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Retired Ron Paul Makes Us All Gray
May 22, 2012

Presidential candidate Ron Paul’s view on the gold standard have become very well known. He advocates it.

His opposition to the Federal Reserve is also well known. He wants it abolished.

However, you might feel about those two positions, what is refreshing is neither can be called a shade of gray.

Next year Congress will be distinguishing between shades of gray when it begins its work to dissect a Mint report relating to the future of our current coinage system.

Should the cent be abolished?

Nothing so drastic as that is likely to happen. Congress will probably favor alteration of its composition.

How about the nickel? A similar rejiggering is likely.

What about making all denominations some form of coated steel as has been done in Canada?

That just seems too sweeping even if it means saving money for the taxpayer.

Everyone in Congress is likely to retreat into evaluating between shades of gray for our coinage.

Of course, Rep. Ron Paul will be retired. Without him as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee’s Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee, it is possible that Congress might acquiesce to the Treasury’s request to be allowed to change compositions at the command of the Treasury secretary.

Congress gives up power in such a decision, which historically it does not like to do. However, such an abdication would remove the possibility of an embarrassing political blow-up over the cent.

The onus would be firmly placed on the administration.

Whether it is the second term of the Obama administration or the first of the Romney administration, whoever sits in the Treasury secretary’s chair will not likely want to call attention to coinage matters.

Dramatic change could lead to an uproar of the kind that happened last summer over the excess supply of dollar coins at the Federal Reserve.

Nobody would want to spend political capital fighting over the cent when there are so many other more important issues at hand.

So it would seem we collectors will be watching a process that will be made as dull and gray as it is humanly possible to make it.

At that point we truly will miss Ron Paul.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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