Break the Monopoly! Ron Paul Introduces HR 4248, the Free Competition in Currency Act

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives

Statement Introducing the Free Competition in Currency Act

December 9, 2009

Madame Speaker, I rise to introduce the Free Competition in Currency Act of 2009 (HR 4248). Currency, or money, is what allows civilization to flourish. In the absence of money, barter is the name of the game; if the farmer needs shoes, he must trade his eggs and milk to the cobbler and hope that the cobbler needs eggs and milk. Money makes the transaction process far easier. Rather than having to search for someone with reciprocal wants, the farmer can exchange his milk and eggs for an agreed-upon medium of exchange with which he can then purchase shoes.

This medium of exchange should satisfy certain properties: it should be durable, that is to say, it does not wear out easily; it should be portable, that is, easily carried; it should be divisible into units usable for every-day transactions; it should be recognizable and uniform, so that one unit of money has the same properties as every other unit; it should be scarce, in the economic sense, so that the extant supply does not satisfy the wants of everyone demanding it; it should be stable, so that the value of its purchasing power does not fluctuate wildly; and it should be reproducible, so that enough units of money can be created to satisfy the needs of exchange.

Over millennia of human history, gold and silver have been the two metals that have most often satisfied these conditions, survived the market process, and gained the trust of billions of people. Gold and silver are difficult to counterfeit, a property which ensures they will always be accepted in commerce. It is precisely for this reason that gold and silver are anathema to governments. A supply of gold and silver that is limited in supply by nature cannot be inflated, and thus serves as a check on the growth of government. Without the ability to inflate the currency, governments find themselves constrained in their actions, unable to carry on wars of aggression or to appease their overtaxed citizens with bread and circuses.

At this country’s founding, there was no government controlled national currency. While the Constitution established the Congressional power of minting coins, it was not until 1792 that the US Mint was formally established. In the meantime, Americans made do with foreign silver and gold coins. Even after the Mint’s operations got underway, foreign coins continued to circulate within the United States, and did so for several decades.

On the desk in my office I have a sign that says: “Don’t steal – the government hates competition.” Indeed, any power a government arrogates to itself, it is loathe to give back to the people. Just as we have gone from a constitutionally-instituted national defense consisting of a limited army and navy bolstered by militias and letters of marque and reprisal, we have moved from a system of competing currencies to a government-instituted banking cartel that monopolizes the issuance of currency. In order to reintroduce a system of competing currencies, there are three steps that must be taken to produce a legal climate favorable to competition.

The first step consists of eliminating legal tender laws. Article I Section 10 of the Constitution forbids the States from making anything but gold and silver a legal tender in payment of debts. States are not required to enact legal tender laws, but should they choose to, the only acceptable legal tender is gold and silver, the two precious metals that individuals throughout history and across cultures have used as currency. However, there is nothing in the Constitution that grants the Congress the power to enact legal tender laws. We, the Congress, have the power to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, but not to declare a legal tender. Yet, there is a section of US Code, 31 USC 5103, that purports to establish US coins and currency, including Federal Reserve notes, as legal tender.

Historically, legal tender laws have been used by governments to force their citizens to accept debased and devalued currency. Gresham’s Law describes this phenomenon, which can be summed up in one phrase: bad money drives out good money. An emperor, a king, or a dictator might mint coins with half an ounce of gold and force merchants, under pain of death, to accept them as though they contained one ounce of gold. Each ounce of the king’s gold could now be minted into two coins instead of one, so the king now had twice as much “money” to spend on building castles and raising armies. As these legally overvalued coins circulated, the coins containing the full ounce of gold would be pulled out of circulation and hoarded. We saw this same phenomenon happen in the mid-1960s when the US government began to mint subsidiary coinage out of copper and nickel rather than silver. The copper and nickel coins were legally overvalued, the silver coins undervalued in relation, and silver coins vanished from circulation.

These actions also give rise to the most pernicious effects of inflation. Most of the merchants and peasants who received this devalued currency felt the full effects of inflation, the rise in prices and the lowered standard of living, before they received any of the new currency. By the time they received the new currency, prices had long since doubled, and the new currency they received would give them no benefit.

