Senators Push Legislation To Make Dollar Coin More Than A Novelty Item

The fight over whether or not the dollar should be printed or minted continues. The latest volley of cannon fire in favor of the dollar coin came from Senators Tom Harkin of Iowa and Arizona’s John McCain, who earlier today introduced the Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings (Hey — that spells COINS!) Act to promote the use of coins in an effort to curb waste and spending.

The senators cite the multiple Government Accountability Office reports over the last two decades — including this most recent one from March 2011 — that demonstrate a large, long-term savings by phasing out printed money and rolling out more durable coins.

“With our Nation’s debt now over $15 trillion, Congress must look at every area of the federal government, big or small, to save money,” said McCain. “By moving from the costly dollar bill to the dollar coin, we can save real money and show the American taxpayer that we are serious about cutting spending in Washington.”

While much of the modernized world is fine with coin currency, the dollar coin is a controversial item here in the U.S., with detractors pointing at the many, many failed attempts to introduce dollar coins into the mainstream currency. A recent report claims that around 40% of all dollar coins make their way back to the treasury vaults because people want to get rid of them quickly.

But supporters of the dollar coin say that those previous failures happened because there was never any wholehearted attempt to actually replace paper money and that the coins have always been treated as curiosities. If you simply take away paper money and replace it with coins, say supporters of the dollar coin movement, people will quickly get used to the idea.

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  1. Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

    Whenever this comes up, I can’t believe the whining about getting rid of the dollar bill. IT COSTS LESS TO USE COINS, PEOPLE. Deal with it. We all have to suffer a little to save the whole.

    • bluline says:

      I love the dollar bill compared to the coin. I hate coins in general and do whatever I can to carry as few as possible.

      • iyou says:

        The government takes you seriously, and is planning to replace all coins with paper currency, starting next week with the penny and the nickle. Think of all the weight you’ll save!

        • Scooter250 says:

          If you get rid of the nickle you have to get rid of the quarter to make change. We need to go to Dollar, 50cent and Dime as the only coins.

    • Coffee says:

      I think it’s a matter of us not trying hard enough…when I was in the UK years ago, they already had one and two-pound coins instead of bills, and it was remarkably easy to get used to it. Whenever we’ve released dollar coinage, it seems like a half-hearted supplement to the one-dollar bill rather than an actual currency change.

    • shadowboxer524 says:

      Really, the heart of this argument comes down to the rudeness and uncivilized nature of tossing a coin at a stripper versus softly tucking a bill into her g-string like a gentleman.

      • Coffee says:

        What the hell are you talking about? I already throw coins at strippers. Rolls of coins if I’m in a bad mood and decide it’s Penny Night.

      • maxamus2 says:

        Then buy the stripper bucks at the club.

      • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

        i’m sure those strippers wouldn’t mind a portrait of Lincoln tucked in their G-strings. You know what else strip clubs can do? Do what they’ve been doing in Canada for the past 25 years–let you buy scrip that simulates a $1 bill to put, well, you know where.

      • Weekilter says:

        Don’t be so cheap. Use a $5 bill!

      • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

        (Snort) You sir win the internets for today.

      • daveinva says:

        You toss coins at strippers? That’s what they have…

        Oh, wait. Family website.

    • sparc says:

      it would also probably cost us less to make the dollar bill out of some sort of plastic that imitates the current dollar bill.

      Forcing dollar coins isn’t the only solution.

    • Snoofin says:

      This is a civilized country. I shouldnt have to suffer at all, I couldnt care less about the whole

      • Preyfar says:

        Anybody suffering for having to use a dollar coin may want to re-evaluate their definition of “suffering”.

        • Snoofin says:

          Im not suffering over a coin. I was replying to his comment that we should all suffer a little to save the whole. This phrase is often used by environmental fanatics when we are forced to use substandard replacements for good things like low flow showerheads instead of good powerful ones, or AC that doesnt get as cold as they used to when we had freon, or being forced to use non-incandescent light bulbs, that dont have the same glow etc…

          • drjayphd says:

            Fortunately, the right to be a giant gaping asshole isn’t covered by the Constitution. That is, of course, until Sen. Frank Goatse (R-MS) introduces the amendment that eventually adopts his name.

          • mehitabel says:

            You poor, oppressed baby.

          • Helpful moose is helpful says:

            Roll up, roll up …. get your sense of entitlement here! Why should you have to do anything that might inconvenience you in a trivial way yet would benefit thousands of others and make the world a better place?

      • Coelacanth says:

        Caring about the whole is the price you pay for living in a civilised country.

    • ianmac47 says:

      I always wonder when these printed currency apologists last tried feeding a vending machine some crinkled bill.

      • bluline says:

        I haven’t used a vending machine in at least 10 years.

        • shepd says:

          And yet I use one two or three times a day. Toonies and loonies make them easy to use around here, and the at-cost prices at work just make it a no-brainer. :^D

    • jeblis says:

      “When this profit, known as seigniorage, is factored out, switching to the dollar coin would actually cost taxpayers money over three decades, according to a Federal Reserve analysis of the GAO’s figures. The cost works out to $3.4 billion.”

      http://www.npr.org/2011/06/28/137394348/-1-billion-that-nobody-wants

      • El_Red says:

        There are already millions of coins ready, at USA’s warehouses. Unless USA wants to pull out fancy design, this analysis is pure bull$#%. USA’s neighbour – Canada – used coins for a while now, it does cost less vs paper money to produce (over long periods), since coins last a lot longer.

