On this ultra-fascist page 12 Things You Were Not Told About Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany, it is claimed that:

If America nationalized their currency as Hitler did for Germany, they would effectively sever all ties with international bankers, the manipulation of their government and economy would cease, and they would live debt-free. Just as Hitler issued debt-free currency for Germany, Abraham Lincoln setup an interest free banking system in the United States when he was President, and he was murdered for it. Former US president Andrew Jackson issued interest-free currency, and two shots were fired at his head in an assassination attempt, but the shots misfired and he survived. John F. Kennedy issued interest-free currency during his presidency and we all know how he met his untimely demise.

Did either President Lincoln, Jackson or Kennedy try to set up any interest free monetary system?

Bonus question: Is there any proof they were assassinated for this reason?

  • I think he is confusing the US with Pakistan or Iran. – Fizz Sep 1 '18 at 15:59
  • Interestingly, the issue is mentioned on the Wikipedia page "Lincoln–Kennedy coincidences urban legend". – Fizz Sep 1 '18 at 16:06
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    What is an "interest free monetary system"? How does it differ from what we have now? – Paul Johnson Sep 4 '18 at 6:37
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    This question seems to be plagued by definition problems. The original source jumps between "debt-free currency", "interest free banking system" and "interest free currency". The OP introduces the term "interest free monetary system". We should be generous to the claimant - if there was some particular common economic reform that Lincoln, Jackson and Kennedy (and maybe Hitler) introduced that could be loosely described this way, we should assume that is what is meant (perhaps while explaining that this is a poor description). – Oddthinking Sep 6 '18 at 1:42
  • I'm surprised the quoted article didn't refer to it as (((international bankers))) – DenisS Sep 6 '18 at 13:42

Did either President Lincoln, Jackson or Kennedy tried to set up any interest free monetary system?

Lincoln established interest-free currency (greenbacks):

In July 1861, Congress authorized $50,000,000 in Demand Notes. They bore no interest, but could be redeemed for specie "on demand".

As explained in History of the Last Quarter Century in the United States Scribner's Magazine volume 18, pages 71-91, (July 1895):

An act of Congress passed February 25, 1862, had authorized the issue of $150,000,000 in non-interest-bearing Treasury notes. These notes had no precedent with us since colonial times. Neither receivable for duties nor payable for interest on the public debt, they were yet legal tender for all other payments, public and private. As the Government paid its own debts with them they amounted to a forced loan.

(reference also available in book form as The History of the Last Quarter-century in the United States, 1870-1895)

Similarly, The Cambridge Modern History, volume VII (1903) says:

On December 27, 1861, both the banks and the government by agreement suspended specie payments; and on February 25, 1862, the President signed an Act passed by Congress making non-interest-bearing Treasury notes a legal tender for all debts except duties on imports, and in satisfaction of all claims against the government except for interest upon the public debt, both these exceptions remaining payable in coin.

Is there any proof they were assassinated for this reason?

Regarding the attempted assassination of Jackson:

Lawrence offered a variety of explanations for the shooting. He blamed Jackson for the loss of his job. He claimed that with the President dead, "money would be more plenty," (a reference to Jackson's struggle with the Bank of the United States)

More specifically, according to Thirty Years' View Or a History of the Working of the American (1854), further concerning Lawrence's motivation for attempted assassination:

mechanics would have plenty of work; and that money would be more plenty. On being asked why it would be more plenty, he replied, it would be more easily obtained from the bank. On being asked what bank, he replied the Bank of the United States. On being asked if he knew the president, directors, or any of the officers of the bank, or had ever held any intercourse with them, or knew how he could get money out of the bank, he replied no—that he slightly knew Mr. Smith only.

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    Issuing new money is not the same as "setting up an interest free monetary system". This economic argument is a bigger reason the claim is wrong than anything relating to the motivations of the would be presidential assassins. – matt_black Sep 2 '18 at 17:16
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    @matt_black nowhere does the actual claim say "interest free monetary system". It says, "debt-free currency", "interest free banking system", "interest-free currency" and again "interest-free currency". – DavePhD Sep 6 '18 at 13:16
  • The title of the question includes the phrase as does the actual bolded claim in the question which I assume is a catch all for the various claims in the quoted text. But the wording in the question implies something much broader than the several undefined claims in the quote. – matt_black Sep 6 '18 at 14:12
  • @matt_black see moderator's comment (under the question) about the wording of question versus the wording of the claim – DavePhD Sep 6 '18 at 14:14

Re "set up any interest free monetary system?"

This could use some semantic clarification. The current monetary system is interest-free in that the Federal Reserve Notes you have in your pocket do not earn interest. If you want interest directly guaranteed by the Federal government you have to buy a Treasury bond, bill, or note. Treasury bonds, bills and notes are NOT the currency - that's sovereign debt. Countries can and do issue sovereign debt in currencies other than their own. Obvious examples are Spain, Italy, France and the other EU members which abandoned their own currencies for the Euro. Their government bonds are issued in Euros. It's also common outside the EU - here's an example from Argentina, issuing bonds in US dollars.

So the US has ALWAYS had an "interest free monetary system" in this sense. Holding dollars in your pocket doesn't get you any interest.

What the author was probably alluding to is this: The currency is issued by the Federal Reserve Bank (the Fed). The Fed is empowered by law to do so, quoting the Treasury Dept. "Federal Reserve notes are legal tender currency notes. The twelve Federal Reserve Banks issue them into circulation pursuant to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913". Those notes are theoretically backed by assets. That's theoretically backed by assets because you can't take your currency to the Fed and ask for the asset, they'll tell you to get lost. At the current time most of Fed assets are debt; US treasury debt, corporate debt, foreign sovereign debt, and mortgages. So the system is based on interest in that the currency is issued by a bank which is backing it with debt that earns interest. The list of assets backing the currency is published by the Fed here.

That's universally true of sovereign currencies today, but it wasn't always the case. The US dollar used to be backed by gold, and up until FDR confiscated gold you could take the currency back to the Fed and get your gold back.

That's likely the meaning of 'interest free monetary system' in this context, a currency backed by a hard asset, not an interest-bearing note that we hope someone else will pay off.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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    Welcome to Skeptics! Please provide some references to support your claims. – Oddthinking Sep 6 '18 at 1:36
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    I think your giving the nonsensical claims too much credit. I think when they say interest free debt they mean "no more being charged interest on all that debt you owe for your mortgages and credit card loans". Yes that makes absolutely no sense, but neither does anything else they said in the claims. It's just nonsense to convince those who don't think very hard that they are being held back by 'the man' who's fault it is for their having to pay their own debt, it's not their fault their not rich, it's just because our goverment doesn't have the sense to be filled with nazis! – dsollen Sep 6 '18 at 12:29

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