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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 10:54 PM

Ron Paul Says Sell Gold to Pay Down National Debt? No Chance

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People have been sending me an article all evening that says Ron Paul proposes selling gold to pay down the national debt. The article is nonsense and it took me all of 5 seconds to spot the error.

Somehow the New York Sun confused Ron Paul with some clown I have never heard of named Ron Utt, or the Sun misrepresented a statement Paul made.

Please DON'T consider Selling Gold at Fort Knox Emerges as Next Big Question in Debate on Federal Debt Limit

The next big question on the federal debt limit could be whether to start selling the government’s holdings of gold at Fort Knox — and at least one presidential contender, Ron Paul, has told The New York Sun he thinks it would be a good move.

The question has been ricocheting around the policy circles today. An analyst at the Heritage Foundation, Ron Utt, told the Washington Post that the gold holdings of the government are “just sort of sitting there.” He added: “Given the high price it is now, and the tremendous debt problem we now have, by all means, sell at the peak.”

His comment came in the wake of not only the government having reached the statutory debt limit of $14.29 trillion but also the release of a report by the Heritage Foundation of a report on asset sales. The report outlined how a “partial sales of federal properties, real estate, mineral rights, the electromagnetic spectrum, and energy-generation facilities” might garner the federal treasury $260 billion over the course of the next 15 years.
Amazingly this nonsense is circulating, and even more amazing is the fact that several bloggers believed the story.

The most ridiculous of the lot comes from Trader Dan's Market Views
Those of you out there who believe that Ron Paul can do no wrong, would be well advised to read his comments proposing that the US sell some of its gold reserves to pay its debts.

Chalk up a hair-brained idea from the Congressman from Texas. While we are at it, why not just sell off the Brooklyn Bridge, Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Everglades. And to think that I actually believed he was very solid on monetary matters.

The Republican party, which by the way has control of the House of Representatives, could simply refuse to raise the debt limit and insist on obtaining strict spending cuts to get the US economic house in order but that would require something that most of our elected representatives do not have. AFter all, all spending bills are required to originate in the House. If the House does not approve the spending bill, the money cannot be spent.

Instead the proposal reeks of the same sort of desperation seen by spendthrifts who end up scouring their old dresser drawers and boxes in their closets looking for family heirlooms and other valuables to go hock at the local pawn shop. The very fact that this idea is actually floating around out there fills me with complete disgust and disdain for the political class. These damn fools spent us all into the toilet and now are considering having to sell what belongs to the US citizenry to cover their rear ends.
Ron Paul--Buy Gold

The above video is the real Ron Paul. I sense a huge apology coming from the New York Sun and others who actually believed this Ron Paul sell gold to pay down the debt story.

The US dollar should be backed by gold and Paul has advocated a 100% gold backed dollar. That is vastly different than selling gold to pay down the national debt. How can you have a 100% gold backed dollar if you sell all the gold?

Either the Sun has confused Paul with Utt or it has confused what Paul is saying, and so have others that bit on the story.


I have read the Sun article several times now looking for other possibilities. The only other thing I can come up with is the possibility Paul may have said something to the effect of wanting the government to mint and sell more gold coins, but that does not equate to selling gold reserves to pay down debt.

Thus, I keep coming back to the thesis that the Sun is inadvertently mixing statements of Ron Paul with Ron Utt or the Sun has misinterpreted or worse yet, hugely misrepresented a statement Paul said.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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