In the absence of legal tender laws, Gresham’s Law no longer holds. If people are free to reject debased currency, and instead demand sound money, sound money will gradually return to use in society. Merchants would have been free to reject the king’s coin and accept only coins containing full metal weight.

The second step to reestablishing competing currencies is to eliminate laws that prohibit the operation of private mints. One private enterprise which attempted to popularize the use of precious metal coins was Liberty Services, the creators of the Liberty Dollar. Evidently the government felt threatened, as Liberty Dollars had all their precious metal coins seized by the FBI and Secret Service in November of 2007. Of course, not all of these coins were owned by Liberty Services, as many were held in trust as backing for silver and gold certificates which Liberty Services issued. None of this matters, of course, to the government, which hates competition. The responsibility to protect contracts is of no interest to the government.

The sections of US Code which Liberty Services is accused of violating are erroneously considered to be anti-counterfeiting statutes, when in fact their purpose was to shut down private mints that had been operating in California. California was awash in gold in the aftermath of the 1849 gold rush, yet had no US Mint to mint coinage. There was not enough foreign coinage circulating in California either, so private mints stepped into the breech to provide their own coins. As was to become the case in other industries during the Progressive era, the private mints were eventually accused of circulating debased (substandard) coinage, and with the supposed aim of providing government-sanctioned regulation and a government guarantee of purity, the 1864 Coinage Act was passed, which banned private mints from producing their own coins for circulation as currency.

The final step to ensuring competing currencies is to eliminate capital gains and sales taxes on gold and silver coins. Under current federal law, coins are considered collectibles, and are liable for capital gains taxes. Short-term capital gains rates are at income tax levels, up to 35 percent, while long-term capital gains taxes are assessed at the collectibles rate of 28 percent. Furthermore, these taxes actually tax monetary debasement. As the dollar weakens, the nominal dollar value of gold increases. The purchasing power of gold may remain relatively constant, but as the nominal dollar value increases, the federal government considers this an increase in wealth, and taxes accordingly. Thus, the more the dollar is debased, the more capital gains taxes must be paid on holdings of gold and other precious metals.

Just as pernicious are the sales and use taxes which are assessed on gold and silver at the state level in many states. Imagine having to pay sales tax at the bank every time you change a $10 bill for a roll of quarters to do laundry. Inflation is a pernicious tax on the value of money, but even the official numbers, which are massaged downwards, are only on the order of 4% per year. Sales taxes in many states can take away 8% or more on every single transaction in which consumers wish to convert their Federal Reserve Notes into gold or silver.

In conclusion, Madame Speaker, allowing for competing currencies will allow market participants to choose a currency that suits their needs, rather than the needs of the government. The prospect of American citizens turning away from the dollar towards alternate currencies will provide the necessary impetus to the US government to regain control of the dollar and halt its downward spiral. Restoring soundness to the dollar will remove the government’s ability and incentive to inflate the currency, and keep us from launching unconstitutional wars that burden our economy to excess. With a sound currency, everyone is better off, not just those who control the monetary system. I urge my colleagues to consider the redevelopment of a system of competing currencies and cosponsor the Free Competition in Currency Act.


H.R. 4248


December 9, 2009

Mr. PAUL introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 12/9/2009


To repeal the legal tender laws, to prohibit taxation on certain coins and bullion, and to repeal superfluous sections related to coinage.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the “Free Competition in Currency Act of 2009”.


(a) IN GENERAL. — Section 5103 of title 31, United States Code, (relating to legal tender) is hereby repealed.

(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT. — The table of sections for subchapter I of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to section 5103 and inserting the following new item: “5103. [Repealed]”.


(a) IN GENERAL. — Notwithstanding any other provision of law —

(1) no tax may be imposed on (or with respect to the sale, exchange, or other disposition of) any coin, medal, token, or gold, silver, platinum, palladium, or rhodium bullion, whether issued by a State, the United States, a foreign government, or any other person; and

(2) no State may assess any tax or fee on any currency, or any other monetary instrument, which is used in the transaction of interstate commerce or commerce with a foreign country, and which is subject to the enjoyment of legal tender status under article I, section 10 of the United States Constitution.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—This section shall take effect on December 31, 2009, but shall not apply to taxes or fees imposed before such date.


