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Jp Cortez

Jp Cortez

Jp Cortez is a graduate of Auburn University, a current law school student, and a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a Mises University alumnus. He is the Assistant Director of the Sound Money Defense League, an organization which is working to bring back gold and silver as America's constitutional money.

Articles by Jp Cortez

Oklahoma to Consider Holding Gold and Silver, Removing Income Taxes

January 23, 2022

(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — January 20, 2022) – An Oklahoma state representative introduced legislation today that would enable the State Treasurer to protect Sooner State funds from inflation and financial risk by holding physical gold and silver.
Introduced by Rep. Sean Roberts, HB 3681 would include physical gold and silver, owned directly, to the list of permissible investments that the State Treasurer can hold. Currently, Oklahoma money managers are largely relegated to investing in low-yield, dollar-denominated debt instruments.
Other than Ohio, no state is currently known to hold any precious metals, even as inflation and financial turmoil accelerate globally. Yes, Oklahoma’s own investment guidance prescribes safety of principal as a primary objective for

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Pro-Sound Money Lawmaker Wants To End Income Taxes on Gold and Silver in Oklahoma

January 22, 2022

(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA – January 20, 2022) – Oklahoma ended sales taxes on purchases of precious metals long ago, but now a representative from Broken Arrow wants to eliminate yet another tax on on gold and silver transactions.
Introduced by Sen. Nathan Dahm, Senate Bill 1480 would end capital gain transactions on the exchange of gold and silver.
Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming have enacted similar measures into law. Idaho has considered this measure recently and a similar measure is expected to be heard before the West Virginia legislature this year.
In recent decades, monetary gold and silver — and dollars redeemable in gold and silver — have been supplanted by the Federal Reserve Note as America’s currency. However, an increasing number of West Virginia

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Will 2022 Be “The Year of Sound Money” in the States?

January 21, 2022

Last year was a good year for state-level sound money legislation across the United States. 2022 could be even better.
Building on the success enjoyed by sound money advocates in Arkansas and Ohio last year, more than a half dozen states are now considering legislation that rolls back discriminatory taxes and regulations on the sale, use, and purchase of gold and silver.
More States Are Removing Sales Taxes on Gold & Silver
To date, 42 states have removed some or all taxes from the purchase of gold and silver. And there are new bills pending now in five of the eight remaining states, i.e. Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Hawaii, and New Jersey.
Taxing the exchange of Federal Reserve Notes for the monetary metals is an atrocious policy, for several reasons.
States

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Alabama to Consider Extending Sales Tax Exemption on Sound Money

January 11, 2022

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(Birmingham, AL, USA – January 10, 2022) – Alabama currently exempts precious metals from state sales tax, however this exemption is set to expire in 2022. A senator in the Yellowhammer State hopes to extend this popular exemption.
Introduced by Senator Tim Melson (1-R), and supported by the Sound Money Defense League, Senate Bill 13 maintains current law by extending the existing sales tax exemption on the purchases of precious metals purchases
If Senate Bill 13 is not enacted, and this exemption is therefore allowed to expire, Alabama small businesses would immediately be harmed – along with Alabama citizens seeking to protect their savings against the devaluation of the dollar.
The Alabama sales tax exemption on the monetary metals should be maintained for a

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Ohio House Votes to Fix Blunder, Remove Sales Tax on Sound Money

April 23, 2021

The Ohio House of Representatives just approved a bill which helps Buckeye State citizens protect themselves from the loss of monetary purchasing power caused by federal money printing.
Introduced by Representative Oeslager, House Bill 110 includes a provision to eliminate the sales and use tax on purchases of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bullion in Ohio.
Ohio recently repealed a longstanding sales tax exemption on the sale of precious metals. Seeing the harm caused to in-state businesses, tourism dollars, and Ohio investors, the state seeks to reinstate the exemption.
This is no surprise. In 2016, the state of Louisiana experimented briefly with slapping sales taxes on precious metals purchases. They quickly reversed course only one year later

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Alabama House Considers Eliminating Income Taxes on Gold and Silver

