November 17th, 2012

Montana Lawmaker Requires Payment In Gold And Silver Coin


Jerry O'Neil _ Montana Legislator

Jerry O'Neil _ Montana Legislator


This article was written by Mac Slavo for SHTF dot com:

Pay Me In Gold: Lawmaker Requests Compensation In “Money That Has Intrinsic Value”

Mac Slavo
November 13th, 2012


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 national debt.

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 (pdf) is available below:


November 12, 2012
State of Montana Legislative Services
Central Services Office
Post Office Box 201706
Helena, Montana 59620-1706
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 no consequence. 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 $35.28. 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.
Yours truly,
Jerry O’Neil


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3 Responses to “Montana Lawmaker Requires Payment In Gold And Silver Coin”

  1. 1
    Austrian Economics is Color Blind Says:

    This is very encouraging, but I do sense a bit of nanny state mentality from Jerry O’Neil.

    He says:

    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 implication here is that without the job that O’Neil does, his constituents cannot be protected from the economic collapse – as if to say it’s within the scope of his office to do so. It is not.

    By requiring pay in gold and silver, he is certainly helping move Montana to be in a position to weather the coming crash; But this is not because of anything unique to his role in the Montana Legislature.

    It is solely because the people will be less restricted in their use of gold and silver as money. You don’t need government to accomplish this.

    It’s too early to tell whether O’Neil will come to regret his move toward gold and silver due to the fact that such a move will result in the shrinking of the size and scope of the Montana government.

    Imagine Yellowstone being auctioned off to the private sector, with a corresponding reduction in state “revenue”, and you kind of see what I mean.

    There’s no such thing as a “public good”, so I see this as a very good thing.

    I like nature, don’t get me wrong; But can I ask the John Muir and John Denver fans to consider the following videos?:

    Defending the Undefendable (Chapter 26: The Stripminer) by Walter Block

    Stossel – ‘The Tragedy Of The Commons’ 12/5/10 2 of 4
    (The near extinction of the buffalo and the poverty on Indian reservations)

    Applying Economics to American History | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
    (The supposed environmentalism of Native Americans and of Chief Si’ahl ["Seattle"])

  2. 2
    Texx Says:

    There ain’t enough gold and silver to run the world economy. Would you really put mining companies in a position to control your currency? LOL …

  3. 3
    Daniel Plichta Says:

    you are right Texx there is not enough precious metals to run the country’s economic structure never mind the worlds, However the precedent that Montana is following comes from;

    Article 1 Section 10 of the United States Constitution: “No State
    shall … make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”.
    Were the Founders unaware that they had given the power of coining money to Congress exclusively, when they added this? Or is it because We are unaware of the true meaning of the Constitution that we do not have Constitutional Money? Either way I think Montana will wind up with more debt than revenue by perusing this course.
    Just my 2 pieces of silver Dan

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