    • SabreDC says:

      This. My New Years resolution was to not use dollar bills anymore. I have a few dollar coins and despite what people have told me, my pants haven’t fallen down yet or even become noticeably heavier.

  2. IphtashuFitz says:

    If they really want a dollar coin to be successful then they need to first provide incentives for every vending machine, parking meter, etc. to accept them BEFORE trying to dump millions of these things on people.

    • Captain Walker says:

      I think the incentive would be that if they didn’t accept the coins, people would shop elsewhere.

      Get rid of the paper dollar and dollar coins become very popular.

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      The only worthwhile incentive to get all of those machines to accept dollar coins would be to stop making dollar bills.

      • Villnius says:

        The problem with that is that unlike most other countries, the US has TWO separate bureaucracies making their money. The mint churns out the coins, and the dept of engraving and printing makes the bills. With their government funding on the line, you can bet that the dept of engraving and printing won’t give up the $1 bill without a fight.

        While they’re looking at the dollar coin thing, they might also want to look into merging their money making bureaucracies under one banner. Surely that would be a huge savings right there, and aren’t Americans big on “smaller government?”

        • rpjs says:

          Not true. In the UK coins are issued by the Royal Mint, banknotes by the Bank of England (plus banknotes issued by private banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which is a whole other story)

    • johnrhoward says:

      Most vending machines are already set up to handle dollar coins.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      This. There are how many dollar coins out there? of the sort I have owned personally, I can name five. (Eisenhower, Suzy B, Sacagawea, Native American/Sacagawea 2, Presidents)

      And yeah. Vending machines are like “oh HELL no!”

      • fs2k2isfun says:

        Yes, but other than the Susan B. Anthony, the others have the same size, weight, and material. It’s like saying there are 51 different quarters (50 states, plus the old design).

        • pythonspam says:

          Eisenhower won’t fit in any coin slot I have seen, but then anybody who is spending those for a dollar’s worth of goods or services should think again.

          • BBBB says:

            “Eisenhower won’t fit in any coin slot I have seen,…”

            A while ago I saw a coin slot that did – it was a slot machine in Vegas.

            • varro says:

              The $1 tokens that casinos had before going to tickets are the same size as the Eisenhower dollars – ostensibly, they used the dollar coins for those machines.

              And is there anywhere you get half-dollars except at blackjack tables for getting a blackjack on an odd-dollar bet? (Blackjack pays 3:2, so you win $7.50 on a $5 bet…)

        • Laura Northrup says:

          The electronic signature for the Susan B. Anthony coin in a lot of vending machines is the same as the gold-colored coins. You can use them interchangeably. I used to get rolls of them when I parked in a metered spot at work and the roll came with some of each, but mostly the gold ones.

    • Coalpepper says:

      Its been a while since i worked vending, something like five years plus, but even back then the newer coin mechanisms could take dollar coins, it was just a feature you had to turn on. Of course why bother when no one uses them? Heck, we had some bill changers that had a two dollar bill option, also set to off by default.

      • flarn2006 says:

        Why would it be off by default? Then there’s cases like that when they don’t mind getting $1 coins in the machine but just don’t want to turn it on.

        • Coalpepper says:

          Actually i never understood the logic of why it was off by default, but it was listed in the manual as an optional feature. My best guess is since we did our own sorting, and presumably others do, it was assumed most didn’t want to be bothered with a relatively uncommon coin that they might not be set up to process. Still, it seems silly.

    • kc2idf says:

      Already done.

      Vending machines take $1 coins unless this feature is switched off. This is so that one machine build can work both north and south of the US-Canada border. Canada, it seems, has done two things that all of the rest of the civilised world except the US have done. One is adapt the metric system. The other is to phase out $1 bills in favour of coins.

  3. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    How am I supposed to fold and stick a coin down an exotic dancer’s outfit? Or more to the point, do you know how hard it is to pick up a dollar coin with various body parts vs. a bill?

    Part of me thinks these senators are in the pocket of Big Dancing, and are doing this to increase tips.

    • Herbz says:

      Or the strip club could just have you exchange your dollar coins for some funny money… like “Strip Dollas” or something… then you could just use that.

    • McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

      Pffft. Most strip clubs are on the two dollar bill now.

      _McRib knows this second hand only_

      • dangermike says:

        An old Kzer-za once told me an added benefit of using $2 bills is that in low lighting, they’re easily mistaken for $20 bills.

    • Manny says:

      Don’t be cheap…start using a $5 bill instead of a dollar…

    • cowboyesfan says:

      How do strip clubs work in Canada?

      Any Canadian readers willing to chime in?

      • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

        Strippers adjusted for inflation; they only take fives and tens now :C

    • tucktheproducer says:

      According to stories from friends of mine from dollar-coin-accepting countries, there are several creative ways of handling this. My favorite had to be the bucket, which dancers keep near them and people can toss their tips into.
      As they say, “where there are boobs, there is a way.”

    • Cat says:

      Are you saying the place I’ve been putting my Susan Bs is NOT a coin slot?

      do you know how hard it is to pick up a dollar coin with various body parts?

