Congress Contemplates Change

Literally. Change – as in the US dollar coin. They’re looking at supplanting the dollar bill, with the dollar coin. By the time they get around to acting on this, neither one will be worth fuck-all, anyway. My complaint though is simple – If I have ten dollars in one dollar bills, I have some ‘coin’ in my pocket. It feels like I might actually have something. If I have ten of those gaudy yellow coins, I just feel broke.

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers have shown about as much appetite for the $1 coin as kids do their spinach. They may not know what’s best for them either. Congressional auditors say doing away with dollar bills entirely and replacing them with dollar coins could save taxpayers some $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.

Vending machine operators have long championed the use of $1 coins because they don’t jam the machines, cutting down on repair costs and lost sales. But most people don’t seem to like carrying them. In the past five years, the U.S. Mint has produced 2.4 billion Presidential $1 coins. Most are stored by the Federal Reserve, and production was suspended about a year ago.

The latest projection from the Government Accountability Office on the potential savings from switching to dollar coins entirely comes as lawmakers begin exploring new ways for the government to save money by changing the money itself.

The Mint is preparing a report for Congress showing how changes in the metal content of coins could save money.

The last time the government made major metallurgical changes in U.S. coins was nearly 50 years ago when Congress directed the Mint to remove silver from dimes and quarters and to reduce its content in half dollar coins. Now,

Congress is looking at new changes in response to rising prices for copper and nickel.

At a House subcommittee hearing Thursday, the focus was on two approaches:

—Moving to less expensive combinations of metals like steel, aluminum and zinc.
—Gradually taking dollar bills out the economy and replacing them with coins.

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8 Responses to Congress Contemplates Change

  1. R.D. Walker says:

    I would prefer that they instead just deep six the penny and round sales to the nearest five cents.

    The penny is practically worthless. In fact, a penny in 1973 has the same value as a nickel today and we got along fine without a 1/5 cent piece in 1973.

    Ditch the penny and keep the single.

    By the way, you failed to mention the obvious problem with dollar coins. Strippers aren’t coin operated.

  2. R.D. Walker says:

    For the record, I kind of like the dollar coins. I like to be able to toss a couple coins on the counter for a cup of coffee or a beer. I’d hate to see the one dollar bill disappear, but I have always liked dollar coins too.

  3. Bman says:

    Strippers are against the use of dollar coins. Men get confused on where to put them exactly.

  4. Bman says:

    Oh. RD said that already

  5. notamobster says:

    It’s also really heavy if you’re a good stripper. You ever try to haul $2,000 in coins? What a pain in the ass.

    I like dollar coins, just not the crappy yellow ones. I don’t want them to get rid of the greenback. Folding money is awesome.

    Did you know that a pre-1982 penny is now worth 2.25 cents, and a pre-1982 nickel is worth 12.5?

  6. fubar says:

    >>exploring new ways for the government to save money by changing the money itself.

    what amaterial re they proposing then?

    wood? Play-doh?

    this is mindnumbingly stupid, but hey, it’s congress, what do i expect.

    (i just scrolled down and saw the rest :oops:)

  7. Rich says:

    Currency needs to be able to address the math of trade.

    If the dollar is your benchmark, then the currency needs to be multiples of that denomination.

    Thus we sensibly have 50 cent pieces, quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.

    We also, logically, ought to have denominations that fit the flip side of the < 1 dollar coinage.

    For the penny we need 1 dollar bills.

    For the nickel we need 5 dollar bills.

    For the dime we need 10 dollar bills.

    For the quarter we need 25 dollar bills. But for some reason we do not have these. Why not?

    For the 50 cent piece we need 50 dollar bills.

    So I ask, in a ten based decimal counting system, why get rid of any of the logical and historical currencies that come from that?

    Rather, I ask, why do we have a 20 dollar bill versus the logical 25 dollar bill.

    And why would you propose a 2 dollar bill, with <1 equivalent of a 2 penny piece, when we have no history of multi-penny coinage?

  8. Rockheim says:

    Strip clubs can go the way of racetracks and just start using $2 bills!