The Salt Lake Tribune

Legislation proposes Utah adopt a gold-based system
The Salt Lake Tribune

Imagine paying your next parking ticket in gold Krugerrands or renewing your driver license using American Gold Eagles. A proposal in the Utah Legislature would require the state to allow just that, requiring government agencies to accept gold for transactions, and creating a parallel monetary policy for intrastate commerce tied to the price of gold.

Under the legislation that has been drafted, Utah residents could mint their own gold or silver coins, a storehouse would be created to stockpile the precious metal and the Utah Defense Force, an arcane state militia that may be called and armed by the governor, would be responsible for securing the inventories.

“I think it has merit,” said Rep. John Dougall, R-Highland, who had the proposal brought to him by a constituent and committed to opening a bill file. Another representative will probably end up sponsoring the legislation. “Fundamentally, what it comes down to is people’s concern about the fundamentally reckless policies at the federal reserve and what it does long-term to the financial standing of the country and giving folks another choice of monetary tools for their financial transactions,” Dougall said.

The concern is that the large U.S. debt and policies designed to increase liquidity by putting more dollars in the market have devalued the national currency. “It’s really about creating an option,” said Larry Hilton, an attorney and insurance salesman who authored the “Utah Sound Money Act” and took it to Dougall. If the dollar falters, he said, it would be beneficial to the state to have an alternative.