      Travel abroad. There are many young ladies who have developed a “talent” for picking up stacks of coins with “various body parts”. Or so I’ve heard.

    • maxamus2 says:

      Strip clubs sell their “stripper bucks”.

    • Kishi says:

      Hey, if you learn to fold a coin in half, that lady is going to be impressed. Or terrified. One or the other.

    • Bog says:

      That is actually a good rason to go to the bank and get a pack of $2.00 bills!

    • bdcw says:

      If you can’t afford $5 bills then you ain’t going home with that stripper.

  4. dolemite says:

    It’s not going to feel very good sitting on a bag of coins in my wallet.

    • The Upright Man says:

      Exactly

    • chrisgoh says:

      If you ever have more that 4 $1 coins in your pocket at one time, you are probably using money wrong.

      • brch2 says:

        Well… if you have 4 Dollar coins in your pocket, but no other change, then purchase something that costs $5.50… the change you get would include 4 more Dollar coins… so how would I be spending wrong, even though I now have 8 Dollar coins? Also, try telling people who work for tips, such as servers, that it’d be ‘spending wrong’ to have more than 4 Dollars in singles in their pockets. Servers tend to have to keep their own change, and will often walk home with more than 4 Dollars in singles, since they either don’t have enough singles to turn in for a larger bill, or so they can keep change to use the next day.

        • glorpy says:

          Somehow, Canadian waitstaff and strip clubs have resolved this issue to their satisfaction. As for your $5.50 scenario, add one of your dollar coins to your payment and magically you’ll get a bill back and have one less coin in your pocket.

        • teamplur says:

          I used to throw away pennies (like litterally toss them on the ground as I walked out of a store), then my dad threw some wisdom at me.
          “For every penny you throw away, you’re gonna get back 4 more”
          It kinda blew my mind so I stopped. I still think pennies are a waste of existence, but the phrase is almost proverbial.
          Either way, they should just stop wasting money printing paper dollars, and minting 1 cent pennies. At deployed bases, the AAFES (army/airforce exange service aka military walmart/bestbuy/7-11), they already do away with pennies and round everything to the nearest nickle. It’s too wasteful for them to ship pennies overseas and back.

        • enonu says:

          You have $10 & 4 $1 coins = $14. Cost = $5.50. You give them $11. You get back $5.50. You now have 1 $5, 3 $1 coins, and $50 in small change = $8.50. This is not hard.

  5. milkcake says:

    Are we going to talk about how this ruins the experience at strip clubs? Again?

    • Snowblind says:

      Oh, no way man, it would be awesome!

      Got change for a $5?

      Hold your hand right there, big boy.

      Ka-chink, ka-chink, ka-chink, ka-chink…

  6. stevekuze says:

    When i traveled to Canada, i loved the idea of the 1 and 2 dollar coin.

  7. valueofaloonie says:

    Loonies…um, dollar coins are awesome.

  8. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    The dollar coins were a failure because they stunk – they were poorly designed and people didn’t relish wandering about with a bushel of dollar coins in their pants.

    They’ve been using dollar and two-dollar coins up there in Canuckistan for a while. I wonder how it’s been working out.

    • exit322 says:

      YAY! I’m not the only person that calls it “Canuckistan” for fun!

      • samandiriel says:

        FYI Canuckistan is actually a racist slur… rednecks use it when they want to be derogatory about Canada’s immigration policy.

        • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

          FYI – We are Americans and actually refer to Quebec as Canuckistan because of their prejudice against English speakers. Frequently when we cross the border we get less than stellar treatment in restaurants, hotels, and stores because we do not speak French.

          So who’s the ‘redneck?’

          • Clyde Barrow says:

            @Fubish says: I don’t know anything about it, but it seems to me; Learn French and the problem goes away.

  9. trencherman says:

    I wish they’d get rid of the penny and the nickel as well.

  10. catskyfire says:

    I would be more than happy to drop most bills altogether, and go straight to coins. One dollar, five dollar, ten, twenty? Awesome.

    • catskyfire says:

      And I support the idea enough that I just emailed my senators. :)

      • carlogesualdo says:

        I bet blind people would get behind this. It has to be much easier to tell the difference with a stamped piece of metal in different sizes and textures with than a uniformly-sized piece of paper.

  11. Mark S says:

    Kill the dollar bill and kill the penny.

  12. veronykah says:

    I’m a bartender and HATE the thought of the paper dollar going away. Counting out tips at the end of the night would be a nightmare, as would working in places that refuse to cash in money, taking home $100 (or more) in coins? No thanks.
    There’s a reason most bars don’t use change.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Er, you know how you have to have a stack of singles at work to make change? If you had a bowl/pocket full of dollar coins, I’m sure your employer would be happy to take them in exchange for larger bills. Mine always were. It saved the managers trips to the bank.

    • thomwithanh says:

      I tried to pay for a drink once with dollar coins and the bartender gave me a sneer

  13. Hi_Hello says:

    people want to get rid of them quickly…

    isn’t that a good thing?? they want people to spend right? Remove bills, use coins that people want to get rid of… increase spending…

    am I missing something?

    • who? says:

      Yeah. I heard a podcast where they were discussing dollar coins on the radio. What happens is that when a new coin comes out people who are into coins will buy a bunch of them to give to their nephews and nieces (or whatever). The kids then spend them, so they’re in the hands of the stores. Then the stores try to give them out as change, and the customer goes “WTF is that? Give me a regular dollar!” So the store takes it to the bank with the next deposit. The bank, having no market for it either, returns it to the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve puts it into a vault.

