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Posts Tagged ‘coin’

Ellen BrownListeners can enjoy Ellen Brown’s regular appearances on Crisis of Reality on Oracle Broadcasting with Doug Newberry.

Since the show’s inception in August of 2012, Ellen has been on seven times:

March 12 – Wealth inequality

February 25 – The economic crisis

January 22 – The trillion dollar coin

December 20 – Public banking

December 19 – Financial slavery

September 26 – Public banking

September 6

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WiredFrom the January 10, 2013 Wired.com article, Meet the Genius Behind the Trillion-Dollar Coin and the Plot to Breach the Debt Ceiling:

Ever the lawyer, Beowulf dived into Title 31 of the U.S. Code: “Money and Finance.” That Journal article was still rattling around in his head. He was also inspired by ideas from attorney-turned-finance-author Ellen Brown, who in her 2008 book Web of Debt quoted a 1980s-era director of Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing as saying the government could solve its debt problems by printing large coins. He wasn’t talking about circumventing the debt ceiling, which hadn’t yet become a political football, but he may have been on to something.

Wherein they linked to my 2011 article, Ellen Brown on a simple and constitutional way to pay off the United States national debt.

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Edwin VieiraDr. Edwin Vieira, who is touted in the libertarian community as a constitutional authority on money and is a holder of four degrees — including a PhD and JD from Harvard — should know better about what the U.S. Constitution says about legal tender.

In his 2011 presentation, “What is Constitutional Money?,” he says, in reference to Article 1, Section 10, clause 1 of the Constitution regarding the States (at 13:57):

There’s a reserve power and actually a duty to make gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.

That clause says that no State shall “make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”

From the context of the entire clause, it is clear that it is saying what is prohibited to the States. Therefore, to say that they shall not make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts is to say that if they choose to exercise their power of enacting legal tender laws, then they are required to make only gold and silver coins a tender in payment of debts.

The same clause allows restricts the States from imposing duties on imports and exports, unless they have the permission of Congress. Therefore, if they do have such permission, then they can do what is permitted, and in the case of legal tender laws, they are permitted to enact them, and then and only then are they required to make gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.

I give a further analysis of this clause in my article, The U.S. Constitution doesn’t say money should be gold or silver coin.

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Painting, 1856, by Junius Brutus Stearns, Wash...

There are a lot of different things said about what the U.S. Constitution mandates regarding the monetary system, and to clarify, here is my analysis:

  • Congress has the sole public power to strike coins from any metal. The proof that it isn’t limited to gold and silver is the plain language, “coin money,” and the first Coinage Act of 1792, which provided for the coining of bronze coins as well as gold and silver.
  • Exercise of that power is optional, just as is their power to declare war.
  • Congress does not have the power to create any non coin-based money, based on an originalist interpretation of the Constitution and a strict interpretation of its enumerated power to coin money and the 10th Amendment.
  • Individuals and non-corporate associations of individuals retain the right to mint coins or issue paper currency, as per the 9th Amendment, so long as there is no counterfeiting.
  • States have the option of enacting legal tender laws, and if they do, gold and silver must be made legal tender in payment of debts.
  • People and even businesses are allowed to accept payment for goods and services in something other than gold and silver, regardless of legal tender laws, because of the distinction between payment for goods and services and payment of debts.
  • States are prohibited from issuing “bills of credit,” which specifically refers to paper currency. Due to the Tenth Amendment, the States retain powers not delegated to Congress, and, therefore, they have the power to issue credit that isn’t backed by anything, so long as there is no paper currency associated with it.

For my other writings about a constitutional monetary system, see The U.S. Constitution doesn’t say money should be gold or silver coin, and The Constitution doesn’t insist on a gold or silver-backed currency.

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Coins

Both Congress’ enumerated power to coin money (from any metal), and the power of the States to only make gold and silver legal tender, were powers that didn’t necessarily have to be exercised.

A power is something you can exercise, or not exercise. This is clearly evidenced by Congress’ other enumerated powers, such as the power to declare war, or to borrow money on the credit of the United States.

There was an insidious nature to the Coinage Act of 1792, in that it forced American taxpayers to pay for the cost of minting the gold and silver brought to be minted (see Section 14 on page 249), which was overwhelmingly owned by wealthy interests.

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