February 8, 2020

Representative Sorrell has introduced House Bill 122, a tax-neutral measure to exclude from gross income any net capital gain and any net capital loss derived from the exchange of precious metals bullion.
Policies that penalize savers in precious metals reduce the likelihood that Alabama citizens will take prudent steps to insulate themselves from the inflation and financial turmoil caused by the Federal Reserve.
In recent years, legislation to remove capital gains taxes currently assessed on the sale of the monetary metals progressed through several state legislatures – Wyoming and Arizona were the last two states to remove income taxes from constitutional money. Alabama ought to be the next.
Here are a few reasons why slapping an income tax on the monetary

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Hawaii Representatives Consider Ending Taxation on Sound Money

February 1, 2020

Introduced by Representative Okimoto (R-36), House Bill 1830 removes sales and use tax against gold and silver bullion and currency in Hawaii.
Under current law, Hawaii citizens are discouraged from insuring their savings against the devaluation of the dollar because they are penalized with taxation for doing so. Passage of this measure would remove disincentives to holding gold and silver for this purpose. HB 1830 is important for a few reasons:
Levying sales taxes on precious metals is inappropriate. Sales taxes are typically levied on final consumer goods. Computers, shirts, and shoes carry sales taxes because the consumer is “consuming” the good. Precious metals are inherently held for resale, not “consumption,” making the application of sales taxes on

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Sound Money Scholarship Winners Announced – 7 Outstanding Thinkers Earn Nearly $10,000 in Tuition Assistance

November 6, 2019

Eagle, ID (November 6, 2019) – Seven outstanding students beat out over 100 of their high-school and college peers in making the best case for sound money through an international, gold-backed scholarship competition…
…and the winners walked away with almost $10,000 in scholarship awards for their exceptional, thought-provoking essays.
For the fourth-straight year, Money Metals Exchange, the national precious-metals dealer that was recently ranked “Best in the USA,” has teamed up with the Sound Money Defense League to offer the first gold-backed scholarship of the modern era.
These groups have set aside 100 ounces of physical gold to reward exemplary students who display a thorough understanding of economics, monetary policy, and sound money.
The 2019 Sound Money

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The Sound Money Showdown in U.S. States

August 7, 2019

Policies relating to sound money have been the subject of substantial debate at the state level this year, with bills, hearings, and/or votes taking place in nearly a dozen legislatures.
As most state legislatures have now wrapped up their work for the year, let’s review the victories (both offensive and defensive)—and lone defeat—for sound money during the 2019 session.
The Sound Money Defense League’s primary goal is to remove every kind of taxation imposed on constitutional money. Given its practical importance, the hottest issue in the states has been taxation—i.e. whether citizens should face a levy when buying or selling gold and silver.
House Bill 2684, introduced by West Virginia Delegate Pat McGeehan, aimed

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Washington State Politicians Drop Cynical Attempt to Impose Taxes on Gold & Silver

April 22, 2019

Well, here’s some encouraging news…
Efforts in Washington State to impose sales taxes on gold and silver were SHUT DOWN today thanks to intense efforts by the Sound Money Defense League, a group of in-state coin dealers led by Dan Duncan, the Association of Washington Businesses, and a large number of vocal grassroots supporters.
Here’s the backstory…
Since last month, a few misguided Washington State senators and representatives have been trying to ram through a new tax on constitutional money.
Their cynical efforts stalled out last month on the senate side, and today, the House Finance Committee voted decisively against imposing a new sales tax on precious metals.
Maintaining current law and not levying sales

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West Virginia Joins Growing Sound Money Movement – Six Other States Now Weighing Their Own Bills to End Taxes on Gold & Silver

April 10, 2019

Before the ink could even dry on West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s signature on a repeal of sales taxation on gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion and coins, legislators in Wisconsin and Maine introduced similar measures in their own states.
All told, 39 states have now reduced or eliminated sales taxes on the monetary metals, and Wisconsin, Maine, Kansas, Arkansas, Minnesota, and Tennessee are all actively considering bills of their own this month.
West Virginia’s Senate Bill 502 enjoyed tremendous popularity, passing through the State Senate unanimously before passing out of the House 90-9. Starting July 1, investors, savers, and small businesses in the state are no longer required to pay sales and use