      There are $1.2 BILLION dollar coins sitting in federal reserve vaults now.

  14. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Does this mean men can have purses now? I don’t carry coinage anymore, but I do carry a wallet.

  15. zerogspacecow says:

    What exactly is the benefit of coins? How much money does that really save (especially when you take into account the weight difference and cost making a coin versus cost of making a paper bill)?

    Personally, I hate coins. I virtually never have any coins on me. They’re heavy, jangle around loudly, are bulky, hard to keep organized, hard to move around and count out, etc. All around, they’re just terrible.

    Are we expected to all just carry around a leather coin purse tied to the belts holding up our tunics or somethings?

    • cowboyesfan says:

      Dollars last an average of only 18 months.

    • milk says:

      Why don’t you try reading the report they linked to…
      http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11281.pdf

    • mrstu says:

      Try this experiment. Pull out your wallet, and find the oldest bill you have. Then dig around in your pocket, and find the oldest coin you’re carrying.

      The oldest bill I have on myself at the moment is a dollar from 2003. On the other hand, the oldest coin I’m carrying is a quarter from 1967. About 1/3 of the change I’m carrying at the moment is from the 80s or earlier.

      Coins cost more to make initially, but they last A LOT longer.

      • psm321 says:

        > “Then dig around in your pocket, and find the oldest coin you’re carrying.”

        That would be difficult, because I don’t have any coins in my pocket. Because I hate carrying them and get rid of them as quickly as possible.

    • teamplur says:

      Or just join 2012 with the rest of us and don’t carry cash. Debit/Credit FTW. Ya i’m guessing some places you go don’t take credit well too bad. I just don’t go to places like that. Only time I have cash is when i get cash back for something specific like haircuts. Back in San Diego it never was a problem, and even in this shithole town i’m living in, in PA it’s still not usually an issue.

  16. The Upright Man says:

    As someone who prefers using cash over anything else, I do not like this.

  17. FredKlein says:

    NOOooooooo!!!!!

    I can have a large number of dollar bills folded in my pocket with no problem. The same number of coins would rip my pocket, or at least cause an unwieldy and unsightly bulge.

    Not to mention the psychological implications. People are used to coins being amounts less than a whole dollar, and bills being whole dollar amounts. By making the Dollar a coin, people will subconsciously think of it as less than a dollar, thus devaluing it.

    And, of course, coins, being small and round, tend to roll away if dropped, and also to fall into cracks. No big deal if its a penny or nickel, or even dime or quarter- but a dollar?

    • who? says:

      Well, by that logic…if you drop a coin, you can hear it hit the ground, so you’ll bend down and pick it up. A bill? You probably won’t notice that you dropped it.

    • darcmosch says:

      Over here in China, they use coins and bills for 1 kuai. I prefer the coins because
      1. they’re not heavy
      2. you can easily carry about 4 or 5 (about all you need to carry at any given time)
      3. they don’t take up a lot of room
      4. aren’t as dirty or matted as the bills

      Coins are an elegant solution. You should only get as many as 4 for whatever transaction. You can use those for the rest of the day and make sure you get less change. Coins FTW!!!

      • FredKlein says:

        –1. they’re not heavy

        Have you seen US dollar coins? They’re the biggest (common) coin we have!

        –2. you can easily carry about 4 or 5 (about all you need to carry at any given time)

        “I’m sorry, we don’t have any 5’s. I’ll have to give you dollars….” is no big deal if it’s 5 pieces of paper, but is a big deal if it’s 5 more big, heavy coins.

        –3. they don’t take up a lot of room

        See #1 Above.

        –4. aren’t as dirty or matted as the bills

        Some of the dirtiest money I’ve ever seen was coins. Bills can literally be thrown in the washing machine (I recommend putting them in a mesh bag to avoid losing any), and come out clean. Coins… can’t.

        –Coins are an elegant solution. You should only get as many as 4 for whatever transaction.

        Sure, if I wanna take the time to count out (exact) change for all transactions. I’d rather whip out a $20 and get change at three separate transactions and count my $1 bills at the end, rather then hold up the line digging for dollar coins in my pockets so I never have more than 4 at a time.

        • darcmosch says:

          1. Then they shouldn’t make them bigger
          2. You know you can leave some at your office/in your car? You don’t always have to carry 50 coins with you, just a few will suffice. I know, it’s hard to manage what is in your pocket, but you’re just gonna have to “suffer” through it.
          3. Management people! I get coins all the time, but I only keep so many on me, like 5 yuan, 8 jiao and 2 or 3 5-jiao. The rest goes next to my bed in case I want a soda or some other small snack. With that kind of system, you’ll never have to worry about too many coins, unless you never empty your pockets.
          4. And you can wash the coins more easily than bills. That whole some water and soap, but at least coins don’t have traces of cocaine on them

          http://articles.cnn.com/2009-08-14/health/cocaine.traces.money_1_cocaine-dollar-bills-paper-bills?_s=PM:HEALTH

  18. VectorVictor says:

    Can’t wait–should have happened years ago.

  19. KyBash says:

    The government is supposed to be FOR the people.

