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Gold-Loving Ron Paul Puts Money Where Mouth is

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It's no secret that Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and his similarly libertarian-leaning son, Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-Ky.), are big fans of gold. 

But while both Pauls are advocates of using gold and silver to curb inflation of the dollar, it appears the elder Paul may be doing more to practice what he preaches: Ron Paul is exponentially more invested in gold and silver than Rand Paul, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics of federal personal financial disclosure reports filed earlier this year.

According to his most recent disclosure report, Rand Paul has invested between $1,001 and $15,000 in American Century's Global Gold fund, which includes stocks in gold, silver and other mining operations. Ron Paul, meanwhile, has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in 17 different gold, silver and other mining companies. Three-fourths of Ron Paul's assets are within the mining industry, according to the Center's analysis of his most recent report.

"[Ron Paul] owns gold and silver as an inflation hedge and as a 'store of value,'" said Jeff Deist, chief of staff for Ron Paul, in an e-mail to OpenSecrets Blog.

By store of value, Deist explained that the Ron Paul's gold and silver investments are "static" and that they do not pay dividends or provide any cash flow for Paul. Instead, they act as a safeguard in the event the paper dollar loses significant value.

Among Ron Paul's largest gold investments is between $500,000 and $1 million worth of stocks in gold producer Goldcorp, Inc. and between $250,000 and $500,000 a piece in multi-national gold mining companies AngloGold Ashanti and Newmont Mining Corporation, according to the Center’s analysis of records on file with the Senate Office of Public Records. (Federal politicians are only required to disclose the value of their assets in broad ranges.)  

Rand Paul, however, has far more money invested in mutual funds, bonds and other paper assets. 

That puts him more in line with the general public, said Alan Ziobrowski, a real estate and finance professor at Georgia State University.

"It's not that common to invest in gold," Ziobrowski toldOpenSecrets Blog, "so [Rand Paul] is closer to the mainstream in that regard."

While Ziobrowski added that he could not speak to other potential variables that could affect the investment disparities between the older and younger Pauls, he said it does make sense that both men would invest in gold since they are both fiscally conservative and outspoken critics of the national deficit.

In addition to throwing his personal financial portfolio behind gold and silver investments, Ron Paul, pictured left, has also for decades been using his political clout to fight for gold in U.S. monetary policy.

In 1982, Paul served on the House Gold Commission to study the role of gold in the U.S. monetary system. Afterward, he penned the book The Case for Gold, in which he advocates for a return to the gold standard. Last year, he published another book called End the Fed, which hits a similar theme.

Paul still maintains that a return to using gold and silver as legal tender -- in addition to the dollar -- would make the dollar more stable while also keeping prices down and defending against government interference in markets.

"The Constitution still says that the only thing you are allowed to use is gold and silver," Ron Paul told Bloomberg earlier this month. "All I want to do is legalize that, and if nobody cares, if nobody likes gold and silver, in paper assets and put their savings accounts in paper money."

When the new Republican-controlled House convenes in January, he might just get the chance to follow through on some of these proposed changes.

Earlier this month, Ron Paul was named chairman of the House Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee, a platform from which he can pursue his fiscal priorities, which include auditingthe gold at Fort Knox.

While Rand Paul has not been as active vocal as his father in supporting the use of gold and silver, he did make inflation and calls for reforming of the Federal Reserve key elements of his 2010 Senate campaign.

"Excessive spending, borrowing, and printing money are agents of debt that are bankrupting this nation and drowning our dollar," reads a statement on Paul's Senate campaign website.

Like his father, the younger Paul has also called for "far greater transparency and accountability from the Federal Reserve.”

Calls and e-mails to the Rand Paul campaign were not returned.


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