Currency Creation Is Counterfeiting

From: T
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 11:33 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Taxation Question

Dear Walter,

I hope this message finds you well. I read Sheldon Richman’s Your Money or Your Life and recently asked Mr. Richman a question I have about taxation. He said that he would research it and think about it a bit more, but I figured that I’d see whether you have any thoughts.

Could the American government argue that the currency in taxpayers’ wallets is actually just a “loan” that the US Treasury Department, as the source of currency creation, is entitled to take back at any time? Any such justification for taxation strikes me as suspect, but I am having a hard time determining why it is clearly wrong.

Kind regards, T

Dear T:

They can argue anything they want, I suppose. But, I think that according to US law, and certainly according to libertarian law, those pieces of paper belong to the (honest) people who have them in their wallets. But paper money is a VERY small percentage of money nowadays, most of which is checkbook money, so this is not of overwhelming practical interest.

“Currency creation” is a very polite way of describing what is being done. A more accurate description would be fraud, or counterfeiting.

Best regards,



1:24 am on February 4, 2019