The First Gold Commission Scared the Dickens Out of the Fed

The Republicans have put some serious oomph in their presidential campaign over the last month. First Mitt Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, a move which not only fired-up a very good portion of the electorate, but by all accounts lifted Romney’s own spirits on the trail.

Now the Republicans have announced that they will make it part of their party platform, up for a vote at the Tampa convention this week, to officially look into putting this country back on the gold standard.

Win and win. The thing about these moves is that they respond precisely to the two things that have become the top concerns of the public as these unacceptable last four years have unfolded.

Now to be sure, the greatest worry of the American people today is that economic growth is horrendous and stands to remain so, just like in the bad old days of the 1930s. But concerns 1-A and 1-B have been these: the rapid growth of the federal government’s fiscal problem since 2008; and the stunning readiness over the same period of the Federal Reserve to debase the nation’s currency while keeping the biggest of the big financial shops in clover.

In Paul Ryan, he of the “roadmap” (towards fiscal solvency), we have a direct response to 1-A. And in the gold platform, we have the same toward 1-B. You win elections by playing the to real interests of the public, and that has been the effort of the Romney campaign this August.

A few words about the last time a Gold Commission was tried, back in 1981-82. First of all, all hail Howard Segermark, the intrepid Jesse Helms staffer (and political seer today) who put that commission together back in Ronald Reagan’s first years as president. In bipartisan spirit, Segermark had to include fierce anti-gold politicians, such as Rep. Henry Reuss of Wisconsin. Reuss is the one who predicted, as the U.S. delinked from gold at $35 an ounce in 1971, that the price would dive to $6. In no time it went to $200, then $800 an ounce.

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