Government Confiscation of Gold: It Happened Before — Could It Happen Again?
by: J.D. Seagraves
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Although the U.S. dollar is constantly under pressure, the U.S. government continues to stockpile debt, and impossible-to-fulfill entitlement commitments loom on the horizon, the idea that the U.S. government would try to confiscate citizens’ gold today or anytime in the foreseeable future certainly seems spurious at best. After all, the government did so in the past in order to recalibrate the gold standard, which we have not been on since 1972.
However, our government has become increasingly bold in its refusal to be restrained by the Constitution, and following the return to limited government (at least in rhetoric) by the Reagan administration in the eighties, the Constitution has been all but ignored by subsequent administrations and congresses.
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Sorry, but that is absolutely the wrong question.
Yes! With Gooferment debt as far as the eye can see. And “unfunded liabilities” that even scare politicians and bureaucrats abound. (Not for the reasons you think; they are worried how they are going to collect! Did you forget the three “laws” of policial behavior again? Remember the three “laws” of political motivation: (1) reward your friends; (2) punish your enemies; and (3) feather your own nest.)
So with this “crisis” looming, the popular tin foil hat worry is “gold confiscation”. Sorry, but that won’t help the politicians and bureaucrats through this crisis. Last time, it was easy and there was enough wealth that could be stolen to make it worth their while. This time, not as many people own gold, they don’t old anywhere near as much of it, those that do own gold also own guns, the population isn’t as docile and complaint as back then, and the We, The People are aroused and as irritable as a cranky tired child .
No, there will be no “FDR-style gold confiscation” because, pure and simple, it can’t give the politicians and bureaucrats enough wealth to pay their own pensions. Or, even allow them to buy enough votes to get reelected. That’s what the “crisis” is all about.
I think the correct question is “what WILL they seize that can end the crisis?”. That’s the question.
The only pot big enough is the 401k / IRA wealth save by Americans for their retirement and held by a small number of “custodians”. 13T$! Sticking there waiting to be stolen.
That will be their target.
Of course, it will have to be done: “to save the children”. In this case, it’ll be the “child-like investor” who will be deemed to need their “retirements” protected from the inability of Wall Street to be honest and to generate the returns necessary for a “safe and secure” retirement. And, of course, the “crisis”, the American version of the “Reichstag fire”, will be to “save Social Security, Medicare, and the Drug Benefit”. There have to be some “poor children” in there somewhere.
Think back when Bush supposedly wanted to “privatize” Social Security. (Like that was going to ever happen. It sent the message that “you victims have been getting screwed big time” and now were going to “allow you to be screwed a little less”. It said sotto voce that maybe you the individual didn’t need the wise old Gooferment to plan your retirement!) Remember how the politicians and bureaucrats screamed that the Stock Market was “unsafe”. (Yeah, like getting a negative 3 per cent return on your “Social Security” investment was safe. Or, that depending upon Gooferment not to change the rules on “Social Security” again. Remember it was never going to be taxable. It was never to be changed. It was the supposed “third rail” of politics. It was “retirement insurance”)
Get ready for a large dose of propaganda!
I suspect the argument will run concurrently along several lines: “Save Social Security for Future Generations”, “Save your Social Security from the Boomer shift”, “No Social Security for the Wealthy”, “IRAs and 401ks are not ‘safe’ in the Markets”, “It’s not fair to poor people who couldn’t save”, and “The Gooferment gave you a tax break so some or all of it is theirs”. Argh!
When the Gooferment first created IRAs in my early days, I didn’t go into one because I was concerned about them changing the rules on them. If we had blogs back then, I’d have ranted about them. Eventually my then accountant, (I’ve gone through several since then), convinced me to “take the tax deduction”. It meant I paid less taxes out of my own pocket and had this pot of money, that I couldn’t touch until I was old, over on the side. Eventually, I thought this was how they were going to get out of the Social Security “problem”. (Little did I know then!) But I was concerned then about taxablity. I suspected that they end the program at a “bad time” (i.e., for the Gooferment; when they needed the money), make it all taxable right there and then, and I’d be stuck for an even bigger bill. Argh!
SO! Short story, long! No gold confiscation. IRA / 401k confiscation.
It’s easy. Only have to “rob” a few thousand “custodians” who are mostly big banks and brokerages that are already under the Gooferment’s thumb.
It’s “enough”. 13T$ will allow the Gooferment to keep on spending.
It’s “politcally feasible”. Propagandize the Sheeple. Promise them “enhanced Social Security”. (With interest rates at below 1%, how much cash flow would you have to pay on 13T$? Think lie they are taking out fixed rate mortgage and you’re stuck with the paltry returns. No adjustments. Argh!)
That’s the question.
And so what are you going to do about it.
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