To the Editor:

Dear Sen. Brown, Sen. Portman and Rep. Stivers: Congress has given a good faith, bipartisan effort to address the consequences of the pandemic. Thank you for your participation in that effort. There was no outcry of “how will it be paid for.” You just did it because it was needed. Thanks.

There, of course, will be consequences, and those too will have to be dealt with. How will we recover from this economic downturn with trillions of dollars of debt hanging over our heads? The Fed is lending. The government programs are primarily in the form of loans. How will people and businesses that were making it on slender margins recover, bearing the extra financial burden of new debt? How will state and municipal governments, already struggling to fund schools and other services, maintain their services while paying off increased debts? Even the government Paycheck Protection Program, which converts to grants if employees are retained, represents debt. It represents government debt – now over $24 trillion, or $7,317 per person, and growing.

What is needed now is money that is not created as debt. It has been done before. The American colonies created Continentals. The U.S. government created greenbacks during the Civil War. These were spent, not lent, into circulation.

Government creates money now but only as coins. The Federal Reserve Act gave away congressional authority to create bills and account money. As a result, new money is now created every time a bank makes a loan and disappears from the economy as loans are repaid. We have no money without debt. Interest is paid to banks on every dollar in circulation, a tax that the banks get to collect.

Please reintroduce H.R.2990 of 2011, then titled the National Emergency Employment Defense Act, to allow Congress to provide the needed funds at this time of crisis, without incurring further debt. The bill would end the inflationary creation of money by banks and enable Congress to do what it has rightly been doing, without saddling the country with new and debilitating debt. A helpful Guide to the Act can be found at

Thank you for the efforts you have put in so far on this difficult problem. More assistance will be needed. HR 2990 can break the debt spiral and achieve a sustainable economic recovery. It addresses fundamentals; band-aids will no longer do.

John Howell

For the Athens Monetary Literacy Group


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