Bitcoin

Ban the Dollar!

Congressman points out silliness of Sen. Manchin's complaints about bitcoins

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What a boring tie.
House of Representatives

Left libertarianish Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has resorted to satire in defense of Bitcoin. In response to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) sending a letter to Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen and other officials calling on them to ban bitcoins because it can be used for illegal transactions, Polis sent a letter seeking to ban dollars. He notes:

By way of background, a physical dollar bill is a printed version of a dollar note issued by the Federal Reserve and backed by the ephemeral "full faith and credit" of the United States. Dollar bills have gained notoriety in relation to illegal transactions; suitcases full of dollars used for illegal transactions were recently featured in popular movies such as American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club, as well as the gangster classic, Scarface, among others. Dollar bills are present in nearly all major drug busts in the United States and many abroad. According to the U.S. Department of Justice study, "Crime in the United States," more than $1 billion in cash was stolen in 2012, of which less than 3% was recovered. The United States' Dollar was present by the truck load in Saddam Hussein's compound, by the carload when Noriega was arrested for drug trafficking, and by the suitcase full in the Watergate case. 

Unlike digital currencies, which are carbon neutral allowing us to breathe cleaner air, each dollar bill is manufactured from virgin materials like cotton and linen, which go through extensive treatment and processing. Last year, the Federal Reserve had to destroy $3 billion worth of $100 bills after a "printing error." Certainly this cannot be the greenest currency.

Printed pieces of paper can fit in a person's pocket and can be given to another person without any government oversight. Dollar bills are not only a store of value but also a method for transferring that value. This also means that dollar bills allow for anonymous and irreversible transactions.

This sarcastic response is familiar ground for any bitcoin supporter, but it's interesting coming from the pen of a congressman.

As for Yellen, she's already said the Federal Reserve has no authority to regulate bitcoins.

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  1. It’s a bit heartening to see it coming from a Dem. I was a bit concerned more of them would line up with Manchin, and then it turns into Luddites vs. non-Luddites, with plenty of the Republicans (like McCain) going along as well.

    1. “It’s a bit heartening to see it coming from a Dem.”

      I was thinking the same thing. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

    2. Not really. There are plenty of Dems who want to ban cash, and force all transactions onto government-issued debit cards for better tracking and oversight.

    3. Did you know that “Manchin” is in fact the man’s real name, and not his nickname? I was surprised as anyone.

      1. Manchin is Barbara Boxer’s nickname however.

    4. I’m not sure that Polis wasn’t kidding. He might just mean that physical money should be banned, and everyone must live off a journal entry at the bank regarding how much money you have.

    1. They might not realize he’s joking.

  2. Careful, now. There are a good number of people out there who would probably love to ban any kind of currency that allows for anonymous and undocumented transactions.

    1. Yep. It starts with banning cash transactions for things like airplane tickets, then pretty soon you can’t pay cash for anything.

      1. I think it starts with banning carry too much cash on your person.

        1. That’s already the de facto scenario.

          1. Ah, but they’re sneaky. They arrest the cash instead of you.

        2. Only somebody up to no god would ever have more than $500 on their person at any time.

          On this note, I got pulled over in Temecula a few weeks ago and I had about $40k in caah in my briefcase. I made sure to tell the cop that I had the cash lest he search my car on some bogus pretext and find it himself.

          1. What could you possibly need $500 for? It was for drugs, wasn’t it!

            1. It was payment from a customer of mine that he asked me to take back to my office and process.

              1. dear god I hope you were armed.

                1. In California? Shit, that would have resulted in my roadside execution for a furtive movement followed by the purchase of a new Toyota Tundra by the fine CHP officer that protected and served the shit out of me.

                  1. this made me laugh…i apologize.

                2. I once had a friend who was buying some property for $25,000 cash. It was an amazing deal but the situation was a little shady, as the sellers were obviously dumping the property as fast as possible. So we went to three banks (he kept many accounts for exactly this purpose) and withdrew a third of the $25,000 from each, thereby not triggering the $10,000 alert. Then he had me stand outside the door of the suite where the deal went down, armed, and had me listen for anything…uh…suspicious, or to see if the other guys came out but he didn’t. Everything went down fine, and he got over 100 acres in the middle of town for a song.

                  It was kind of exciting too.

                  1. Hoffa is buried there, isn’t he?

                    1. Hoffa’s in a locker in a Detroit high school.

                  2. It was kind of exciting too.

                    I can only hope it was more exciting than your retelling of it. If not, I have no idea how you managed to stay awake the whole time.

                  3. Oh, man, the good old days.

                    Nowadays, the 3 separate “structured” withdrawals will get your money seized by the feds.

