By DAVID PIETRUSZA, The New York Sun
NEW YORK â€” The next big question on the federal debt limit could be whether to start selling the governmentâ€™s holdings of gold at Fort Knox â€” and at least one presidential contender, Ron Paul, has told The New York Sun he thinks it would be a good move.
The question has been ricocheting around the policy circles today. An analyst at the Heritage Foundation, Ron Utt, told the Washington Post that the gold holdings of the government are â€œjust sort of sitting there.â€ He added: â€œGiven the high price it is now, and the tremendous debt problem we now have, by all means, sell at the peak.â€
His comment came in the wake of not only the government having reached the statutory debt limit of $14.29 trillion but also the release of a report by the Heritage Foundation of a report on asset sales. The report outlined how a â€œpartial sales of federal properties, real estate, mineral rights, the electromagnetic spectrum, and energy-generation facilitiesâ€ might garner the federal treasury $260 billion over the course of the next 15 years.
The report did not mention the possibility of selling the governmentâ€™s holdings of bullion, which at recent prices of $1,500 an ounce, would be worth about many tens of billions of dollars. But the possibility has not been lost in the policy debate now raging in Washington. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that a group of Republican congressmen supports the idea of selling gold.
Officials of the Obama administration have taken notice â€” and disagree. The assistant Treasury secretary for financial markets, Mary Miller, wrote in a posting on the Treasury Departmentâ€™s Website May 6 that â€œfire saleâ€ of the governmentâ€™s financial assets, including gold, would not be a â€œviable option.â€ She urged instead a raising of the debt limit.
To read more, visit: Â http://www.nysun.com/national/selling-gold-at-fort-knox-emerges-as-next-big/87350/
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