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10:48 AM Sun, Feb. 17th

Letter: Trade bailout for Federal Reserve

Before the Democratic majority in Congress predictably caves in to the real owners of our country, they appear to be holding out for a few more crumbs off the table. They want more assistance to homeowners who are at risk of defaulting on their mortgage, which new perpetual Department of Bureaucracy will be enacted to oversee the mess, and how much money the CEOs of these greedy, unregulated, mismanaged firms should be compensated after they nearly destroyed the American economy.

If this $700 billion bailout goes through, the national debt this year, so far, will see an increase of one and a quarter trillion dollars. That is money that has to be borrowed from the Japanese, Chinese and the Middle East. The average American receives nothing for these bailouts - no added jobs, no wage increases, no break at the gas pump. Since, according to Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, these institutions are too large to fail, it would appear that our legislators have a great deal of leverage regarding the terms of the deal.

So, let's give the American taxpayers something for their money. The Congress should say, "Yes, we will give the investment banks the $700 billion they have asked for, but in return, the Federal Reserve will be abolished." The Congress and the Department of Treasury would then be responsible for printing, coining and electronically producing our money supply. This authority is explicitly given to Congress by the Constitution.

When the Federal Reserve is abolished, individual federal income tax can also be abolished, because the amount of the income tax is roughly the amount of money that the Federal Reserve charges the government to print our money. Both the Federal Reserve and the Federal Income Tax were created in 1913. The income tax had to become law in order to pay the Federal Reserve the amount of interest it charges our government to create our money. If there is no Federal Reserve, there is no need for a federal income tax. Not a bad trade for $700 billion.

Richard Cleckner