(a) IN GENERAL. — Title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking sections 486 (relating to uttering coins of gold, silver, or other metal) and 489 (making or possessing likeness of coins).

(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT TO TABLE OF SECTIONS. — The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 25 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking the items relating to the sections stricken by subsection (a).

(c) SPECIAL RULE CONCERNING RETROACTIVE EFFECT. — Any prosecution under the sections stricken by subsection (a) shall abate upon the taking effect of this section. Any previous conviction under those sections shall be null and void.

  • The fiat world and the fiat inflation has to be attacked at the root.


  • Doug

    Washington – Tear Down Your Wall Against Currency Competition

    Here is an endorsement from Switzerland in support of Ron Paul’s Free Competition in Currency Act

  • Perception

    I see practical problems in finding enough precious metals to put into coins.Perhaps you could have paper money with a thin strip of pure gold whose authenticity can be verified by some portable electronic metal detector.A wide variety of metals will have to be considered.

    The US Govt owns a lot of land and resources.Why not have a currency backed by these? ie the currency is redeemable in shares in the common wealth of the US people.We need to think outside the square.Work out the value of the total assets of the US Govt and divide them by the number of workers.Do not issue currency initially,beyond the value of these assets.As the economy grows then so does the money supply.

    Congress will have to act quickly since the Fed $ will collapse rapidly.

    Fiat currencies can work if enough regulation is placed on its creation.It surely can be worked out on a population and GDP growth basis.

    • Siegfried

      Great Idea, the US could give China Yellowstone Park and half of Yosemite to pay back our debt to them!
      Technically the park realestate has no value since it can not be developed, essentially it would simply rise in value and the Chinese would raise park fees to Americans to collect their debt back, it might take 200 years, oh well.

    • Nathan

      The beauty of what Dr. Paul proposes in his bill is that it creates the opportunity for us to decide for ourselves what commodity money or fiat currency we want to accept as payment for our personal transactions.

      The market will dictate what works best. It could be your idea? It could be bullion? It could be butter?

      The benefit lies in the fact that we the people would have the ability to decide what money we will use taking the monopoly away from the fed and Government, breaking the trend of money devaluation and burdensome taxation that is killing our middle class.

      Dr. Paul’s Bill HR 4248 puts the market to work for our best interests, not big government or central bankers.

  • I hear people of every stripe and color, complain about the corruption in Senate Chambers or in City Police Departments and the fact there are so many inbred thugs to go around it seems like reforming government is an impossible task.

    I hear all about people who wince, retort and scream about the fact that no matter how many politicians are thrown in jail, another gaggle of scumbags will get into office because there’s simply no way to beat their corporate machine – we are out financed.

    I hear the weary complaints of the sick and hungry, the tired and the angry waiting to be free – no FIGHTING for their right to be free and live in peace. They go on and on about how hopeless it seems, about how the political system can never be reformed, or how no civil war will ever end the charade.

    And to them, I give a resounding answer….

    NEVER GIVE IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    These were the very issues facing the revolutionaries of the first century, only in a much more direct and threatening way, and the truth is there has never been a need to be frightened or alarmed by a “New World Order”

    They have a weakness, an achilles heel, that once destroyed would eliminate nearly the entire rotten system alltogether. A system so decadent and decrepit, that we need only open man’s eyes to its true nature….in order to be rid of it forever!

    A New World Order or “wealthy aristocrats” bent on fear mongering the populous, all rely on the endless supply of counterfeit currency to install their politicians or to feed their wars.

    An endless supply of fake, worthless funny money that is run off printing presses that could accidentally stop one day. Through a central processing system so corrupt, the very mention of its name alights the flame in one million patriots.

    I’m talking about the Federal Reserve System, lads and lasses. The largest scam to ever be concocted. The source of the entire political process. You want the evil to be purged once and for all, then people must awaken and focus on the source!

    The ENTIRE Federal Reserve System is built upon fraud and theft, by going to the grassroots we can elect Ron Pauls in every district. The Federal Reserve can’t block who we want in office. Moreso it can’t deflect, nor can it contain!

