Republican Wants to Link State Coffers to Gold

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A Republican lawmaker says his plan to link state coffers to gold would spur rethinking of currency.

Rep. Bob Wagner of Harrison told a House committee Monday that he wants Montana state government to trade with some taxpayers and contractors in units of gold. He envisions the exchange will be done electronically rather than with actual precious metal.

Supporters say the new currency exchange will be “separate and parallel” to the traditional exchange of federal notes.

Opponents argued the proposal does nothing but force the state to convert dollars to gold when they make some payments, and then reverse the conversion upon receipt of money in some cases.

They argue citizens are free to do this conversion themselves if they want to keep their cash reserves and investments in gold.

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