    Time after time, the people have shown they don’t want the chunky, poorly designed, and aggravating dollar coins.

    It is UNDEMOCRATIC for the powers-that-be to keep trying to shove these down our throats.

    The people have spoken! We don’t want the things!

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      But the people have also spoken and said they want less government spending, especially ‘wasteful’ spending. Though everyone’s definition of ‘wasteful’ is different…

      Another point to chew on is the whole ‘sometimes govt has to do something b/c it’s right even when a majority oppose it’ like school integration. Wholly different issues of course but a govt that simply carries out the majority’s wishes is not as utopian as it sounds.

      • KyBash says:

        Following the majority is far better than blind obedience to the “we know what’s good for you” mentality.

        • AtlantaCPA says:

          OK, but what about my first point? When the ‘people’ have asked for conflicting things, don’t you have to pick one?

          • KyBash says:

            You’re supposed to go with the majority.

            There are a vocal few who really want a dollar coin, no matter what.

            The general populace resists it and have voted by refusing to use them.

            • AtlantaCPA says:

              I’m coining a new abbreviation: RTFC (Comment instead of Article).

              …and yes I thought that was witty, he he.

        • qwickone says:

          Agreed, but we’re not talking about blindly following the government. We’re talking about a well-researched cost savings (HUGE cost savings in the long term) that ultimately is no big deal to many other countries. People are resistant to change, but then they get used to it and realize it’s not actually a problem.

          • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

            I see what you did there.

            Resisting change.

            Hah.

            Good one!

          • KyBash says:

            The “well-researched” only covers the government costs.

            The damage to clothing, the amount lost do their falling/rolling away, and other usage/damage costs are likely far more and will never be properly researched because the government doesn’t want the results known.

            Also, I suspect the cost of the research (what, nine studies now?) have erased any possible savings for at least a decade.

            • drjayphd says:

              Or, it could be that trivial. I mean, really? The financial impact of damage to clothing? I don’t think that’s going to play any significant role in the decision, and I hope you were snarking on the number of studies on the dollar coin. That just smacks of overanalysis (and I should know, as I’m covering a town that’s been paralyzed by too many studies and not enough decisive action) much like the number of studies done on the dollar coin as it is. Save some money, rip the Band-Aid off, make the switch.

    • Chris says:

      Some of us do. You will too when you don’t have a choice!

    • drjayphd says:

      If people are trying to shove the coins down your throat, either they’re doing it wrong or you managed to ROYALLY piss someone off. Judging by the fact that you just assume people don’t want coins, rather than the government screwing up the rollout (or blocking it due to vested interests, like one representative whose district includes the factory that makes the special paper for bills)… (dons sunglasses) my money’s on the latter.

      • KyBash says:

        I didn’t say people don’t want coins, I said: “they don’t want the chunky, poorly designed, and aggravating” ones.

        I think a two dollar coin might be accepted well, if it’s enough larger than a quarter that it won’t easily be mistaken for one.

    • Weekilter says:

      Oh puhleez. You need to GOI.

    • Helpful moose is helpful says:

      No, you are totally wrong. People don’t like change – they resist it like crazy. But in the long run, it is better for everyone. The role of government should be to look at the long term benefit and do what is right. Too much politics is short term and populist.

  20. Marlin says:

    Good, love to see more $2 bills in use.

    • rmorin says:

      Finally someone gets it. People are freaking out because they don’t want to burdened by tons of coinage, but if we increase 2$ bill production then you’d be getting dollar coins much less frequently then you have had without the 2$ bill.

      How is this hard for everyone else? For dollar coins to be successful, you need widespread use by either a two dollar bill or coin as well, plain and simple.

  21. RickinStHelen says:

    Having lived in Germany pre-Euro, I always liked the system of coins they had instead of bills. Get rid of the dollar coin, put the tons of $2.00 bills we have back into circulation, and eventually phase out the $2.00s in favor of a coin also.

  22. cparkin says:

    Is this where I insert my “Get over it you bunch of whiny Americans” comment?

    One dollar and two dollar coins aren’t a big deal. They’re actually quite a bit better in cases of vending machines and parking meters. No bills spitting back at you.

  23. HomerSimpson says:

    PISH….time to do away with coins altogether and those low denomination bills too. Not as if the rich use them anyway…

  24. ryedha says:

    Having spent a time living in the UK, I can attest that it takes roughly two weeks of wandering around with heavy pockets full of coins before you retrain yourself to use check your pockets before pulling out a bill when you pay for things. Also, take into account the number of people who will pay for a 3-dollar coffee with a credit card nowadays vs. 20 years ago, the arguments against discontinuing the paper dollar bills are becoming increasingly moot.

  25. jasvll says:

    Calculating the dollar cost of printing the dollar whose value is defined by the government doing the printing? Someone’s taking the whole, ‘fiat money has intrinsic value’ thing too seriously.

  26. katycorp says:

    In theory, the coins cost less. But in reality, the banks have to pay extra shipping to get coins shipped to their bank. Since banks don’t LIKE paying extra money, they don’t order any. That is really why they failed. Because banks didn’t stock them, thus they didn’t enter circulation. Also, look who got over $30,000 in campaign contributions from metal mining companies in the 2010 cycle: John McCain!

    http://influenceexplorer.com/industry/metal-mining-processing/f04f80fc52764a2582bd167a2b7edb3d?cycle=2010

  27. LoadStar says:

    Why not go to polymer bills? Yes, they cost up to twice as much as paper money, but they last 4-5x longer, meaning there is still significant cost savings. It’s also much, much harder to counterfeit polymer money, meaning savings there as well. And it would be immediately accepted by virtually everyone, because it still maintains a similar form factor to current paper bills.

