Here’s something you may have never seen before. Or if you have seen one you probably didn’t know what it was…
instead of Federal Reserve Note. This is real, sovereign US currency
issued by the Treasury department, not the privately-owned corporation
called the Federal Reserve.
US Treasury notes, also known as Lincoln greenbacks, were first
issued in 1862 to fund the Civil War effort of the Union. Even after the
dollar became privatized by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913,
greenbacks remained in circulation (capped at $346 million by statute in
1878). The last printing of greenbacks came in 1966 (1963 for small
denominations), and none have been put in circulation since 1971.
Treasury notes (greenbacks) and Federal Reserve notes are both called
“fiat” currencies because they are not backed by precious metals. But
Treasury notes are debt-free, whereas Federal Reserve notes — being a privatized currency — are debt-based.
This makes all the difference in the world. Our national debt, which
has become such a big issue, results from having a privatized,
debt-based currency: the Federal Reserve note.
If we were to abolish the Federal Reserve and reinstitute Treasury
notes the national debt could be eliminated. A sizeable portion of our
national debt is owned by the Federal Reserve itself. This is fictitious
debt because the Fed purchases those government bonds with money they
create out of nothing! So in abolishing the Federal Reserve, their
fictitious debt holdings could be canceled as well. The rest of national
debt, the part not owned by the Fed, could be paid off with Treasury
For years my hero Dennis Kucinich has been proposing legislation along these lines. His latest version, called the NEED Act ,
would restore debt-free currency and fund large-scale infrastructure
projects to jumpstart the economy. Debt-free currency can also fund
single payer health care as was done in Canada.
But then why did the government ever give up greenbacks and go to
privatized currency? The excuses had to do with taking politics out of
monetary policy, and the idea that private banksters have more expertise
in financial matters. The real reason is that politicians, then as now,
are owned by the international banking elite.
By the way, it’s important to distinguish between the virtuous
greenback proposals of Dennis Kucinich and the nefarious gold currency
schemes touted by people like Ron Paul. Gold has always been the
preferred currency of banksters and other elitists. Ron Paul’s dream of
worldwide gold currency, along with his other dream of unregulated
international trade, would spell global enslavement and the end of the