                  4. So we went to three banks (he kept many accounts for exactly this purpose) and withdrew a third of the $25,000 from each, thereby not triggering the $10,000 alert.

                    Dude, you know you just admitted to a felony, right?

                    You are yet another person I have to cross of my ‘people I can commit major crimes with’ list.

          2. At least you didn’t stop at a motel in the middle of nowhere with that $40K.

          3. By chance, is your real real name Ron Cadillac?

        3. It started when they stopped printing 1,000 dollar bills and higher. Now they only go up to 100, and the 100 is worth about 30 bucks compared to when they made that decision.

      2. I wonder what would happen if I walked into an airport and tried to purchase a one-way ticket with cash directly from the counter agent? Not as a last-minute thing, but an advance purchase.

        1. How TSA agents have you seen at one time? Add “a shit load” to that figure, and that is what would happen.

        2. My grandpa has done that in the last 2 years. They just check your I.D. and ask a few questions.

          1. Like, what kind of questions? And why ID?

          2. This says you don’t need ID.

    2. Yep, I can easily imagine nannies wanting to limit the number of times you’re allowed to purchase fast food, ammunition, cigarettes, alcohol, or subscriptions to Reason Magazine. Also, there’s the stripper problem.

      1. Not a problem – purchase tokens from the bar. Just like a crappy video arcade.

        1. And where are you going to insert those?

          1. Canada has that worked out. They take the coin, then deposit it in a cup on the stage.

            1. Canada has strippers? That’s terrible. Who has the time to wait for them to peel of 6 layers of seal skin and caribou?

              1. Canada has some damn fine looking women. And despite what they say, they want real American men, not neutered Canucks whose only sexual releases are hockey, LaBatt’s and complaining about “USAians.”

                1. I’ve been to Paris, it’s smelly and cold,
                  I’ve been to Athens where the buildings are old.
                  I’ve walked cross Tasmania in the antarctic dawn,
                  But it just don’t compare to old Saskatchewan.

      2. I think it is mostly about black market (and other untaxed) transactions now. Though if cash were eliminated, I’m sure ideas like what you suggest would start to flow.

      3. Surgically implant a card reader?

      4. Casinos were way more fun when you walked around with a couple of jumbo plastic cups full of actual silver dollars. Now you get a receipt.

  3. That smug face of satisfaction you get when you make someone eat their words…priceless.

  4. Ya know, you *say* satire – but how long before he sees an opportunity to get his name in the papers and champions this for realses?

    He is, after all, *left* libertarian, which is just a codeword for ‘socialist-light’ and ‘do what you’re told for the greater good’.

    1. It’s possible he’s just clinging to some lefty ideas, but it won’t be long before he goes full-retard-libertarian. Happened to me.

      1. Not really…While he has sided more principled than his D brethren on typical left issues he is still a far leftist.

    2. I sometimes feel like libertarians will end up in concentration camps, but only after libertarians gain power and start purging the impure.

      1. (points at Hugh) *Donald Sutherland screeeeech*!

      2. That’s nonsense, Hugh. Libertarians will just kill you. No camps.

      3. I’m sure the libertarians will kill all the anarchists first, Hugh. SO GET IN LINE. Also, get branded by laserscan.

        1. Some of us were kept alive… to work… loading bodies. The disposal units ran night and day. We were that close to going out forever. But there was one man who taught us to fight, to storm the wire of the camps, to smash those minarchist motherfuckers into junk. He turned it around. He brought us back from the brink. His name is Warty. Your son, Sarah, your unborn son.

          1. Come with me if you want to freebase and pay weregild, Hugh.

  5. libertarianish Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.)

    “You keepa using that word with him. I donna think it means whata you think it means.”

  6. Calling a near-socialist that’s for drug legalization “libertarianish” might be a stretch, Scott.

    1. Why is “the drug war” so importnt to libertarians. I understand it’s a waste of money, but real wars waste many times as much and yet treason.com gives them a tenth of the coverage. Really I think it is because treason.com wants to encourage drug use in the population as part of their war against the White race.

      1. Serious questions (so obviously not directed at you):

        Have the real wars in the last 30 years cost as much as the WoD has in blood, treasure and lost/destroyed lives of potentially prosperous Americans?
        Has our moral compass been more negatively impacted by our foreign adventurism or destructive policies in fighting the WoD domestically?
        How much overlap is there in “real” wars and the WoD?

        1. There is definitely some overlap in WoD and US foreign explosionism. Not sure which is the cart and which is the horse, though. One of the missions in Afghanistan is to torch poppy fields.

