Sep 3, 2008

Thomas Jefferson on paper money and inflation

It will be asked how will the two masses of Continental and state money have cost the people of the United States seventy-two millions of dollars, when they are to be redeemed now with about six million? I answer that, the difference beeing sixty-six millions, has been lost on the paper bills separately by the successive holders of them, Every one, through whose hands a bill passed, lost on that bill what it lost in value during the time it was in his hands. This was the real tax on him; and in this way the people of the United States actually contributed those sixty-six millions of dollars during the war, and by a mode of taxation the most oppressive of all because the most unequal of all.

~ Thomas Jefferson

(Quoted by G. Edward Griffen, The Creature of Jekyll Island, page 313. Jefferson was describing the danger of printing money with no metal backing, an arrangement in which Congress and The Federal Reserve System now participate.)

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