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Treasury secretary can make a difference

When a new Treasury secretary is selected by President-elect Donald Trump, what should be in his inbox?

As head of the department in which the Secret Service is based, perhaps the new Treasury secretary can recommend a crackdown on the many fake coins coming into the United States from China.

How about writing a memo to the State Department and Customs people to be vigilant about fakes entering the country.?

Further, about a recommendation to stop the insane presumption that every ancient coin arriving in America should be presumed looted?

I suggest that such a memo should come from the Treasury secretary because this person might be convinced to do this by his own people at the United States Mint.

Coin collectors in general are law-abiding and provide huge amounts of revenue to the Treasury through their purchases of collector coins from the U.S. Mint.

They are also joined by others in their regular purchases of bullion coins.

The numbers of Mint customers have been falling. They are down by half in 10 years.

Does this have anything to do with their maltreatment by government?

If you make a profit on your coins, you have to pay an income tax on the profit at a higher collectible rate rather than at a lower rate applied to investments.

Why should bullion buyers and coin collectors be discriminated against in this way when they go to sell what they have?

Such treatment complicates the tax code.

It gives coin collectors and bullion buyers a sense that the government is out to get them.

Perhaps the government is out to get them.

A new Treasury secretary could change that perception.

I know the holder of this important position will be busy.

But by stamping out counterfeiting and by not discouraging coin collecting and bullion buying, the government could turn a large number of people into staunch supporters of the new administration.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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