http://www.fgmr.com/buffett.htm Rep. Howard Buffett, father of Wall Street legend Warren Buffett, was too far ahead of his time, so few listened to the concerns and even fewer appreciated his wisdom when he addressed a group of businessmen on May 4, 1948. To our good fortune, his address was published two days later in The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, and has been reprinted by the Committee for Monetary Research & Education (10004 Greenwood Court, Charlotte, NC 28215-9621), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the restoration of sound money. The passage of time has proven Rep. Buffett to be right, so the ideas of this brilliant Congressman from Nebraska should be reexamined in the light of our quest for reform and our need to regain control of Congress. His words speak for themselves. "Today Congress is constantly besieged by [special interest] groups seeking benefits from the public treasury. Congressmen find it difficult to persuade themselves not to give in to pressure groups. With no bad immediate consequence it becomes expedient to accede to a spending demand. The Treasury is seemingly inexhaustible. Besides the unorganized taxpayers back home may not notice this particular expenditure - and so it goes." "Because [a politician's] continuance in office depends upon pleasing a majority of the pressure groups," there is a natural propensity for over-spending. Rep. Buffett recognized this reckless tendency to be a political fact of life, with predictable and discouraging results if left uncontrolled. "From 1930-1946 your government went into the red every year and the debt steadily mounted. Various plans have been proposed to reverse this spiral of debt." "One is that a fixed amount of tax revenue each year would go for debt reduction. Another is that Congress be prohibited by statute from appropriating more than anticipated revenues in peacetime. Still another is that 10% of taxes be set aside each year for debt reduction." "All of these proposals look good. But they are unrealistic under our paper money system. They will not stand up against post-war spending pressures. The accuracy of this conclusion has already been demonstrated." "Under the stream-lining Act passed by Congress in 1946, the Senate and the House were required to fix a maximum budget each year. The statute providing for a maximum budget has fallen by the wayside even in the first two years that it has been operating and in a period of prosperity." The demise of Gramm-Rudman sounds like an exact replay of this episode from the past. Rep. Buffett's words ring true as if they were spoken just yesterday, not 43 years ago. His understanding and insight truly reaches across the decades. But Rep. Buffett did not stop with an accurate statement of the problem. He also provided the solution. He understood why Congress was no longer the quaint little institution it was during his youth. He knew what was needed to set things right and to bring unbridled spending under control. "Before 1933 the people themselves had an effective way to demand economy. Before 1933, whenever the people became disturbed over Federal spending, they could redeem their paper currency in gold, and wait for common sense to return to Washington." "That happened on various occasions and conditions sometimes became strained, but nothing occurred like the ultimate consequences of paper money inflation." "When the people's right to restrain public spending by demanding gold coin was taken away from them, the automatic flow of strength from the grass-roots to enforce economy in Washington was disconnected." "With a restoration of the gold standard, Congress would have to again resist handouts. If Congress seemed receptive to reckless spending schemes, depositors' demands over the country for gold would soon become serious. That alarm in turn would quickly be reflected in the halls of Congress. The legislators would learn from the banks back home and from the Treasury officials that confidence in the Treasury was endangered." "Congress would be forced to confront spending demands with firmness. The gold standard acted as a silent watchdog to prevent unlimited public spending." Rep. Buffett clearly understood the consequences of his recommendation. He also recognized the outcry that would result among those who would criticize the restoration of the Dollar's direct and transparent link to Gold. "Most opponents of free coinage of gold admit that restoration is essential, but claim the time is not propitious. Some argue that there would be a scramble for gold and our enormous gold reserves would soon be exhausted." "Actually, this argument simply points up the case. If there is so little confidence in our currency that restoration of gold coin would cause our gold stocks to disappear, then we must act promptly."