    The Federal Reserve is a weak and depreciating institution, nearly as vile and corrupt as any “Global Order” of bankers could be. I say to you from this vantage point, we can take down this revolving door monstrosity.

    We can topple the Federal Reserve, all you need do is awaken your fellow patriots and friends from all around to the cause of freedom. When the Audits are complete and the common man sees just how unbelievably corrupt the Federal Reserve is, finally at last, Congress can be fired and we can pass HR 833 to phase out this mafia ridden enterprise from our world forever.

    When there is no more Federal Reserve and the world Fed can be abolished, there is no more money for the evil bankers of the world. God’s light can strike out the vile nature of the “Global Murder Inc.” and extinguish it from this world.

    Politics can start over once and for all.
    Make it known my friends, the only thing that matters before anything else of note….is to force Congress to obey our wishes and begin dismantling the Federal Reserve.

    Take out the heart of their army and they are wiped out….no amount of corporate extortion would bring them or their politicos back. Without a Fed the vast army of Sauron lie dead. A -Men, some wars are fought to secure only freedom.

    • Siegfried

      Ouch… thems harse words, but sadly you are correct!

  • Al Campbell

    Thank you Dr. Paul! Now is the time to make this go viral. We must force congress to act on this and the fed fiasco. It may seem unlikely that we can succeed, given the way we are tied to the world markets and our debt masters.

    Personally, I’m all for giving this a try and if it doesn’t work or doesn’t even pass as law, then I’m prepared for the worst. If we don’t fix the problem, it will be fixed by those that do not have our best interest in mind.

    We had better take our responsibility seriously and get control of congress or we will be headed for rougher times…and I don’t just mean more inflation and devaluation. These are the things that bring nations down or turn nations to things like civil war.

    I don’t want to see such horrors, but I’ll not be an ostrich with it’s head in the sand! I for one am working to elect a true constitution lover and a lover of state’s rights to the governor’s office in Texas (Debra Medina). I’m also going to get involved at the local government level. We must all take this seriously or become what the 13th amendment prohibits….involuntary servants (which we already are) or worse…slaves!

  • WeAREone

    Ron Paul is telling the truth. He’s a true American hero who only wants FREEDOM FOR ALL. WAKE UP AMERICA. Don’t listen to stupid movies by Borat or Bruno or people who would attempt to humiliate this honorable doctor in their sick movies. I’m ashamed and dismayed that I ever bought movie tickets to such depraved stories as these. Remember, the military / industrial complex, supported by Federal Reserve theft will attempt to deceive us with every falsehood possible. I can’t believe that I once thought Obama was an honorable person … or Oprah Winfrey … another huge and extremely skillful deception. Don’t be fooled people. If you want YOUR FREEDOM, support Dr. Ron Paul’s mission!

  • The Federal Reserve In A Nutshell

    The gold has been stolen from the bank, our true currency!!

    The thing is the Fed scam is so thin, your eyes need only be fully open to see what it is.

    The Federal Reserve is not a bunch of cops or even official US government. It is so completely stupid what this agency does.

    It is a private corporation, if you stand on its property you are under the rules of a private corporation and the “authorities” that man handle you or attack you are NOT part of the USA courts they are “rent-a-thug” security guards!!!

    They have credentials that have no I.D., other than they are employed by the Fed to handle trouble makers. Aka they are private guards that make the Fed legal since its actually a PRIVATE sanctuary for corporate goons!

    They always tell you it’s government and it is NOT! The place is not even authorized in our constitution anywhere. Once you get this fact the Fed isn’t scary, they are a bunch of scammers!

    Stand up to these lunatics by teaching the public they are nothing but a private corporation, they control everything through intimidation and lies. The worst they can do is call you names to try to get the world to think you are crazy, but look up the U.S. constitution. Something’s OFF about all this. YOU are not crazy, the Federal Reserve is not even a bank.

    It’s a private gang of bankers who run a corporate aristocracy society through private corporate laws unenforceable by anyone but those who they pay to keep the scam running.

  • Siegfried

    Our esteemed career politicians are not likely to give up their Heroin Addition, i.e. the ability to pay for campaign promises out of thin air.
    The sad fact is… the American People have also become junkies of Government largess and Fed is simply the instrument of the heroin distribution.
    Question>>> Are We The People, willing to suffer the rehab, and return to “Real” money, a Gold standard???

