Tags: gold | Heritage | fort knox | debt

Heritage's Utt: US Should Sell Gold to Pay Down Debt

Monday, 16 May 2011 02:17 PM

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Auric Goldfinger, call your office. The gold reserve at Fort Knox could be for sale if conservative economists have their way, although the White House rejects the idea as foolhardy.

Fort Knox, gold, sell
Fort Knox: Almost 150 million ounces of gold are stored in them thar vaults. (AP Photo)
The United States Bullion Depository, holding about 147 million ounces of gold that the government says is worth about $370 billion, should be unloaded now that gold is going for around $1,500 an ounce, the Heritage Foundation’s Ron Utt told The Washington Post.

“It’s just sort of sitting there,” the Post quotes Utt as saying. “Given the high price it is now, and the tremendous debt problem we now have, by all means, sell at the peak.”

Libertarians and conservatives have long advocated selling off government assets to deal with the deficit. The Heritage Foundation recently released a plan to balance the budget by selling $260 billion in federal assets. While not specifying which, the plan refers to “partial sales of federal properties, real estate, mineral rights, the electromagnetic spectrum, and energy-generation facilities,” the Post reported.

Since the country is no longer on the gold standard, the bullion in Kentucky is just sort of sitting around. However, Treasury officials are not keen about selling. Mary Miller, Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial markets, said if such assets were sold, it should happen in an orderly manner and not “fire sale” that would be bad for the taxpayers and the markets, the Post reported.

Another senior administration official said, “Selling off the gold is just one level of crazy away from selling Mount Rushmore,” the Post reported.


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