          1. Sorry, terrorist poppy fields.

          2. Agreed, Hugh. I have always wondered how many actual wars the WoD has been used as a pretext to get involved in/enhance our role in or how much drug manufacturing is the direct result of us destroying nations in a “real” war.

        2. You can read the budget if you want. I think the crimes committed abroad were much, much worse morally than telling a stoner he can’t get high.

          1. The Drug War encompasses a whole hell of a lot more than just “telling people they can’t get high”, dipshit.

            1. I mean, it’s totally cool that police can seize your car because it has a hidden compartment in it, right? Or that they can arrest you for possessing large amounts of cash and steal it from you without trial, right? And those are among the mildest injustices that are part of the WoD.

              1. “The People of California vs $32,000” does sound like an odd legal concept, doesn’t it?

                1. People, eh? I don’t remember getting any of the $32,000.

          2. If only the war on drugs were only about “telling a stoner he can’t get high.” In reality, the WoD involves telling a stoner he can’t get high, then raiding his house at gunpoint and, if he survives said raid, throwing him in jail, while taking all his belongings, including those things owned also by his wife and/or used for the support of his kids as “fruits” of his “crime” of doing what he wanted without harming others. We could also discuss the bad results from no-knock raids, raids on the wrong people, innumerable warrantless searches, militarization of the police force, gang violence, single-parent households, etc. — all caused by the WoD. After adding all of those up, then, maybe, you can start to compare the morality of “real” wars and the WoD.

          3. So, I’m only allowed to worry about one bad thing at a time?

            The fact that people are being imprisoned, killed and deprived of their property for completely voluntary and peaceful exchanges that sounds like a pretty enormous injustice to me. And that doesn’t even get into the even more terrible side effects of drug criminalization.

        3. Well, we spend something like 40 bill a year on the WOD and have been doing so for around 40 years.

          So, like 1.6 trillion for the WOD.
          845 billion *just* for the last Iraq war.

      2. Definitely Merkin.

        1. I was gonna guess Mary, but you’re probably right. The reference to “war against the white race” kind of gives it away.

          Or is ‘merikkkan one of Mary’s sock puppets?

      3. Because the drug war is just an excuse for government overreach in every area of your life, ridiculous, ridiculously costly, and ineffective to boot. It’s as if we’re asked to put up with a militarized police state and Big Brother in exchange for stopping the scourge of drug abuse, except that the scourge of drug abuse continued unabated (or even accelerated.)

    2. Everyone in Congress is a near-socialist.

      When one of them calls for the end of SS/Medicare they can be removed from the list.

      1. And when one calls for trying to slow the rate of growth of the programs, your team runs commercials of him pushing old people off a cliff.

  7. Liberaltarian Fusionism LIVES!!! I blame teh cocktailz

  8. Bitcoin is useless because the government will ban it. Libertarians think that the government is going to inflate the dollar into worthlessness but wouldn’t ban the bitcoin, why? Or, being total idiots, they think the government isn’t capable of banning it.

    1. Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

      1. ahh an oldie but a goody.

        I was thinking this was an interesting new one with potential. I hope so. We have had a dearth of good trolls lately.

      2. I think he’s right in this case, unfortunately.

        1. He’s off his fucking rocker unless ALL governments ban it. And that ain’t gonna happen since currencies compete.

    2. Mary, if you’re having trouble getting the medication bottles open, you might try asking for help.

      1. Don’t crush my dreams man…This may not be Mary.

        1. Murkin. “White race” tell is just above.

          Although more manic than the usual Merkin. Usually he/she keeps it together a little longer.

          Manic… and Merkin… the Grand Unified Troll Theory sounds plausible.

          1. Maybe it’s Mary imitating ‘Mercun. Maybe she sees ‘Mercun as something to aspire to, troll-wise.

            1. Or maybe Tulpa doesn’t think that the racist moron point of view gets enough representation here.

      2. That is gonna take some serious medication, probably would require some sort of banned substance to fix that, which means it’s totally useless. This is the dumbest troll post I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying a lot.

        1. Every troll I post is “the dumbest troll post I’ve ever seen.” You guys have a short memory!

          1. No, this one specifically stands out as the dumbest.

            1. Although, in fairness, I’ve only been commenting on here for a couple of years, so the sample size of derpitude is relatively small. Perhaps there are other past glories that can top this. I don’t see how though.

              1. DONDEROOOO! and LoneWacko were good…I know Joe will have a few followers but he was just disingenuous.

                1. No one has ever surpassed HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN.

                  1. Dare I speak the name of White Indian? Although that was more vandalism than trolling.

    3. Sure, they ban Bitcoin. Which is just *one* organization.

      How do you effectively ban a virtual currency that is operated offshore, by foreigners, outside US jurisdiction?

