By Barry Donegan*
The Wyoming State Senate passed the Wyoming Legal Tender Act (House Bill 103) last Wednesday by a vote of 25-5. The bill had previously passed the state’s House of Representatives by a vote of 44-14.
After the House reconciles differences in amendments with the Senate version of the bill, it moves on to Republican Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s desk for consideration.
If signed into law, the bill would recognize gold and silver as legal tender for payment of debt and taxes in the state and would remove the state’s ability to tax the sale of gold and silver specie.
Former U.S. Congressman from Texas Ron Paul said in a statement on the passage of the bill, “Passage of the Wyoming Legal Tender Act is the latest sign that dissatisfaction with the Federal Reserve’s money monopoly— and the movement to change our fiat currency system led by my Campaign for Liberty— is alive and growing. This bill would not have passed through the legislature without the hard work of Wyoming Campaign for Liberty state coordinator Cathy Ide and all of the dedicated activists who made sure the Wyoming legislature knew the people wanted them to restore their legal right to use real money instead of Federal Reserve notes. Governor Mead should listen to the people and sign this bill into law without delay.”
“As the economy slides into another Fed-created downturn, I predict the movement to pass state legal tender laws will grow. My Campaign for Liberty group is ready to help pass these laws in as many states as possible,” added Congressman Paul. His Campaign for Liberty is currently mobilizing grassroots activists to press Wyoming citizens to contact Governor Mead in support of the bill.
According to NewsCenter1, GOP State Rep. Roy Edwards described why legislators want to remove the tax on specie, saying, “Imagine going to the grocery store and asking the clerk for change for a $20 bill and being charged 80-cents in tax [on the change]. That’s what we’re doing in Wyoming by charging sales taxes on precious metals and we’re taking steps to change that.”
Constitutional tender expert Professor William Greene told the Tenth Amendment Center, “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.”
If the bill were to become law, Wyoming would join a handful of other states who have passed various measures to encourage the use of gold and silver as legal tender, including Utah, Arizona, and Texas.
*Barry Donegan is a writer, musician, and pro-liberty political activist living in Nashville, TN. Donegan served as Director-at-Large of the Davidson County Republican Party from 2009-2011 and was the Middle Tennessee Regional Coordinator over 30 counties for Ron Paul’s 2012 Presidential Campaign. Follow him at facebook.com/barry.donegan and twitter.com/barrydonegan