By REP. MARK GREEN
The Federal Reserve ’s launch of FedNow, a system to centralize financial transactions, is a significant threat to individual liberty and a major leap toward a central bank digital currency, or CBDC. While the Fed denies FedNow will precede a CBDC, the public has no reason to believe them.
FedNow allows people to “send instant payments through their depository institution accounts,” giving a direct line from the central bank to individual people. This means the federal government could potentially track every transaction and even prevent transactions with which it disagrees. The Fed promises this program will increase “expedience and availability.” Yet sacrificing our financial autonomy for expediency is nowhere near an equal trade.
The same can be said of a CBDC. CBDCs are antithetical to personal privacy and limited government. Such a massive break from traditional currency would require a centralized system to keep all transactions within a closed-loop environment. Government control over such a system would be extremely dangerous to the freedom of people. From start to finish, a CBDC is controlled by a central bank like the Fed. Allowing them this much control over our everyday lives is a slippery slope we cannot afford to slide down.
The administrative state’s surveillance powers are already too great, and CBDCs are a tool that the federal government could easily turn into a weapon against political opponents. The Fed doesn’t need more power; it needs less.
There’s no question that this is about the far Left’s ambition for more power. CBDCs are about containment, surveillance, and control. The creation of a CBDC would give the government unprecedented access to our personal financial information, including information about what we buy or what causes we support. I don’t want the government monitoring what I pick up at the grocery store, much less which organizations I give my charitable contributions to. Mark my words: A programmable and trackable currency would be the death knell of personal freedom.
Imagine giving the same federal government that weaponized the FBI and Department of Justice against the Trump administration, turned the IRS on conservative organizations, used social media companies to violate free speech, and treated concerned parents like domestic terrorists the power to monitor your every cent.
To see the effects of a CBDC, we need only look toward Communist China. The Chinese Communist Party is working to integrate the digital yuan into its tyrannical social credit system. The regime will settle for nothing less than total omnipotence, and the Chinese people are left to suffer. This should be proof enough that the United States should run in the opposite direction, but once again, President Joe Biden is playing “follow the leader” with one of the world’s worst dictators.
The World Economic Forum, too, is actively promoting the use of CBDCs, even saying the quiet part out loud: This system will give the government control over all transactions.
We’re already seeing this in action. The government can track your credit score, and the Biden administration is trying to use this power to force homebuyers with good credit to subsidize those with bad credit. Additionally, some credit card companies track gun control purchases and log them in their ledgers. Under a CBDC, this type of targeting will only worsen.
We are about to cross the Rubicon. A CBDC would create a dystopian future for conservative and religious people. We should not have to worry about big brother, or in this case, Uncle Joe, looking over our shoulders every time we make a purchase. Giving the federal government this much power over our transactions will decimate our liberties.
This is freedom’s red line. If we allow the Fed to cross it, all bets are off.
Mark Green is a U.S. representative for Tennessee, a physician, and combat veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, where he served three tours. He serves as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and on the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. This column first appeared in the Washington Examiner.