  • I think this is a great bill as well! To keep the Feds accountable! However the so-called Mr. “Nobel Peace Prize” Winner & SCAM of a President Obama and the War proponents will stop the bill from enforcing the law of the FEDS!

  • The fact is, eliminating the legal tender laws that block the nation from circulating their own currency officially will end the stranglehold the Federal Reserve has.

    We can do this!

    Everyone bombard your senators to bring S 604 to vote either standalone or in the financial regulation bill!

    People need to be wide awake to the fact that obviously we not only need much more auditing of the Fed, we need an alternative idea that does not sound crazy.

    A currency that is backed by solid metals and a good faith banking system is not a completely crazy idea. The public must be educated in this. We not only need to send the bankers to jail for any offenses committed, we need to brainstorm on how to phase out the Federal Reserve alltogether.

    This bill will do that- Get it to the people, get it to Grayson and DeMint and to everyone who knows we can be free of the Fed!!!

    One by one, people will need to decide if its worth it or whether the corruption of the Fed should be abolished so our currency is no longer controlled.

    • S

      I have questions:

      1-Does the limiting amount of a metal limits the economy?

      If so, how does that play into an economy that needs to grow rationally? is the wealth then redistributed?

      2-shouldn’t good faith banking be enough? open scrutiny to accountable people might be the only realistic choice.

      3- maybe a substitute for gold is needed for economy expansion.

      • longshotlouie
      • Siegfried

        1. Not at all… an ounce of metal, gold or silver, is simply a store of value. we don’t need to carry the metal, we only need to allow currency competition, ala HR 4248, which will permit competitive minting of real money, not toilet paper. Growth is a function of personal savings not government borrowing and spending. Wealth and Growth are the natural reward of a frugal and thrifty soul.
        2. Yes. But Bankers are not known for their good faith. They must be held accountable by eliminating Fractional Reserve Banking on Demand Deposits; the People’s Hard Earned Savings should not be diluted by unscrupulous bankers
        3. There is no “substitute” for Real Money! Once the government begins fabricating bogus currency it’s NOT money, but a broken promise and the very reason they removed Silver Certificates from circulation, because the Government would no longer honor its Debts both Public and Private

        • S

          Than you for the info and answers.

          Basically is like defining and setting a unit of value or activity to a substance, gold.

          Where it seems confusing and prone to valid questions for the common people is: good quality activities that generate expansion of more quality activities will be more worth in gold equivalences and that is represented in a gold storage somewhere that is a tangible rather an imaginary value. So who sets the standards? who assigns the values if there are no reliable bankers or leaders that can be trusted in the field?

          That follow up seems important to address.

          • S

            What I am saying is that setting the values, or resetting to the system, is an issue to think about in anticipation to the competitive nature of a free market system that sets the flow of values.

            I guess like in the system before, will it?

          • Siegfried

            The Free Market sets the value of goods and services. Gold is simply a commodity of exchange, a commodity that the Government CAN NOT manipulate, forge, counterfit or otherwise fool with. There is plenty gold above ground to return to a gold standard. The fact is that if the US re-valued its currency back to a Gold standard, most of us would again be earning $15 per week or about $.35 (cents per hour)given that a $20 Dollar Double Eagle one ounce gold coin is selling for $1500 these days. I for one would be willing to pay those associated taxes, ZERO!!!

          • S

            yes, free market competition sets the value.

            I have to think better how to phrase two remaining questions. Thanks.

  • Ross

    The Fed are now under attack on many fronts.They will seek more wars as a distraction from their foibles.Obama the Nobel peace prize winner seems very obliging.

    The concept of a currency backed by precious metals is a good interim solution to people losing value of their wages and savings via Fed counterfeiting.Many transactions are now done on the internet.How can this Bill accommodate electronic transactions which do add to the efficiency of the economy? Can electronic transactions be done in the new currency?

    Ron ,I think this bill will gather a lot of support as the US $ collapses.

    • The thing is the Fed scam is so thin, your eyes need only be fully open to see what it is.

