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Congressional Record [.PDF]
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
2003 Ron Paul 99:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Thrift Savings Fund Improvement Act. This legislation to expand the investment options available to congressional and other federal employees by creating a precious metals investment fund in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Adding a precious metals fund to the TSP will enhance the plans ability to offer congressional employees a wide range of investment options that can provide financial security even during difficult economic conditions.
2003 Ron Paul 99:2
All of us recognize the importance of maintaining a professional congressional staff and promoting longevity of service in order to enhance stability in the operations of Congress. This is why we have recently enacted legislation authorizing new benefits, such as a student loan forgiveness program, and have taken other measures to improve staff compensation and benefits.
2003 Ron Paul 99:3
The Thrift Savings Plan is one of the most important benefits offered to congressional employees. A strong TSP can obviously play a key role in attracting and retaining talented individuals to serve in the legislative branch. However, the three stock index funds in the Thrift Savings Plan have not recently performed well, especially when measured against inflation. In 2002, for example, losses from these funds were greater than three, four, and five percent, respectively, in the month of December and, more than 15, 18, and 22 percent, respectively, for the entire year!
2003 Ron Paul 99:4
In contrast, increases in gold spot prices more than offset the losses experienced by even the worst performing stock-indexed fund in the Thrift Savings Plan in 2002, with the price of gold increasing by nearly 25 percent in the year and by more than nine percent in December!
2003 Ron Paul 99:5
Recent gains aside, precious metals have a number of features that make them a sound part of a prudent investment strategy. In particular, inflation does not erode the value of precious metals is not eroded over time. Thus, precious metals can serve as a valuable inflation hedge. Precious metals also maintain, or even increase, their value during times of stock market instability, such as what the country is currently experiencing. Thus, investments in precious metals can help ensure that an investment portfolio maintains its value during times of economic instability.
2003 Ron Paul 99:6
Federal employees could greatly benefit from the protection against inflation and economic downturns provided by prudent investments in precious metals. I, therefore, once again urge my colleagues to cosponsor the Thrift Savings Fund Improvement Act.