Ron Paul knows his history, and he may be pondering just such a confiscation happening again.
This weekend's Barron's points out that while Ron Paul discloses holdings of gold mining stocks worth well over $1 million dollars, he claims no physical gold.
To our surprise, Paul's financial disclosures reveal no holdings of physical gold, gold coins, or gold equivalents like certain exchange-traded gold funds, which is confounding, given his strident advocacy of the metal as an insurance policy against the almost-certain debasement of the currency by politicians and central bankers. So we dug around a little. In his financial-disclosure form for the years 1994 through 2002, Paul reported holding "semi-numismatic" coins worth between $100,001 and $250,000. But from 2003 onward, they were never mentioned again.
Rachel Mills, the congressman's press spokesperson, said Paul, who generally is garrulous on the topic of hard money, did not wish to comment.
Did Washington's greatest goldbug really dump all his gold right before it paid off big time? Not bloody likely. When you're a goldbug like Ron Paul and me, they'll get your gold when they pry it from your cold, dead hands.
According to the 2010 guidelines by the House committee on Official Conduct, "Personal property, if held for investment or the production of income, must be disclosed if it meets the reporting thresholds. Collectibles can include, but are not limited to, works of art, vintage automobiles, stamps, jewelry, precious metals, rare coins, and books."
I suspect that Paul believes that disclosure doesn't apply to his gold. It's certainly not held for "the production of income," as it doesn't yield anything as we are so often told by smarty-pants gold-bashers. And "investment?" Webster's Dictionary defines "investment: the outlay of money usually for income or profit : capital outlay; also : the sum invested or the property purchased." You don't outlay money for gold for income or profit; you hold it as a store of wealth. Gold is money as Ron Paul himself has made Ben Bernanke look like a fool trying to deny.
Or perhaps he gave his gold to his children or grandchildren (though son Sen. Rand Paul's 2010 financial disclosure forms show no gold).
That Ron Paul sold his precious gold is the least likely of all these scenarios in my opinion. I think Paul fears another gold confiscation and doesn't want to be on record as having hundreds of thousands of dollars of gold for the government to come confiscate. And I don't blame him one bit.
My advice for acquiring gold? Always pay cash. And never disclose your gold on a government form.