Over the last few years, sound money has become one of the Tenth Amendment Center’s primary policy areas. The objective; create an environment for currency competition that can potentially undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.


Because the Fed is the engine that drives the most powerful government in this history of the world.

Money is power, and the Federal Reserve serves as an unlimited spigot pumping dollars into the economy. It monetizes the federal debt and enables a level of borrowing that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Without the Fed, there would be no more endless and undeclared war. There would be no massive, unsustainable social programs. There would be no police state. There would be no corporate welfare programs. The federal government would truly be limited.

If you want to end unconstitutional, overreaching federal power – end the Fed.

All of this money printing and intervention also distorts the economy.

Before the crash in the first quarter of 2020, the stock market soared to record highs in 2019. The surging markets were a favorite subject of President Trump’s Twitter feed. It was proof, according to him, that we experienced “the greatest economy in American history.” 

To hear the president tell it, the world had never seen this kind of economic growth. But the truth is the world did see it – during the Obama administration. Economic growth during the Trump administration looked an awful lot like economic growth during the Obama era. In 2019, GDP grew by 2.3 percent. That wasn’t even as high as Obama’s best year. 

In historical terms, U.S. economic growth in 2019 was tepid.

The crash in early 2020 revealed the rot in the economy’s foundation. While most people blame the coronavirus for the market crash, the pandemic was merely the pin that popped the bubble. In fact, we saw trouble in the stock markets in the fall of 2018, long before the coronavirus reared its ugly head. The Fed had to rush in a save the day by cutting interest rates.

So, if the economy wasn’t really booming, why was the stock market setting records? And how did it revive so quickly after the coronavirus crash in March 2020?

Look no further than the Federal Reserve.

You simply cannot grasp the economic big-picture without understanding how Federal Reserve monetary policy drives the boom-bust cycle. The effects of all other government policies work within the Fed’s monetary framework. Money-printing and interest rate manipulations fuel booms and the inevitable attempt to return to “normalcy” precipitates busts.

In simplest terms, easy money blows up bubbles. Bubbles pop and set off a crisis. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

The Fed wields enormous power through its ability to maintain a monopoly on money. It also creates a weakness because there are steps we can take to undermine and break down that monopoly power.

By passing laws that encourage and incentivize the use of gold, silver and cryptocurrency in daily transactions by the general public, state action has the potential to create a wide-reaching impact and set the foundation to nullify the Fed’s monopoly power over the monetary system.

There are a number of concrete steps states can take to expand the market for gold, silver and crypto as money.

  • Recognize Gold and Silver as Legal Tender
  • Eliminate Sales Taxes and Capital Gains Taxes on the Exchange of Money (Gold, Silver, Platinum)
  • Establish State Gold Depositories
  • Incentivize the use of cryptocurrency and eliminate all state taxes

As highlighted in the 2019-2020 State of the Nullification Movement report, three states passed laws to encourage currency competition and Texas continued to ramp up operations at its gold depository.

The Big Picture

The United States Constitution states in Article I, Section 10 that, “No State shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”

Currently, all debts and taxes in states around the country are either paid with Federal Reserve notes (dollars), authorized as legal tender by Congress, or with coins issued by the U.S. Treasury – almost none of which contain gold or silver.

In a paper for the Mises Institute, constitutional tender expert Professor William Greene said that when people in multiple states actually start using gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve Notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.

“Over time, as residents of the state use both Federal Reserve notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve notes do will lead to a ‘reverse Gresham’s Law’ effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve notes).

“As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the state’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the state – as people in other states carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve notes for any transactions.”

Once things get to that point, Federal Reserve notes would become largely unwanted and irrelevant for ordinary people.

All of these state efforts open the door for a serious push-back against the Fed and its monopoly on money. But state action alone won’t accomplish the goal. Ultimately, it will be up to everyday people to take advantage of these state laws and actually start using gold, silver and cryptocurrency as money.

Mike Maharrey

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



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