Washington State Republicans Try to Ban Paper Money

| by Michael Allen

Washington state Reps. Matt Shea (R), Cary Condotta (R), Jason Overstreet (R) and Jim McCune (R) introduced a bill late last week to ban paper money and use only gold and silver as currency. They claim the Constitution forbids the U.S. government from creating paper money.

According to their proposed law: "Only gold and silver may be recognized as government legal tender under Article I, section 10 of the United States Constitution, which gives the states the power to enact gold and silver based legal tender laws, “no state shall make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.”

While it is true that the Constitution does forbid states from making something other than gold or silver into legal tender, the American dollar is a creation of the federal government, not state government.

The Constitution also permits the United States to “regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.” The Supreme Court also upheld America’s power to use a paper currency in the 1800s.