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Congressman Dennis Kucinich Calls for Debt-Free Dollars

By Chris Petherick

Heart Land News, February 12, 2009

Congressman Calls for Debt-Free Dollars
An Ohio congressman has called on the federal government to take back the power to issue money from the Federal Reserve, the private central bank that, along with Wall Street, is to blame for plunging the world into an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s.
"The Federal Reserve [is] no more federal than Federal Express," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) on the floor of the House of Representatives on Jan. 26. "It's a collection of private bankers that was established in 1913 by the Federal Reserve Act."
Kucinich called on the federal government to institute monetary reform beginning by issuing debt-free money—dollars that have not been loaned into circulation at interest by banks. "We can take a new direction, and that new direction must include monetary reform," said Kucinich.
Kucinich quoted monetary theorist Stephen Zarlenga, the author of The Lost Science of Money, saying, "the bulk of our money is not created by our government, but by banks when they make private loans."
Kucinich quoted the Constitution as authorizing the government to be the sovereign power to issue money.
"Because of this monetary crisis," he said, "we have an opportunity here. Instead of giving private bankers more power, we need to incorporate the Federal Reserve into the Treasury where all new money could be created as government money, not as interest-bearing debt."
He also said the government needs to halt the banks' privilege of creating money out of thin air by ending the fractional reserve system. "Past monetized private credit would be converted into government money," he said. "Banks would continue to do what people think they do now under this new approach," he said. They would only act as intermediaries by accepting savings deposits and loaning that money or their own cash out to borrowers.
"And what would the government do?" he asked. "Well, we wouldn't have to borrow money and continue to owe money to the banks to finance the needs of this country."
The proposal came during an hour-long speech by Kucinich, who offered fierce criticism of the banking industry in general, saying that bankers shamelessly exploited legislation, which was supposed help Americans avoid bankruptcy, in order to get free money from taxpayers.
"It turned out to be a windfall for banks," said Kucinich. "But hold onto your hat, Mr. And Mrs. America, because the banks are not done. They're going to be looking for even more money, [and] they're using this opportunity to game the system."
Kucinich also had choice words for speculators. "We've seen speculation driving this economy. An economy built on gambling, and not real production, is not sustainable. Moving to a financial sector as a source of profits is an unsustainable Ponzi scheme," he said.
"Remember that this time in our national experience is all about taking wealth from the great mass of the American people—from your paychecks, wallets and pocketbooks—and just moving it right to the top," he said.
"We're in a world of debt, creating more and more debt in a debt-based economy," said Kucinich. "And the pros, who put us in this mess, refuse to admit that debt is the problem that put us here." The current situation is unique, Kucinich said, because never before in American history have we seen so much debt.
"The growth of our public and private debt from $10.5 trillion to $43 trillion during Alan Greenspan's tenure from 1987 to 2006 gives us some sense of the real magnitude of the problem," he said.
The Federal Reserve knew this financial meltdown was on its way. "Yet we saw Greenspan pretend he didn't have a clue," he said. "The Fed didn't do its job."
"Under those circumstances," Kucinich asked, "would Americans want the Fed to have more power?
"Someone has to stand up for the American taxpayers, and say, 'Stop it,' " he said. "We have to get control of this Federal Reserve."

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