Republicans eye return to gold standard

Aug. 24, 2012 at 4:00 AM
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TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The Republican Party intends to call for a commission to study returning the United States to the gold standard, the party's platform committee chief said.

The proposed Gold Commission -- expected to be approved next week as part of the party platform at the Republican National Convention -- would peg the U.S. dollar to gold instead of to other currencies and interest rates as it is today, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., the platform committee co-chair, told the Financial Times.

The gold standard was abandoned by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1971.

The platform expected to be voted on in Tampa, Fla., would also call for an audit of Federal Reserve System's monetary policy, Blackburn told the newspaper.

These manifesto points were not adopted to appease formerly active libertarian-leaning GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul, R-Texas, and the convention delegates he won during the primaries and caucuses, she said.

"These were adopted because they are things that Republicans agree on," Blackburn told the Times. "The House recently passed a bill on this, and this is something that we think needs to be done."

Paul, who ended active campaigning May 14, says he wants a prominent convention role.

Party economists argue a return to the gold standard would stabilize the dollar by discouraging hefty fiscal spending as well as preventing the Federal Reserve from creating excess money.

Ronald Reagan's successful Republican presidential campaign in 1980 included a pledge to study restoring the dollar to the gold standard.

A Gold Commission he created in 1981 ultimately supported the maintaining status quo.

The last time a GOP platform mentioned linking the dollar to gold was in 1984, when the platform said "the gold standard may be a useful mechanism."

The proposed new commission would have no power except to make recommendations, the Times said.

The RNC had no immediate comment on the report.

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