    I’m pretty sure the only reason that we’re talking about coins and not talking about going to polymer money is lobbyists.

    • MrEvil says:

      You may be onto something, printing money is one thing the Federal Government hasn’t farmed out to the private sector (The Bureau of Printing and Engraving). However, the paper is ordered from a private sector paper company. It could be possible the supplier of that paper has been keeping the government from making such a change.

    • SporadicBlah says:

      Our local water park prints their own polymer bills. You can buy a few to stick in your swim trunks for buying snacks without worrying about them getting ripped when wet.

    • SporadicBlah says:

      Our local water park prints their own polymer bills. You can buy a few to stick in your swim trunks for buying snacks without worrying about them getting ripped when wet.

    • KyBash says:

      They regularly experiment with new formulations. No polymer has yet passed all the tests.

      The United States has always had a higher standard of quality for its currency, and that prevents us from using the squishy plastic stuff that inferior countries readily accept.

      • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

        “Inferior,” you say? “Inferior countries?” “The US has a higher standard of printing currency?” I hope you’re not serious with this asinine remark. US currency undoubtably is counterfeited more than any other, and not just because of its value. If anything, the standards of printing US currency IMHO is inferior to most “inferior” countries that, for instance, put holograms on their banknotes. Never mind that polymer notes would be much harder to counterfeit–they last longer as well. I’m not saying, however, that Mr. Washington should go plastic–he should go the way of the do-do bird–but don’t be knocking “inferior” countries in the way they’ve thwarted counterfeiting, looking that the examples of the US government. It took you over 200 years before you finaly realized there are more colours than green and black to print your money with.

  28. SeattleSeven says:

    LET’S DO THIS!!!!

    And people shouldn’t forget that $2 bills work just fine. Use them if you really need some low value paper in your pocket.

  29. kella says:

    I already avoid carrying coins around, now I’ll end up trying to get rid of dollars instead of just quarters. Rather than switching to dollar coins, how about switching to polymer banknotes? They last longer than the paper notes (though not as long as coins of course) and there’s no issue of changing formulas as the price of metals change.

    The VTA ticket machines give dollar coins as change around here, and I did think it was cool to get a 1979 Susan B. Anthony, but I also ended up with a bag of coins when I bought a $6 day pass with a $20 bill.

    Also, kill the penny. Any change I get goes to the nearest tip jar, but pennies are just stupid.

    • surreal estate says:

      Huh, seems to me if we really wanted to cut government waste, the hundreds of billions we spend on troops to defend Europe and all those other coin-wielding countries would be a good place to start, rather than minting our own coins.

  30. Jacob says:

    While many cash register drawers have 5 slots for coins, some still have only 4.

    Kill the penny and you will have an extra slot to use for those dollar coins.

  31. Ed says:

    The problem is they keep making the stupid thing too close to the dimensions of the quarter! Make it oval or something.

  32. One-Eyed Jack says:

    It’ll be hard to write “WheresGeorge.com” on a dollar coin.

  33. sir_eccles says:

    Ok, which senator has the mint in their constituency?

  34. sparc says:

    make the dollar bill out of some plastic and let this controversy die.

    Dollar coins aren’t the only solution.

  35. Not Given says:

    I stopped carrying change because it was too heavy. I usually try to keep a few dollar bills in my wallet for convenience. I’m not sure what I would do. I’d probably put the coins in my change bank to roll up and take to the bank. I’m also not going to start leaving $5 bills for a tip on a $17 dinner bill. I might start leaving $2 bills for tips, but I’ll round down.

  36. maxamus2 says:

    I never liked silver dollars. Then I went to Canada for two weeks and started using the loonies and toonies ($1 and $2 coins) and though how great it was, why didn’t we have this in the US?

  37. Bodger says:

    Stop printing paper dollars. Simple enough if somebody had the balls to follow through. It worked perfectly well in Canada when they settled upon $1 and $2 coins and I’ve never noticed that their economy collapsed or vending machines vanished. Just do it — it may be uncomfortable for a few months but after that you will quickly forget about the bad old days.

  38. InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

    The only thing I would miss if we converted to dollar coins is the ability to fold dollars into little origami animals (because I felt leaving $2 for a tip was terribly unexciting, even if the bill was only $10). But we still have $2 bills, so it’s not like there’s no small-denomination bills.
    I have to wonder if $2 bills would then become more expensive to make, though. If their use was increased, their lifespans would subsequently decrease.

  39. apember says:

    I have read that as long as the US continues to produce dollar bills, the public will not accept the dollar coin. Supposedly the reason that we still have the dollar bill is because of powerful elected officials from the cotton growing states (paper money uses cotton fiber) and the same type of powerful officials from the state where the factory that produces the paper is located.

