Bills filed in the Oklahoma and Missouri legislatures for the 2024 legislative session would eliminate state capital gains taxes on the sale of gold and silver. The legislation would also take other steps to treat gold and silver as money instead of as commodities.
The enactment of any of these bills would eliminate state capital gains taxes on the sale and exchange of gold and silver bullion.
Both of these states are already among the 42 that do not levy sales taxes on gold and silver bullion.
Exempting the sale of gold and silver bullion from taxes lowers the investment cost of precious metals. It also takes a step toward treating gold and silver as money instead of commodities. Taxes on precious metal bullion erect barriers to using gold and silver as money by raising transaction costs.
Imagine if you asked a grocery clerk to break a $5 bill and he charged you a 35-cent tax. Silly, right? After all, you were only exchanging one form of money for another. But that’s essentially what a sales tax on gold and silver bullion does. By eliminating this tax on the exchange of gold and silver, Missouri and Oklahoma would treat specie as money instead of a commodity. This represents a small step toward reestablishing gold and silver as legal tender and breaking down the Fed’s monopoly on money.
“We ought not to tax money – and that’s a good idea. It makes no sense to tax money,” former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul said during testimony in support of an Arizona bill that repealed capital gains taxes on gold and silver in that state. “Paper is not money, it’s fraud,” he continued.
The impact of enacting this legislation will go beyond mere tax policy. During an event after his Senate committee testimony, Paul pointed out that it’s really about the size and scope of government.
“If you’re for less government, you want sound money. The people who want big government, they don’t want sound money. They want to deceive you and commit fraud. They want to print the money. They want a monopoly. They want to get you conditioned, as our schools have conditioned us, to the point where deficits don’t matter.”
GOLD AND SILVER AS LEGAL TENDER
Under provisions in the Missouri bill, gold and silver in physical or electronic form would be accepted as legal tender and would be receivable in payment of all debts contracted for in the state of Missouri. The state would be required to accept gold and silver for the payment of public debts. Private debts could be settled in gold and silver at the parties’ discretion.
Practically speaking, this would allow Missourians to use gold or silver coins as money rather than just as mere investment vehicles. In effect, it would put gold and silver on the same footing as Federal Reserve notes.
Oklahoma took a similar step in 2014. Utah and Arkansas also consider gold and silver legal tender.
The proposed Missouri law also includes provisions authorizing the state to invest in gold or silver “greater than or equal to one percent of all state funds” and to expressly bar any state agency, department, or political subdivision from seizing gold or silver bullion.
The United States Constitution states in Article I, Section 10, “No State shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” Currently, all debts and taxes in the US are either paid with Federal Reserve Notes (dollars) which were authorized as legal tender by Congress, or with coins issued by the US Treasury — very few of which have gold or silver in them.
The Federal Reserve destroys this constitutional monetary system by creating a monopoly based on its fiat currency. Without the backing of gold or silver, the central bank can easily create money out of thin air. This not only devalues your purchasing power over time; it also allows the federal government to borrow and spend far beyond what would be possible in a sound money system. Without the Fed, the US government wouldn’t be able to maintain all of its unconstitutional wars and programs. The Federal Reserve is the engine that drives the most powerful government in the history of the world.
Tax repeals knock down one of the tax barriers that hinder the use of gold and silver as money, and could also begin the process of abolishing the Federal Reserve’s fiat money system by attacking it from the bottom up – pulling the rug out from under it by working to make its functions irrelevant at the state and local levels, and setting the stage to undermine the Federal Reserve monopoly by introducing competition into the monetary system.
In a paper presented at the Mises Institute, Constitutional tender expert Professor William Greene said when people in multiple states actually start using gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve Notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.
“Over time, as residents of the state use both Federal Reserve notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve notes do will lead to a “reverse Gresham’s Law” effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve notes). As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the state’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the state – as people in other states carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve notes for any transactions.”
Once things get to that point, Federal Reserve notes would become largely unwanted and irrelevant for ordinary people.
These bills make up part of a broader movement at the state level to support sound money.
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