No one would accuse Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul of being mainstream, including the Texas congressman himself, who relishes his role as an outsider.
So it’s not a huge surprise that Paul has asked Obama administration officials to audit the content of the nation's 700,000 gold bars held in Fort Knox, according to an internal Treasury document obtained by CNBC.
Talk has spread over the Internet that our government has secretly sold off the nation's gold supply and replaced it with metal bars that are merely painted gold.
(Getty Images photo)
Paul, chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, has previously called for the U.S. gold reserve to be counted and for a return to the gold standard.
But now he wants Treasury Department and U.S. Mint officials to testify at a June 23 subcommittee hearing about the Fort Knox gold’s authenticity.
The Obama administration may not be too enthusiastic about his idea. The Treasury document says it would cost about $15 million, requiring 400 workers to spend six months on the job.
The Treasury's Office of the Inspector General audits the Mint once a year.
Meanwhile, gold prices have bounced back from a three-week low amid concern about inflation.
“Gold is embracing the inflationary discussion,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock, tells Bloomberg.
The precious metal traded at $1,522 an ounce Tuesday afternoon.
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