The Tea Party is currently lobbying for a return to the gold standard, insisting that economists and other people who've dedicated their lives to studying the painfully intricate world of economics are living in a made-up fantasy world.
Mike Pitts, a South Carolina statehouse representative, introduced a bill in April that would make gold and silver coins legal tender in the state. Pitts explained his reasoning behind this move to the LA Times.
"Quite frankly, I think that economists from universities are thinking within the confines of their own little world. They don't deal with the real issues."
I see. Real, pre-Industrialized issues that the rest of us face, like cattle rustlers and one-eyed loose cannons of federal marshals named Rooster Cogburn.
Similar bits of legislation are being pushed for over a dozen states, and include a Montana measure, voted down by a narrow 52-48 margin, that would have forced all wholesalers to pay tobacco taxes in gold, using electronic transactions backed by bullion held at depositories.
Utah said "fuck it" last month, when Governor Gary Herbert signed a law that said gold and silver coins minted by the government were considered legal tender. Whether or not this included those fifty-dollar gold and silver eagle coins advertised in the back of my Smithsonian was not covered.
Probably the most outright batshit push has come from Georgia, where the state is being lobbied to accept only gold and silver for all payments, including taxes, and to use the precious metals exclusively to pay all of the state's debts.
Look, this Tea Party shit has gone too far. It's one thing to make hypocritical statements about wanting to cut government powers and spending from your Medicare-purchased Rascal scooter, but it's quite another to advocate a return to an antiquated form of currency. Seriously, what's next, tobacco leaves? Anti-government sentiments are one thing, but this is pure lunacy.