      The Federal Reserve is not a bunch of cops or even official US government. It is so completely stupid what this agency does.

      It is a private corporation, if you stand on its property you are under the rules of a private corporation and the “authorities” that man handle you or attack you are NOT part of the USA courts they are “rent-a-thug” security guards!!!

      They have credentials that have no I.D., other than they are employed by the Fed to handle trouble makers. Aka they are private guards that make the Fed legal since its actually a PRIVATE sanctuary for corporate goons!

      They always tell you it’s government and it is NOT! The place is not even authorized in our constitution anywhere. Once you get this fact the Fed isn’t scary, they are a bunch of scammers!

      Stand up to these lunatics by teaching the public they are nothing but a private corporation, they control everything through intimidation and lies. The worst they can do is call you names to try to get the world to think you are crazy, but look up the U.S. constitution. Something’s OFF about all this. YOU are not crazy, the Federal Reserve is not even a bank.

      It’s a private gang of bankers who run a corporate aristocracy society through private corporate laws unenforceable by anyone but those who they pay to keep the scam running.

      • Siegfried

        The FED is a Government Sponsored Enterprise, as are FreddyMac, FannieMae etc…
        The “Progressives” of the early 20th Century sold the Big Lie of the Fed Reserve stabilizing the monetary system.

        But the FED has been the instrument of Grand Theft Government and is the Heroin of the Politians. The withdrawl will be ugly!

  • Joe

    Thank you, Dr. Paul, for the wonderful Christmas present! Brilliant!

  • Most if not all of the wars fought by the U.S. have been over either the elimndation of our own central bank charter or being used as the collection agent for foreign central banks. Cancelling the Fed’s charter most surely will bring war on our shores.
    The only real scenario is to start a new nation(s) inside the U.S. like the Indian nations that issue their own license plates, pay no federal income tax and legislate everything but capital crimes. Check out!

  • longshotlouie

    “Free Competition in Currency Act of 2009”
    Another succinct resolution from the doctor.

    What’s up with him? One page resolution?
    Aren’t these things supposed to be hundreds of pages?

    😉 🙂 😉

  • JB

    “It’s not what backs our money – it’s who controls the supply of it.” – Bill Still, producer of the documentary “The Money Masters”

    We just need to nationalize the Fed, pass a balanced budget act like the states have, eliminate derivatives, and we can dispense with all this gold nonsense.

    • Nathan

      When not under force to use a particular money, a market will determine what it deems to be the best money. Money that evolves in a free market will tend to have the characteristics that Dr. Paul mentioned in his opening statement.

      Historically it’s been gold and silver that have best meet the money needs of individuals.

  • Kasado

    Many of my friend balk at the idea of carrying large sums of gold coins in their pockets to pay for their consumption.
    Yet, I counter with the arguement that, “Don’t you carry coins in your pocket NOW” and “if you are so accustom to paper money, mints can easily embosed them with gold or even print them interwoven with the metal”

    I lived for years in Japan and they have a compatible five dollar coin. I loved them.

    • Siegfried

      Just imagine walking around with your current weekly paycheck after tax, $100 to $200 dollars of walk around money, assuming you put some aside for rent??
      Well that equates to only 5 to 10 one ounce silver coins! If you are a real high roller, carry a Double Eagle one once coin and you’ll be carrying the equivalent of $1,200 Fed Resrv Notes, which will soon have the value of a square of toilet tissue.
      As for Banking… Stop Fractional Reserve Banking on Demand Deposits!!!

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  • Rhett

    The FINAL final step is to establish a gold and silver equivalent note printed on American grown hemp paper. 🙂

    Crazier wishes have come true.

  • Perfect timing too!!

    As soon as things start quickening, Representatives will start signing onto this like mad. Be sure to get Demint and Grayson on board, along with many of the congressman supporting the Audit!

    This audit will uncover so many things we will need to jump right onto the next step, this one and hopefully a clarion call to wake people up and abolish the Fed forever…….

  • Another masterstroke by Ron Paul!!!!!
    Right now there will maybe not even be a single co-sponsor, maybe a few Republicans for show.

    But this is gonna gain massive publicity and lots of co-sponsors after the Dollar crashes more and more in the coming months.