Sell The Gold! Make Every Road A Toll Road! Conservatives Propose How To Get The U.S. Out Of Debt

Sell the gold in Fort Knox!

No, it’s not an Onion article (not anymore, at least).  It’s an idea of how to avoid raising the debt ceiling from the conservative/libertarian think tank Heritage Foundation.  According to the Washington Post, the group is coming up with any possible way to reduce the country’s debt rather than raise the debt ceiling, and selling off our gold is one of them.

“It’s just sort of sitting there,” said Ron Utt, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. “Given the high price it is now, and the tremendous debt problem we now have, by all means, sell at the peak.”

But that’s cockamamie, declares the Obama administration. Mary J. Miller, Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial markets, said the U.S. should sell assets in an orderly, “well-telegraphed” manner, not in a “fire sale” atmosphere with a debt limit deadline accelerating the process.

“It would be bad for the taxpayers. It would be bad for the markets,” Miller said.

Another senior administration official, not authorized to speak for attribution, described the situation more bluntly: “Selling off the gold is just one level of crazy away from selling Mount Rushmore.”

Of course, there are some obvious problems with the gold dump — finding buyers, flooding the market and, oh, maybe the utter financial instability that would be caused if the U.S. started selling off mass amounts of assets like it was afraid someone’s going to repossess their Mustang.

But the proposal also provides some clues about the true “libertarian” plan for the country — turn everything over to private investors.

For example, another idea being thrown around by the group is that the U.S. should sell off “$260 billion in federal assets over 15 years … partial sales of federal properties, real estate, mineral rights, the electromagnetic spectrum, and energy-generation facilities.”  They don’t say exactly what, but it’s not to hard to guess.

One idea percolating was the selling off of the highway system.  Essentially, every road could be turned into a toll road, according to one source.  So what would be essentially a regressive tax would hit hardest on the lower and middle income who need to use roads to get to daily jobs or to get to services like grocery stores or department stores.  Unlike those people who are living off of dividends and can chose when to leave the house, they would be trapped into paying whatever the owners decide to ask for.

Or what if all of the energy companies belonged to private owners and the government had no controls? Remember Enron, energy rationing and brownouts?

At this point these are all just what ifs, but they might not be forever.  The Heritage Foundation is one driving forces behind today’s Republican party. 

Maybe it’s time to ask the GOP exactly what assets they want to sell, and to whom?


Photo by Federal Reserve (Federal Reserve Bank of New York) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago

all roads toll roads!--dumbest idea ever!

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

then what????

Sarah Solaban
Sarah Solaban5 years ago

This is one reason why Pythagoras said "Avoid politics" when he advised his followers to avoid beans.

Bernadette P.
Berny p5 years ago

IF they sell...the chinese will be RIGHT THERE!!!!!

Bernadette P.
Berny p5 years ago

Dont laught...some idiot might just do this!!!!!!!

Lika S.
Lika S5 years ago

Okay, to sell off the gold is just plain idiotic. Sure, we'll be out of debt, but now we have nothing to back our currency nor hold any amount of lending power to give or receive loans because our credit will be flushed down the toilet when we sell the gold.

On the other hand, taxing the rich isn't going to solve the problem either, you'd have to tax too much, and we don't have enough rich PEOPLE to cover the cost.

The rich/wealthy do need to pay their fair share, not get more loopholes or tax breaks. Corporations also need to pay their fair share also. In Wisconsin, up to 80% of all for profit corporations don't pay taxes in some way, shape or form.

Then, of course we need to expand our tax base because more people/companies making money, the more tax income is being made to lower the debt/deficit. So, this means that the foreign businesses can be charged tariffs, which includes American corporations who moved overseas because now they're no longer American because they don't produce here, and bring them back or stimulate more corporations back home here to create more jobs and spending power.

You can't just stimulate the economy by saving money, that's just sitting on it. You have to figure out a way to move that money around in the first place, because it's the flow that keeps the economy stimulated and moving.

Charles Temm JR
Charles Temm JR5 years ago

Interesting that for once someone realized the problem with selling a large amount of gold all at once. Maybe Care2 has someone trying to understand some basic economics finally?

Still looking at this idea like it epitomizes the entire sale of government assets shows some intellectual dishonesty on the part of the author/site. The US government holds huge amounts of land in the Western states, the actual majority of several of their land masses in reality. Sale of some of these lands, even turnover to various Indian tribes WHO would use them instead of letting them sit fallow/requiring agents of the government to patrol/administer them as net liabilities. Sell them to other private use people too so the land could produce something; crops, minerals, energy, livestock, lumber etc.

The idea is to get those assets working for the public Treasury instead of as a drain. Those numerous buildings and commercial properties elsewhere in the country too could go, something has to be done and soon. Its become obvious the President is now only concerned with his reelection. Little or nothing will be done requiring his "leadership" until he gets reelected or not.

So the idea of selling those assets time has come. No one is saying clear the books and yes Care2 is correct a gold sale would be dumb (its the only "backing" our paper money has in the end and its only a fraction of the paper out there) but selling some stuff would help the nation's bottom line. Any better idea

John Bauer
Past Member 5 years ago

tax the rich. The debt will go away if everyone who makes more than a million a year pay 10%. Someone who makes $10 mil a year, pays a million to taxes. That is how to allieviate the debt.

Gary A L.
Gary L5 years ago

think koch brothers abnd you've nailed it they won't be happy until everyone is their servant by the way if you sell your assets you'll wind up living under the bridge whichis fine with the kock(sic) brothers as long as your clean when your serving them

Peter L.
Peter Ledoux5 years ago

My head is spinning. Sell the gold? The price would plummet at the sale of the first bar. Everyone would sell fast to get top dollar