Op-Ed

Ralph Benko: Trump Loves Gold - And So Should America

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A real-deal gold standard would end the coronavirus economic free fall and open the gates for an American economic miracle. The classical gold standard is anathema to academic economists. They are dead wrong.

Gold worked great to make America great in the first place and would work great again. Done right, “good money” — of which the gold standard is the gold standard — has unleashed prosperity many times, too often and too consistently to dismiss it as a fluke.

Most important at this critical moment? Trump gets this. America is blessed with both a president and a vice president who get gold.

Trump loves gold. Should the “gold standard option” for unleashing prosperity be brought to Trump’s attention, he is likely to get it and grab it. As Timothy L. O’Brien wrote for Bloomberg in 2016, “Donald Trump Loves Gold and Don’t You Forget It.”

O’Brien provided a long list of the many ways in which Trump has used gold to embellish both his life and his work.

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“Donald Trump had lots of gold on hand for his center-stage speech at the Republican Party’s nominating convention. … There were the huge gold towers flanking the jumbotron. There were cool gold stairs leading up to the stage, and a warm gold hue behind the power display of the TRUMP name. And the speaker’s podium itself was limned in gold,” O’Brien wrote.

“Gold surrounded Trump in Cleveland because Trump has always coveted gold. He’s not the first guy to love gold, of course, and in a nod to his predecessors, he titled one of his books ‘Midas Touch.’ But Trump loves gold in his own special way.”

O’Brien presented a dozen more striking examples of the gold motif in Trump’s life and goes on to reflect “What might be the policy implications of Trump’s obsession with gold?”

“He’s thought about returning the U.S. to the gold standard. ‘We used to have a very, very solid country because it was based on a gold standard,’ he told an audience in New Hampshire.

Do you think the U.S. should return to the gold standard?

“‘It would be very, very hard to do at this point and one of the problems is we do not have the gold — other places have the gold.'”

Trump, back then, was misinformed by a popular misconception about how hard it would be to do. Truth is, America has far more gold than anyone. Problem solved!

Also, Mike Pence, speaking at the Detroit Economic Club in 2010, expressed respect for and interest in re-establishing the gold standard.

“My dear friend, the late Jack Kemp, probably would have urged me to adopt the gold standard, right here and now in Detroit,” Pence said. “Robert Zoellick, the president of the World Bank, encouraged that we rethink the international currency system including the role of gold, and I agree.”

“A pro-growth agenda begins with sound monetary policy.”

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Pence was ridiculed by the left and left unfazed. As president of the 2012 Draft Pence for President independent Super PAC, I called Mr. Pence “the conservative champion” for good reason.

President Trump and Vice President Pence have strong allies and well-wishers who understand perfectly how to go about getting the gold standard right.

Several senior economic statesmen understand the premise and promise of gold. These include Reagan Gold Commissioner Lewis E. Lehrman, the dean of the classical gold standard; publishing executive Steve Forbes; futurist George Gilder; economic policy icon Dr. Arthur B. Laffer; Drs. Lawrence White and James Dorn; and belletrist James Grant.

The perfect gold standard legislation has already been written. This legislation was approved by the greatest political advocate of gold of our era, the late Rep. Jack Kemp. It was co-sponsored by none other than Trump confidante Newt Gingrich. Kemp’s Gold Standard Act of 1984 has all the right stuff.

The media is rightly fixated on the coronavirus, a threat to our lives. Meanwhile, barely noticed in its shadows lurks a menace to our livelihood: a despotic dollar. As Fortune recently put it, “King dollar is back, creating a big headache for the global economy at the worst possible time.”

As John Maynard Keynes wrote in his “General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”: “Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.”

Why should Trump let the madmen in authority channeling discredited neo-Keynesians continue to distill their deflationary frenzy, tanking the U.S. and world economies?

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Ralph Benko, of Washington, D.C., is a Kemp-era supply-sider, former Reagan White House official, founder of The Prosperity Caucus, chairman of The Capitalist League and the co-author of The Capitalist Manifesto (The Websters' Press, 2019).




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