Apparently, one way the government makes money is by "selling" the money they print for face value, when it only costs a few cents to make. It's all done through a process called "Seigniorage." According to the 50 State Quarters web page,
Taxpayers will be delighted to know that the 50 new State Quarters program is much more than just self-supporting. Thanks to the sale of State Quarter Proof Sets, and something known as seigniorage, hundreds of millions of dollars in profits flow into the Treasury annually!
And Seigniorage is
Revenue or a profit taken by the government from the minting of coins, usually the difference between the cost of coin production (metal, labor, etc.) and the face value of the coin. The profit is realized when the government "sells" the coins at face value to the Federal Reserve Banks (FRBs). For example, it costs about 4.5 cents to make a quarter, and when the quarter enters circulation via the FRBs, the government earns 20.5 cents.
The government makes PROFIT from printing money! How in the world is this possible? Honestly, doesn't it seem like legalized counterfeiting? If I spend ten bucks at Office Max and print off a bunch of hundreds, and then get you to make change for me, I just "sold" you my money and made a huge profit. Just make the newly-printed money actually worth something, and you have the US Government.
And no, I'm not supporting Ron Paul. But this is just ridiculous.