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U.S. Congressman Introduces Bill to Remove Income Taxation from Gold and Silver

February 14, 2019

The battle to end taxation of constitutional money has reached the federal level as U.S. Representative Alex Mooney (R-WV) today re-introduced sound money legislation to remove all federal income taxation from gold and silver coins and bullion.
The Monetary Metals Tax Neutrality Act (H.R. 1089) backed by the Sound Money Defense League and free-market activists – would clarify that the sale or exchange of precious metals bullion and coins are not to be included in capital gains, losses, or any other type of federal income calculation.
“My view, which is backed up by language in the U.S. Constitution, is that gold and silver coins are money and are legal tender,” Rep. Mooney said.

Congressman Alex X. Mooney (R-WV)

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Congressman Demands CFTC Explain Its Failure to Find Silver Market Manipulation Where DOJ Did

February 6, 2019

Washington, DC (February 5, 2018) – A member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee today pressed the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on its conspicuous failure to uncover the very silver market manipulation now being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.
In a probing letter dated February 5 to CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, Rep. Alex X. Mooney (R-WV) writes:
“U.S. Justice Department obtained a guilty plea from a former commodities trader for JPMorganChase & Co. to charges of manipulating the gold and silver markets between 2009 and 2015, and its investigation into the actions of related parties is ongoing.
“The period of time at issue substantially overlaps the time during

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Tennessee Considers Removing Tax on Gold and Silver

February 5, 2019

Several bills introduced in the Tennessee legislature would eliminate sales and use tax against  gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
Introduced by Representative Ron Gant (R-Rossville), House Bill 212 removes sales and use tax against platinum, gold and silver bullion, some numismatic coins, and numismatic coins sold at trade show.
Senator Delores (R-Somerville) has introduced a bill, Senate Bill 333, identical to Representative Gant’s.
A third measure, Senate Bill 457, introduced by Senator Stevens (R-Huntingdon) would remove taxes on coins, currency, and bullion made “in whole or in part from gold, silver, platinum, palladium, or other material; used solely as legal tender, security, or commodity in this or

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Idaho House Votes Overwhelmingly to Remove Income Taxation from Gold & Silver

February 16, 2018

– Click to enlarge
Boise, Idaho (February 12, 2018) – The Idaho State House today overwhelmingly approved a bill which helps restore constitutional, sound money in the Gem State.
State representatives voted 60-9 to pass House Bill 449 sending the measure introduced by House Majority Leader Mike Moyle and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Steve Vick to the Senate for a hearing in the Local Government and Taxation Committee.
Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, Idaho Freedom Foundation, and Money Metals Exchange, HB 449 is a tax-neutral bill which excludes gains and/or losses on the sale of precious metals coins and bullion from an Idaho taxpayer’s taxable income.
“Gold and silver are the only money mentioned

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National Precious Metals Company Announces Sound Money Scholarship Winners

December 19, 2017

December 13, 2017 (Eagle, Idaho) — A national precious metals dealer has selected four outstanding students to receive tuition assistance from America’s first gold-backed scholarship fund.
Beginning last year, Money Metals Exchange, a national precious metals dealer recently ranked “Best in the USA,” teamed up with the Sound Money Defense League and well known members of academia and freedom-minded non-profits to offer the first gold-backed scholarship of the modern era.
The groups set aside 100 ounces of physical gold to reward outstanding students who display a thorough understanding of monetary policy, sound money, and the damage caused by the Federal Reserve system.
After a blue-ribbon panel examined nearly 100

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Why Good Economics Matters Now More Than Ever

May 2, 2017

In a newsletter published in 1970, economist Murray Rothbard wrote, “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”
This is an oft-quoted platitude within circles of libertarian philosophy and Austrian economics.
Today, we are seeing the embodiment of Rothbard’s fears. The woeful state of economic understanding has reached a critical mass. Economics has taken a back seat to issues deemed more important. What’s worse is that when economics is discussed, millennials tend to lean socialist.
I have a vested interest in seeing economics and sound money flourish as I work in the field. Yes, I believe that tying a nation’s currency to gold keeps government spending in check. This is hardly professional bias though, as we all have a vested interest in seeing economics and sound money championed, many just don’t recognize it. This piece is aimed at anyone with a vested interest in maintaining a standard of living higher than that of the depression-era breadline vagabond. Economics transcends race, gender, and political identification.