      You can make it *illegal* to use, but that will be about as effective as making drugs illegal – ie reduced their price and increased their availability.

      1. There isn’t even an organization. There’s a foundation, but they don’t have any real power or control of things.

        There’s a software package, that anyone can run, and a mailing list where the developers communicate.

        There’s no office, no building, no organization that matters to ban.

        1. The jails are quite real though.

      2. The internet is not like the real world. I go down an ally way in the ghetto, talk to a couple of ghetto people, and buy some crack. Other than the highly unreliable memories of the ghetto people, there is nothing connecting me to the purchase. On the internet, though, there is a record of pretty much everything, all collected by the NSA. Sure, you can use Tor(until that too is banned), but how do you get your real world money in? Best bet would probably to go find some guys in the ghetto.

        1. Just order your appliances online from outside the country and have them shipped in.

          Hell, the world’s distribution system is so good I just bought *batteries* from China last week and it only took them 3 days to get to my PO box.

          And if you’re worried about the NSA – keep changing your IP address and using proxies.

          1. Hell, the world’s distribution system is so good I just bought *batteries* from China last week and it only took them 3 days to get to my PO box.

            I presume you used a credit card to do that. All credit cad transactions are recorded and the credit card companies will be more than happy to share those with the government.

            1. Fucking Paypal, how does it work?*

              *You do know you can put money into a Paypal account without a revolving credit card or active debit card, don’t you?

              Jesus Christ, maybe you are Tulpa.

            2. Fucking Paypal, how does it work?*

              *You do know you can put money into a Paypal account without a revolving credit card or active debit card, don’t you?

              Jesus Christ, maybe you are Tulpa.

            3. Fucking Paypal, how does it work?*

              *You do know you can put money into a Paypal account without a revolving credit card or active debit card, don’t you?

              Jesus Christ, maybe you are Tulpa.

            4. Fucking Paypal, how does it work?*

              *You do know you can put money into a Paypal account without a revolving credit card or active debit card, don’t you?

              Jesus Christ, maybe you are Tulpa.

            5. Fucking Paypal, how does it work?*

              *You do know you can put money into a Paypal account without a revolving credit card or active debit card, don’t you?

              Jesus Christ, maybe you are Tulpa.

            6. Fucking Paypal, how does it work?*

              *You do know you can put money into a Paypal account without a revolving credit card or active debit card, don’t you?

              Jesus Christ, maybe you are Tulpa.

              1. Whoa nelly!

                1. Shit, guys. I have no fucking idea what happened there. Sorry.

                  1. 3pm EST is what happened.

              2. Squirrels!!!!!!!!

            7. Fucking Paypal, how does it work?*

              *You do know you can put money into a Paypal account without a revolving credit card or active debit card, don’t you?

              Jesus Christ, maybe you are Tulpa.

              1. CALM YOURSELF

                1. I am crying over here

                  1. A septapost? I think that ties the record.

                    1. Maybe our new friend just used his powers as a G-man to show how easy it is for them to manipulate the entire internet by having my post show up six times in an effort to discredit me.

                      Or maybe I just really got palsied up when I hit submit.

                    2. You’re supposed to blame Baby reason.

                      Or Banjos, if she’s all liquored up by now. It’s almost Noon where you are, right?

              2. You can say that again!

    4. The stupid is strong in this one. Everything in existence is useless because the government can ban it.

      1. Nah. It’s just cuckoo for cocoa puffs. Best to try not to make sense of it.

    5. I’m fascinated by how, exactly, bitcoins will be banned.

      1. Simple, “bitcoins are now illegal, anyone found in possession of bitcoins, or who attempts to buy or sell bitcoins will face the appropriate criminal sanction.” How many of these nerds do you think will risk criminal sanctions, for…what benefit? What can bitcoin do that’s so wonderful?

        1. Will they set up checkpoints to search your bag for Bitcoins?

          1. You don’t have to control every computer on a computer network to control a computer network.

            1. You *do* have to control every computer on a network to see *what’s on every computer in the network*.

              1. And keep in mind – the internet is only *one* network (or ‘network of networks’).

                It is fast and reliable because it can operate openly.

                You can still create and operate ad-hoc networks of arbitrary complexity to connect two computers. A blacknet doesn’t need the same level of generality if you *know* where your target network is.

                1. For all the ugliness of l’affaire de Snowden, it’s been exciting to see all of the efforts to reinvent the net as a decentralized network in one way or another.

