerry O’Neil, a state
congressional representative in Montana.
At one time a trivial matter
for O’Neil, he says he now understands the damage being done by the
Federal Reserve’s monetary policy and the over $16 trillion in U.S
In a letter to
Montana’s Legislative Services, the congressman notes that the U.S.
Constitution prohibits the payment of debts in anything but gold and
silver, and says that his oath to the Constitution and the people he
represents can only be honored if the government pays his legislative salary
to him, “in gold and silver coins that will still have value when the
U.S. dollar is reduced to junk status.”
The full copy of the letter
is available below:
November 12, 2012
State of Montana
Post Office Box 201706
Re: Legislator Compensation
Dear Legislative Services:
Last week I was re-elected
to serve the people of House District 3 as their Representative in the
Montana Legislature. Once again it will be my privilege to take the oath of
office, promising to obey and protect the United States Constitution and the
Constitution of Montana.
When campaigning, some of my
constituents informed me I was not honoring my duty to uphold and defend the
United States Constitution. The area of their concern is the prohibition,
contained in Article I, Section 10, that states, “No state shall –
- make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts –
-.” They ask me how I, a policy maker for the State of Montana, can
ignore this clear constitutional prohibition.
Over the 10 years I have
previously served in the legislature I have considered this a trivial matter
that would show me to be out of step with our national rulers if I made an
issue out of it. I did not want to be branded as a fanatic over an issue of
Today I am looking at this
issue in a new light. When I was going to my constituents homes I agreed with
them the most important issue for the coming legislative session will be to
protect them from the economic debacle hanging over our heads.
With just a cursory look at
history we know a country that lives beyond its means faces dire
consequences. Having a $16,000,000,000,000 national debt is a warning sign we
can only ignore at our peril. Having such a debt and allowing it to increase
unchecked is an invitation for national suicide.
It is very likely the bottom
will fall out from under the U.S. dollar. 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?
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.
I am not asking for you to
give me gold and silver American Eagles at their face value of $50.00 and
$1.00, but rather at their current market prices that today are $1,801.00 and
Hopefully this will be an
example for our Montana citizens and prompt them to also have some of their
own wealth in money that has intrinsic value.