Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and freshman state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione have a plan to create a “Fort Knox of Texas” so that the state can start hoarding gold.
Giovanni has filed a bill to establish a Texas Bullion Depository to store the $1 billion worth of gold bars that are owned by University of Texas Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO), which are currently being housed by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Speaking to conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday, Perry said that lawmakers were in the process of “bringing gold that belongs to the state of Texas back into the state.” Beck has been a longtime paid spokesperson for the precious metal seller Goldline, which agreed to refund up to $4.5 million to former customers last year after being sued for marking up gold more than 50 percent.
“If we own it, I will suggest to you that that’s not someone else’s determination whether we can take possession of it back or not,” Perry told Beck.
Former Rep. Ron Paul on Thursday explained to The Texas Tribune that the gold would be safer in the hands of Texans.
“If you think gold is a hedge, or a protection, you always want it as close to the individual and the entity as possible,” Paul said. “Texas is better served if it knows exactly where the gold is rather than depending on the security of the Federal Reserve.”
For his part, Capriglione said that he had gotten the idea while attending a tea party rally with Perry in Tarrant County earlier this year.
“Something on the scorecards of a lot of these businesses in deciding whether they want to come to Texas is stability and gold as being one of those items,” Capriglione insisted. “I think it’s been in his consciousness for a while in trying to get some sort of depository in the state of Texas.”
“We don’t want just the certificates. We want our gold. And if you’re the state of Texas, you should be able to get your gold.”
Tangent Capital Partners senior managing director Jim Rickards speculated to Yahoo Finance on Thursday that creating a “Fort Knox of Texas” could be a step in Texas creating its own currency and eventually moving to secede.
“This bill contains a provision that says to the federal government that you, the federal government, purport to confiscate this Texas gold, we, the state of Texas, consider that to be null and void,” Rickards pointed out. “And under the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution, they have that power.”
Earlier this year, more than 100,000 people signed a petition on the White House website calling on President Barack Obama’s administration to allow the state to secede.
White House Office of Public Engagement Director Jon Carson responded by noting that the Supreme Court in 1869 that states do not have a right to secede.
Carson noted that the Founding Fathers established a Constitution and “enshrined in that document the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot — a right that generations of Americans have fought to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from it.”
Watch this video from Yahoo Finance, broadcast March 21, 2013.