As longtime Eat The Press readers may know, I have lived most of my life in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I schlepped around this state for many years, doing time in its finest universities and bars and auto impound lots before finally settling in Arlington County, a small Northern Virginia community founded by people who like voting and Salvadoran-style chicken. A lot of you might be reading the news these days and wondering to yourselves: "Virginia: are they fixing to secede from the Union?" And the answer is: "Probably, I think?"
Consider, if you will, House Joint Resolution No. 557, which will establish "a joint subcommittee to study whether the Commonwealth should adopt a currency to serve as an alternative to the currency distributed by the Federal Reserve System in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System," probably backed by Jefferson Davis's Secret Gold Stash and minted on tobacco leaves.
The Washington Post's Rosalind S. Helderman has the details:
The Commonwealth of Virginia would begin minting its own gold and silver coins as an alternative currency to the U.S. dollar under a bill that Virginia Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) says he will file in coming days.
Marshall will ask the General Assembly to consider the idea when it convenes for its annual legislative session Jan. 12. It is a companion bill to a proposal he has already filed to establish a study committee to examine alternative currencies to that distributed by the Federal Reserve System "in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System."
Marshall said his intention is to inject competition into the national economy and force the federal government to change monetary policy he believes is leading to hyperinflation. According to his bill, "many widely recognized experts predict the inevitable destruction of the Federal Reserve System's currency through hyperinflation in the foreseeable future." His critique mirrors that of the Tea Party movement, some of whose members have called for the end of the Federal Reserve system.
Just to review, Article 1 of Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution states that "The Congress shall have Power ... To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures" and to "provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States." Someone should really read that thing out loud, or something, because it's full of useful information.
Hat tip to Gawker's John Cook, who reminds us that this is the same Bob Marshall that wanted to "bar gays and lesbians from serving in the Virginia National Guard" -- which is also something that Virginia is not technically allowed to do. Helderman points out that "Marshall's bills aren't always embraced by the rest of the legislature, even his fellow Republicans," but if you hear that they've reopened the Tredegar Iron Works to manufacture munitions, now you'll know why.
State Legislator Wants Virginia to Have Its Own Currency [Gawker]
Delegate proposes Va. mint its own money [Virginia Politics @ WaPo]