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Time to Hedge State Reserve Funds with Gold?

April 9, 2017

Financially prudent individuals set aside surplus funds to protect against unforeseen expenditures. This way, when faced with loss of income, house repairs, car trouble, or anything else, they will have a buffer against unanticipated downturns.
In the same vein, almost every state in the United States has established a “savings account” for government operations. Primarily to mitigate a decline in tax revenues that comes alongside economic slumps, states have created so-called budget stabilization funds – colloquially known as “rainy day funds.”
Every state takes a different approach to budget stabilization funds, from the mechanisms by which they are funded, to the caps placed on balances, to the manner in which the funds can be allocated. If a state can put funds aside during years of increased revenue and growth, said state will be better equipped to handle a decrease in tax revenue, an environmental incident, or some other surprise.
But simply plowing rainy day funds into Federal Reserve Notes (commonly referred to as “dollars”) or other paper instruments is taking an entirely new gamble – inflation.
It is unwise to store large amounts of cash for extended periods of time because of constant and intentional devaluation of the Federal Reserve Note. This tax on savings is known as inflation.

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When Government Acts, “Unintended Consequences” Follow

February 7, 2017

In 1850, French economist Frédéric Bastiat published an essay that is misunderstood, or more often, unread, titled, “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen.” Bastiat brilliantly introduced the idea of opportunity cost and, through the parable of the broken window, illustrated the destructive effects of unintended consequences.
Unfortunately, because of misplaced belief in government benevolence, even the most powerful and successful members of the American citizenry often miss the point.
According to Reuters, Ramin Arani, a co-portfolio manager of the $25 billion Fidelity Puritan fund, said while discussing his current bullish stance of gold, “In terms of unpredictability, there is a tail risk with this administration that did not exist with the prior…There is a small but present possibility that government action is going to lead to unintended consequences.”
Arani’s overall bullish stance on gold is sound. Given the political climate, gold is an attractive “insurance” for equity exposure. The problem doesn’t lie in his financial analysis, but rather in the seemingly innocuous comment that followed.
“There is a small but present possibility that government action is going to lead to unintended consequences.”
To suggest the chances of unintended consequences are merely “small” is extremely naïve.

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Ending Taxation on Monetary Metals

January 31, 2017

Imagine if you asked a grocery clerk to break a $20 bill, and he charged you $1.40 in tax. Silly, right? After all, you were only exchanging one form of money for another.
But try walking to a local precious metals dealer in more than 25 states and exchanging a $20 bill for an ounce of silver. If you do that kind of money exchange, you will get hammered with a sales tax.
That’s the price you can pay for bucking the system and picking up a piece of the only kind of money mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.
Fortunately, Arizona is one of the states whose laws acknowledge that charging sales taxes on money itself is beyond the pale. But, at least for now, Arizona tax authorities still unjustly impose income taxes on gold and silver.
Arizona Taxes Your Nominal “Gains” from Owning Precious Metals
Income taxes are another way in which government bureaucrats penalize holders of precious metals.
If you own gold to protect against devaluation of America’s paper currency, thanks to the inflationary practices of the Federal Reserve, you may end up with a “gain” on when you sell those metals in return for dollars. Not necessarily a real gain, mind you. It’s a nominal gain on which the government will nevertheless assess a tax.

