Last Friday, the Commerce Department downgraded the second-quarter growth rate to a paltry 1.6%.

How bad is that?

Experts believe job creation barely starts percolating at a 3% rate. Sadly, we haven't seen that in well over a year now.

What's worse, we're just a few months away from a tax increase tsunami. According to an article in The San Francisco Examiner, Tax rates on all five income brackets, not just those paid by 'the rich,' will increase by 2 to 4 percentage points, thereby blowing a $921 billion hole in the nation's ailing economy.

Yikes.

So what's history's antidote to times like these? Gold coins, for one thing. Gold coins, you see, can't be fooled with by politicians. While the Treasury can print up billions and even trillions of paper dollars, making each one less valuable than the last, gold remains what it is -- a precious metal that has to be mined from the ground. Gold can't be printed, copied, cloned, magically multiplied, emailed, texted or faxed. Gold has to be pulled out of the Earth the hard way, with much blood, sweat and tears...which is partly what makes it so rare.

And is certainly why politicians hate it so much. Gold demands fiscal discipline, something lawmakers don't exactly relish.

All in all, the economy looks like it will be getting worse before getting any better. Do you really want to face what lies ahead without the assurance of gold coins in your portfolio?