AUSTIN, Texas — Facing double-digit inflation in 1981, Congress created a commission to consider a role for gold in U.S. monetary policy. The 17-member panel rejected the idea of returning America to the gold standard — except for two dissenting members.
One was a little-known congressman from Texas named Ron Paul.
Today, Paul’s surprisingly strong race for the Republican presidential nomination is drawing new attention to a notion that long has been a cherished cause for a small group of conservatives but is considered a relic of history by mainstream economists and politicians.
Paul and his supporters would like to set a firm value for the U.S. dollar, much like when it was pegged to a specific amount of gold. They say prices would be stable and inflation controlled because the government couldn’t print more money than it had gold to back it up. This approach, Paul maintains, would address many of the economy’s problems.