DownsizeDC.org
August 27, 2009
The Mint vs. The Fed
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: The government called three accountants to testify. The defense asked each one, "What is the proper way to calculate income for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code if you are paid in a gold coin that has a $50 face value on it?" All three of them responded, "I do not know; I'll have to research that." -- Mike Zigler, reporting on the 2007 case against Robert Kahre that ended in a hung jury

Subject: How can legal tender be illegal?

Robert Kahre is facing up to 296 years in prison. His crime? He hired workers on mutually-agreed terms, and paid them in gold and silver dollars rather than in Federal Reserve dollars.

First, some background . . .

* The face value of the U.S. Mint's gold and silver coins are legal tender, meaning they must be accepted in payment of debt
* But a Gold Eagle coin that has "$50" printed on it is legal tender only up to $50, while its gold content is worth about $1,000 in Federal Reserve notes
* No law or IRS regulation requires that receivers of Gold Eagles and other U.S. Mint coins must report the market value of the coins instead of the legal tender value

After extensively researching the issue, Kahre . . .

* hired workers as independent contractors, so he would not pay the payroll tax for their labor
* paid them in gold and silver coins, whose face value - that is, legal tender value - was so low that the workers legally didn't have to report it as income to the IRS

For instance, if a worker was annually paid in gold coins with a legal tender face value of $2,000, the market value of the gold content in those coins could be $40,000, but only the legal tender face value of $2,000 would theoretically count as taxable income. That face value of $2,000 is low enough to be non-reportable to the IRS. But . . .

Even though the coins Kahre used were legal tender, the Justice Department alleged that Kahre's system was a fraudulent, tax-evading scam.

We agree with Jacob Hornberger who asserts that the federal government's prosecution of Kahre is self-contradictory . . .

* if you owe $100 in taxes and pay with gold coins with face values totalling $100, the IRS will accept the payment as $100; it could then sell the coins on the market for twenty times that amount and keep the difference. The government will accept your payment as "legal tender."
* but if YOU receive gold coins from someone else in a private transaction, the IRS says you must report the market value of the coins, not the face value. That is, YOU CANNOT TREAT THE COINS AS LEGAL TENDER.

The government fears that if more people took the law at its word and behaved like Kahre . . .

* people would demand payment in the Mint's gold and silver coins and have far fewer reportable "dollars" in income, meaning fewer people would pay income taxes
* the market would soon prefer the coins produced by the Treasury Department's Mint that are regulated by law - not the inflated dollars created by order of the independent Federal Reserve Board
* good money (gold and silver) would drive out the bad (paper Federal Reserve Notes and electronic keyboard strokes), whereas the federal government needs inflated, deficit-driven money to pay for its endless wars, failed welfare schemes, and expanding police state

No wonder the government views Kahre as a threat, and is willing to made a mockery of its own legal tender laws to destroy him!

DownsizeDC.org, however, believes Kahre was on to something. That's why we endorse the "Honest Money Act," which would repeal the legal tender law that gives the Federal Reserve a monopoly over the money supply. This bill, along with the "Tax-Free Gold Act" and the "Free Competition in Currency Act," is a plank in our End the Inflation Tax Campaign.

Repealing the legal tender law would foster the creation of HONEST free market money, and protect people from the Federal Reserve's endless onslaught of legalized counterfeiting, which constantly reduces the value of your money.

Tell Congress to pass the bills in our End the Inflation Tax Campaign.

Use your personal comments to mention the hypocrisy involved in the Kahre case. If the feds are going to make it a crime to FOLLOW the legal tender law, then that's just one more argument for repealing it. You can send your message here.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President
DownsizeDC.org

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