Statement Introducing the Free Competition in Currency Act
Ron Paul, M.D.
Madame Speaker, I rise to introduce the
Free Competition in Currency Act.
This act would eliminate two sections of US Code that, although
ostensibly intended to punish counterfeiters, have instead been used by the
government to shut down private mints. As
anti-counterfeiting measures, these sections are superfluous, as 18 USC 485,
490, and 491 already grant sufficient authority to punish counterfeiters.
two sections this bill repeals, 18 USC 486 and 489, are so broadly written as to
effectively restrict any form of private coinage from competing with the
products of the United States Mint. Allowing
such statutes to remain in force as a catch-all provision merely encourages
prosecutorial abuse. One particular
egregious recent example is that of the Liberty Dollar, in which federal agents
seized millions of dollars worth of private currency held by a private mint on
behalf of thousands of people across the country.
to nearly a century of inflationary monetary policy on the part of the Federal
Reserve, the US dollar stands at historically low levels.
Investors around the world are shunning the dollar, and millions of
Americans see their salaries, savings accounts, and pensions eroded away by
rising inflation. We stand on the
precipice of an unprecedented monetary collapse, and as a result many people
have begun to look for alternatives to the dollar.
a proponent of competition in currencies, I believe that the American people
should be free to choose the type of currency they prefer to use.
The ability of consumers to adopt alternative currencies can help to keep
the government and the Federal Reserve honest, as the threat that further
inflation will cause more and more people to opt out of using the dollar may
restrain the government from debasing the currency.
As monopolists, however, the
Federal Reserve and the Mint fear competition, and would rather force
competitors out using the federal court system and the threat of asset
forfeiture than compete in the market.
free society should shun this type of strong-arm action, and the Free
Competition in Currency Act would take the necessary first steps to freeing the
market for competing currencies. I
urge my colleagues to support this bill.