In recent years, the concept of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) has been gaining traction in the technocratic circles of Washington, D.C. This digital currency, also known as a “digital dollar”, is issued by the Federal Reserve and could potentially be used to save trees and reduce administrative costs. However, some Republicans are concerned about the potential for a CBDC to be used as an authoritarian tool, and are taking steps to prevent it from becoming a reality.
"The downsides of a [central bank digital currency] are potentially dystopian — which is why lawmakers such as @SenMikeLee want to keep them confined to the realm of imagination," @Brad_Polumbo writes.https://t.co/Wp3ZYsBZWP
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 25, 2023
Senator Mike Lee of Utah recently introduced the “No Central Bank Digital Currency Act”, which would prohibit the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department from offering a CBDC directly to citizens. This is an important step to take, as a CBDC would enable unprecedented levels of government surveillance.
Unlike cash, which is not tracked by any centralized authority, a CBDC would allow the Federal Reserve to monitor every financial transaction made by citizens. This could lead to a situation where the government is able to exert control over how citizens spend their money, such as limiting how much gasoline they can buy in the name of fighting climate change. Additionally, it would make it easier for the government to freeze people’s assets and force them to spend their money in certain ways.
The Cato Institute has concluded that the potential consequences of a CBDC are too large to be left up to the discretion of unelected bureaucrats at the Fed or Treasury. It is therefore important that Republicans rally around Senator Lee’s legislation and take this dystopian technology off the table.
The idea of a CBDC has been met with both excitement and apprehension. While it could potentially provide some benefits, it could also be used as an authoritarian tool that would enable unprecedented levels of government surveillance and control. It is therefore important that steps are taken to prevent it from becoming a reality. Senator Mike Lee’s “No Central Bank Digital Currency Act” is an important step in this direction, and it is important that Republicans rally around this legislation and ensure that this dystopian technology does not become a reality.