Saturday, February 12, 2011

Craziest Republican of the Day: Lee Bright


South Carolina's Republican secessionist flag

Republicans really seem to miss the Confederacy. And they certainly seem to hate America. For yet another example of secessionist, anti-Washington thinking, let's head down to South Carolina, one of the craziest states in the union:

Continuing a pattern of attempts to assert South Carolina's independence from the federal government, State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Roebuck, has introduced legislation that backs the creation of a new state currency that could protect the financial stability of the Palmetto State in the event of a breakdown of the Federal Reserve System.

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"If there is an attempt to monetize the Fed we ought to at least have a study on record that could protect South Carolinians," Bright said in an interview Friday.

"If folks lose faith in the dollar, we need to have some kind of backup."

The legislation cites the rights reserved to states in the Constitution and Supreme Court rulings in making the case that South Carolina is within its rights to create its own currency.

Um... really? I'm hardly an expert on constitutional law, but Article I, Section 10 states no state shall "coin Money" or "emit Bills of Credit," which is to say, no state may have its own currency. Yes, a state may allow "gold and silver Coin" to be "a Tender in Payment of Debts," but as Madison explained in Federalist 44, "it may be observed that the same reasons which shew the necessity of denying to the States the power of regulating coin, prove with equal force that they ought not to be at liberty to substitute a paper medium in the place of coin. Had every State a right to regulate the value of its coin, there might be as many different currencies as States; and thus the intercourse among them would be impeded." That's pretty clear, it seems to me.

Now, Bright wants South Carolina's currency to be "gold or silver, or both," according to the legislation. His target is the federal reserve system, which is to say, the federal government (which is explicitly authorized by the Constitution (Article I, Section 8) to "coin Money" and "regulate the Value thereof," and one suspects that the Founding Fathers would not be amused.

But we're not there yet. "Bright's joint resolution calls for the creation of an eight-member joint subcommittee to study the proposal and submit a report to the General Assembly by Nov. 1."

As Phil Bailey, the director of the state Senate Democratic Caucus, quipped, "[i]t's a waste of time; it's a waste of resources. I mean who's paying for this study? Will they be paid in actual dollars or gold doubloons?"

Good question.

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5 Comments:

  • I wonder which episode of Glenn Beck prompted this 'Bright' idea.

    By Blogger Muddy Politics, at 12:08 AM  

  • Oh, it goes well beyond Beck, but of course Beck's paranoia (along with that of the Tea Party generally -- see, e.g., M. Bachmann) makes it so much worse.

    What this is, really, along with anti-government paranoia, is disrespect for, and indeed opposition to, constitutional democracy, and you find that everywhere on the right these days, and throughout the Republican Party.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 4:03 AM  

  • This is stupid.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:54 PM  

  • >> His target is the federal reserve system, which is to say, the federal government.

    1. He is not targeting the Fed, rather planning in case the fed fails.

    2. Madison (along with Hamilton) did call for a strong central bank, but not an independent body such as the Fed.

    3. If you think the Fed is part of the federal government, perhaps the opinion of that right wing instrument - the Ninth Circuit Court - will server to educate (1982):

    "Examining the organization and function of the Federal Reserve Banks, and applying the relevant factors, we conclude that the Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of the FTCA, but are independent, privately-owned and locally controlled corporations." [Lewis vs. U.S., 680 F. 2d 1239, 1241]

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:07 PM  

  • Lee Bright is not qualified to be senator let alone make any kind of policy. Just look at the trucking company he owns..LOL

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:37 AM  

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