                  Saw this bit on Namecoin on Ben Swann’s site today. Between this and Maidsafe and the Outernet and BTC and God knows what else, it’s enough to make a boy want to take up programming.

        2. lol – make them illegal.

          How well did that work with illegal movie and music downloads?

  9. Why does treason.com think that Polis, the most far left rep in the country, is libertarianish? I guess Chomsky is also libertarianish.

  10. Add me to the list of people who think some might seriously advocate this.

    A few weeks ago Salon posted an article about progressive reforms to help the poor and one of them was giving everyone their own bank account directly connected to the Federal Reserve. Imagine the possibilities for government with that.

    1. I, uh, I think I’m going to weigh my bullion this evening.

  11. Oh, dear. Is Mary back?

    1. Mary or Merkin. Probably not Rollpa though.

    2. Seems like it.

    3. I miss hercule.

      1. UnderZog was my favorite

        1. I was Hercule’s 2012 Presidential campaign manager.

          we lost.

          i think.

          1. Herc was never one to admit defeat.

            1. EMPIRE!

  12. This guy and Rep Steve Stockman should join forces and form the Congressional Troll Caucus.

    1. I thought Alan Grayson had already trademarked it.

  13. “Left libertarianish”

    Haha, good one.

  14. I wonder what would happen if I walked into an airport and tried to purchase a one-way ticket with cash directly from the counter agent?

    I susp=ect you’d be ushered into a small, windowless room.

    1. Nah, no luggage – just this one small carryon.

    2. I suspect the same. That’s when things get fun. Civil liberties lawsuit fun.

      1. I think one could, if one was so inclined to put up with BS, make a decent living off of getting harrased for perfectly leagal activities then suing. Just go around a record cops. 250000 every 3 months…not bad.

        1. Hell, $250k every year would be a nice raise for me!

          1. Don’t you work for the fed gov…AREN”T I PAYING YOU ENOUUGH!!!!

            1. Believe me, my Fedgov employee colleagues make way, way, way more than I do. I could use a little side work whereby I poke the beast and get paid.

              1. You could be a Double self licking ice cream cone.

                pay, tax, pay, sue, tax, …

    3. What if I upped the ante and went in with no ID? AFAIK, I only need ID to board the plane, not buy the ticket.

      1. At one point, you could go through security without ID, with an extra-special screening. I don’t remember if they changed that or not, though.

        I have to assume there is some way, as people could certainly lose their ID on a trip and need to get home.

  15. “I have nothing to declare. No, seriously. What does that do?”

  16. Unlike digital currencies, which are carbon neutral allowing us to breathe cleaner air, each dollar bill is manufactured from virgin materials like cotton and linen, which go through extensive treatment and processing.

    Bitcoin “mining” is highly wasteful.

    1. No, no – it uses *electricity* and as we all know, electricity is carbon free.

      That’s why your electric car is so good for the environment.

    2. I’m just waiting for a bitcoin meteor to hit, and I’ll haul it to my garage.

      1. So that’s where the silk road coins went!

    3. Bitcoin “mining” is highly wasteful.

      How so? And as compared to what?

      And is it true that all inefficiencies are necessarily wasteful?

      Hint: No – the fact is bitcoin mining was designed to be mathematically “inefficient”. This feature however couldn’t be described as “wasteful” unless there was no reason for the design.

      Ah – but there was. This inefficiency was built directly into the algorithm for purposes of sustaining slow and predictable growth of the number of “coins” in circulation.

      But maybe it is wasteful – one man’s treasure and all…

      Then again – it seems to be this whole “wasteful” thing has another benefit – one of actual trust.

      You see if you own US stocks/bonds/etc – you never know when, but at any point the US government can print the “trillion dollar” bill just because – and print 50 of them just because.

      With bit coin however – no such idiotic human volatility is possible and trust isn’t even an issue as every single person involved in bit coin may be immoral and unethical to their very core.

      The beauty part is I don’t care as I don’t have to trust any of them – the math can be trusted (though nothing is 100% perfect).

      Nah – you’re right I’m sure – ban the coin and praise unlimited government spending through infinite printing of money backed by nothing.

      At least we got that going for us…

  17. Obama’s going on about a new cunning plan to raise Minimum wage and pay for everyone’s school forever

    1. I swear every time he speaks, it’s like he’s running for 4th grade class president. “Free candy and soda for everyone!” The astounding part is that people can listen to it and not intuitively realize how stupid it is.

  18. Rumpelstiltskin will kidnap your daughter and make her weave straw into bitcoins.

  19. This is satire on the level of Bastiat’s candle maker’s petition. Well done!

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