  40. Big Dave says:

    OK, let’s wrap all these comments into one:
    1 Americans are a bunch of provincial, whiny bastards.
    2 I travel in Europe and LOVE the coins there. If you don’t you must be a jerk.
    3 Pull all the $1, $2 and $5 bills out of circulation and replace with coins.
    4 Take all the other bills and make them out of polymer, extending their life exponentially.
    5 Let some talented artists redesign the coins and bills in loud colors and freaky designs. America has some of the ugliest money on the planet.

  41. LoadStar says:

    Sorry, but to the many who say “Kill the dollar bill, people will get used to it” – nope, sorry, I won’t. I don’t carry coins, period. Kill the dollar bill, I *still* won’t carry a dollar coin. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels the same.

    About the only thing that I’d “get used to” is a more valuable pile of change sitting on my nightstand at home, since there’d be dollar coins mixed in with the rather large pile of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies that are already there as I type this.

  42. thomwithanh says:

    I grew up in the UK and I had no trouble with the one pound coin.

  43. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Canada did it. They only way it works is to remove the choice – take the bills out of circulation.

    The resistance in the US is mainly because 1) the US $1 bill is iconic 2) it’s a pinko commie move to take over the country.

    • MikeVx says:

      Forcing it works, but there are consequences. I’ve had a number of Canadians over the years tell me that the forced coin conversion triggered the second of two political bloodbaths in recent Canadian history.

  44. hansolo247 says:

    Perhaps they should look at bringing the printing of money back under the control of Congress instead of wasting time on this kind of thing?

  45. Suisei says:

    I am all for this. I like the dollar coin very much. I don’t care to always carry paper money. They are better to give to children as prizes or treats too.

  46. Coalpepper says:

    I’ve never seen much of a problem for two reasons. For one, like many people, i carry very little cash on me, and for two, even when i do, its not like i carry twenty or thirty singles, just one or three, and three coins isn’t any big deal.

    Now if they want this to go through, all they need to do is get the strip clubs involved, they’ll push for it as such a change will be profitable for them.

  47. flarn2006 says:

    How are bills more expensive to make than coins? Last time I checked, paper is cheaper than metal.

    • Daggertrout says:

      Coins can last decades, while a paper bill may only last a couple years.

    • jamar0303 says:

      When you have to completely remake the paper version every year and a half compared to decades and maybe even a century for the metal…

  48. chw415 says:

    Get rid of all paper money under $20. Same goes for the penny. Make the coins out of the same material but size them proportionally to value. (I never understood why a dime is smaller than a nickle, and a dollar and a quarter is about the same size.) Use different shapes for the coins too; they look cool and helps to distinguish them just by feel alone. While we are at it, why not make the credit or debit transcation fee into two tiers, a low rate for transactions say under $20. This would let a lot of people avoid coins in general.

  49. jayphat says:

    Do these two blow holes not know we’re already sitting on a literal mountain of $1 coins that we don’t want? What do they think this is, Canada?

  50. tml04 says:

    We’ve had 1 dollar coins in Canada since ’87 and 2 dollar coins since ’96. Both work great, and although I wasn’t around when the loonie was introduced, I don’t recall any major issues when the toonie was phased in. Slowly but surely, the $2 bills just disappeared. I remember the first few years being rough with respect to vending machines not accepting the new coins, but now you’d be hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t take them.

    I have to ask though, in this age of Credit and Debit cards (and sometimes, transactions being made with smartphones), what are you all still doing using cash anyways? Time to join the 21st century, America.

  51. bomber991 says:

    You know, I burn through a $20 bill so quick. I think if they took away the $1 bill I wouldn’t even notice. I usually pay with 5’s, 10’s or 20’s anyway cause it’s a lot quicker than counting out a bunch of 1’s. It seems like the simple solution would be to stop printing the $1 bill, and replace that with the $2 bill. With all the inflation nowadays a $1 bill is practically worthless, and a $2 bill isn’t far behind.

  52. PortlandBeavers says:

    We need to come to grips with the fact that the dollar has fallen in value over the decades. Today’s dollar bill has the purchasing power that a nickel had when the first paper dollars came out during the Civil War. While we did have fractional currency at the time in denominations all the way down the three cents, it was in response to coin hoarding. Once coins began circulating again, the smallest piece of currency was again the dollar bill, which was worth 1/20 of an ounce of gold.

    Right now, our money has been devalued and we are in denial about it. The result is that we have the money a Third World country would have. I generally don’t like imitating the Europeans, but they are way ahead of us here. There’s no euro note smaller than a five, which is worth $8 or so.

    We need to do it right, without putting some dour feminist or obscure Indian girl on it. Put someone popular on it, who a good chunk of the population will get behind. Think Ronald Reagan or Martin Luther King. Get rid of every coin smaller than a quarter, too, or at the very least, get rid of cents and nickels.

  53. Bryan Price says:

    It’s very easy to force people to using dollar coins instead of dollar bills.

    Stop printing the damn things!

    That WILL force people to use them.

  54. theconversationalist says:

    The last few dollar coins in part have failed because they were too much like quarters in feel. They need to be like the old silver dollars or more like asian coins with the hole in the middle so it’s simple to tell the coin apart from feel alone.

  55. Weekilter says:

    Though I am loathe to agree with John McCain from the wild west state of Arizona he does have a point. Our neighbours to the north have been using dollar coins “loonies” for many years now and even have a two dollar coin the “twonie” and Canada has not crumbled. We’re about the only country that has a single unit of paper currency. The reason people have not taken to it is because if you keep printing paper currency there’s no reason to use anything else. They need to withdraw the $1 bill. People will adjust. You just need to get rid of the paper currency and it will work.