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Pension Funds Need Gold before It’s Too Late

January 19, 2017

Tens of millions of Americans and their employers pour money into pension plans each month, counting on those funds to grow and to be there when needed at retirement.
But a time bomb awaits. The bulk of U.S. pension funds are dangerously underfunded, and the assets are often invested in securities that have bleak prospects for providing income that keeps up with a general decline in purchasing power.
A pension plan requires an employer to make contributions into a pool of funds set aside for a worker’s future benefit. In 1875, when the American Express Company established the first private pension plan in the United States, the face of retirement was fundamentally changed. Before that time, private-sector pension plans did not exist, as most employers were small “mom-and-pop” businesses.
The innovation at American Express caught on. By 1929, 397 private sector pension funds were in operation throughout the United States and Canada. As of 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 18% of private sector workers are covered by pension plans. At the end of 2015, the value of U.S. pension funds was $21.7 trillion.
Millions of Americans will rely on pensions once they’ve reached the age of retirement. Pension fund managers have a fiduciary duty to safeguard funds against foreseeable risk.

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Pension Funds Need Gold before It’s Too Late

January 19, 2017

Tens of millions of Americans and their employers pour money into pension plans each month, counting on those funds to grow and to be there when needed at retirement.
But a time bomb awaits. The bulk of U.S. pension funds are dangerously underfunded, and the assets are often invested in securities that have bleak prospects for providing income that keeps up with a general decline in purchasing power.
A pension plan requires an employer to make contributions into a pool of funds set aside for a worker’s future benefit. In 1875, when the American Express Company established the first private pension plan in the United States, the face of retirement was fundamentally changed. Before that time, private-sector pension plans did not exist, as most employers were small “mom-and-pop” businesses.
The innovation at American Express caught on. By 1929, 397 private sector pension funds were in operation throughout the United States and Canada. As of 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 18% of private sector workers are covered by pension plans. At the end of 2015, the value of U.S. pension funds was $21.7 trillion.
Millions of Americans will rely on pensions once they’ve reached the age of retirement. Pension fund managers have a fiduciary duty to safeguard funds against foreseeable risk.

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We Should Take Our Cues From Markets – Not Politicians

November 25, 2016

I grew up a block away from the 7-train, where I’d take a short ride from the 90th Street station to the Willets Point–Shea Stadium station to watch my favorite team, the New York Mets.
Sitting in the stands as a young child, I learned quickly that there were a number of ways to obtain and interpret information.
I could watch the umpire and immediately have known whether Al Leiter threw a strike or a ball. Another option was to watch the scoreboard and, with some delay, have known whether Derek Bell safely stole second base. I could listen to the cheers (or jeers) of the rowdy, biased people around me and know whether or not Mike Piazza had just hit another home run.
In baseball, there are efficient and inefficient ways to obtain information. There are also false signals. The same is true in financial markets and presidential elections.
Around 2:45 am on November 9th, major news networks projected that Donald Trump would be the 45th president of the United States of America.
Yet just a few hours earlier, they were all still clinging to their groupthink premise that Hillary Clinton would win. These major news networks could not have been more wrong in their predictions.
In May, Slate announced that “Donald Trump Isn’t Going to Be President” in no uncertain terms.

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States Must Help Restore Sound Money in America

August 8, 2016

Control the money, and you control the people.
Over the last hundred years, the federal government and the Federal Reserve, a privately owned bank cartel conceived of in secret, have waged a war on sound money in America. They’ve ended the free circulation of gold (and, for a time, criminalized its ownership), while imposing taxes on those who trade with it. They’ve replaced gold and silver coins and the promise of gold redeemability on IOUs with paper money and credit.
An ever-expanding volume of fiat money has replaced sound money as the primary medium of exchange. Liberty-loving citizens, savers, and consumers who use Federal Reserve Notes (commonly referred to as “dollars”) in exchange for goods and services ALL have a vested interest in restoring the soundness of our money.

Whether they know it or not.
America’s Founding Fathers never intended for a central bank to dominate in our monetary system or debase the currency. In fact, the Constitution instructs states to recognize gold and silver as legal tender and authorizes the U.S. Congress to coin gold and silver money.

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