  56. ancientone567 says:

    It like some others have said. You create a law that says all paper $1 bills have to bed turned in for destruction. From that point make a 1 dollar coin. People and machines will adapt. End of story.

  57. rexfromars says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with using a dollar coin… if they made a decent one. I like the UK’s ¬£1 coins – small, but thick… like a really thick nickel. Even if you’ve only been in the UK for a few hours, it’s easy to reach in your pocket and feel for a ¬£1 coin.

    But if that’s off the table, can we at least go to polymer notes?

  58. jp7570-1 says:

    The only reason previous dollar coins failed is because the government kept printing dollar bills. The ONLY way the coin will be accepted is if the bill is phased out quickly. The US currency has the lowest denomination bill ($1) in the world. It’s about time we saved some money by moving to the dollar coin instead.

    One principal obstacle in the past wsa the vending machine lobby (yes, there is one of those). They fought dollar coins because they didn’t want the expense of changing their machines. Funny, though, how quickly they are changing machines to accept credit cards!

    I just wish Congress would be as effective with legislation as they are with coming up with “cute” acronums for their acts.

  59. menty666 says:

    I think these might save me money actually; have you ever tried to get your hand into your blue jeans pocket while you’re sitting? It would make a drive through window almost impossible to use; unless you get your wallet out and use a larger bill.

  60. Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

    Okay, so…every single other country in the world uses dollar coins. Stop being so arrogant as to think that the paper dollar is sooo much better that we, as Americans, can’t get used to having coins in our pockets. Every other country has figured out how to handle having dollar coins, I’m certain we can live with it. Hell, if you live in California, you already do. They push the dollar coin HARD there. Aren’t there other, more important, things to worry and get angry about?

  61. Dallas_shopper says:

    Here’s how to do it. Three steps.

    1.) Make a decent dollar coin that can’t be confused with a quarter but also isn’t enormous.
    2.) Stop printing dollar bills.
    3.) Adapt vending machines to accept dollar coins.

    DONE.

  62. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    I always feel like I’m coming out of the dungeon with riches whenever I get a lot of dollah coins. I love that.

  63. AnonymousCommenter says:

    Legislation has never been a particularly effective method of changing public opinion or preferences. I believe that much of the resistance to the current dollar coins lies in the design; they are too close in size to a quarter. There needs to be some correlation between size and valuation. Retrofitting vending machines is another issue.

  64. daynight says:

    There are coins and there are bills. The place to make the switch is arbitrary. The current break at the $1 level is rooted in the simple history of what has been the case for years and years.
    Having a denomination that is both coin and bill is a problem. Inertia will tend to resist a transition from one to the other.
    The value of $1 was much higher years ago. Dollar coins COULD work if only people could make the switch. It is the transition that is awkward.
    Also, coins don’t need to be round. They can be, say, hexagonal with rounded corners. Or even oval. This would stop the rolling away issue.

  65. maruawe says:

    It is really simple make a hexagon coin that does not look like a quarter and quit printing the one dollar bills….

  66. limbodog says:

    1. They need to phase out the penny and nickel.
    2. They need to include sales tax in all prices so you know in advance how much you’re paying (this will make people use coins rather than just put them in a jar, because they know how much they’re paying before they are expected to pay)
    3. They need to design dollar coins that do not in any way resemble quarters. Make them small like dimes, but 3 times as thick and with pronounced edge ridges that have a texture. They will be light, unique, and easy to use. And put Lincoln on ‘em so Illinois won’t block the bill.

  67. DerangedKitsune says:

    I agree. Americans need to make a real effort to do it, such as actually abolishing the bill, in order to get it adopted.

    And this is a good time to ditch the worthless penny and nickel as well. If you’re going to change the system, might as well give it a long-needed overhaul.

  68. Pigfish99 the randomly insane says:

    They’re less of a novelty than 2 dollar bills, but twice as useless as them.

  69. teqjack says:

    Perhaps if the coins were not the same size as quarters… Or a differemt shape…

  70. AvedisWolf says:

    Just give America the choice… Lose the paper dollar or lose the penny.

  71. esc27 says:

    Fives would just become the new ones with dollar coins piling up on the dresser with pennies, nickles, dimes, the occasional half dollar, etc.

  72. El_Red says:

    Just stop making paper dollars and introduce coins to replace the damaged ones.
    This is a huge fuss over nothing.
    Several countries use coins. Canada uses 2$ coins and 1$ ones, and had no issues implementing them.

  73. kc-guy says:

    Flamebait, I know, but it’s a day after the post, so no one is going to see this anyway:
    I don’t use the dollar coins because they don’t print “In God We Trust” on the face of the coin, but rather on the side, where it is intentionally less prominent and more likely to wear off.

  74. kc-guy says:

    Flamebait, I know, but it’s a day after the post, so no one is going to see this anyway:
    I don’t use the dollar coins because they don’t print “In God We Trust” on the face of the coin, but rather on the side, where it is intentionally less prominent and more likely to wear off.

  75. dwfmba says:

    This isn’t nearly as much of an issue as the penny. GET RID OF THE PENNY -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5UT04p5f7U