Despite the fact that the American public seems to be pretty anti-dollar coin in the coin vs. bill debate, Congress is still fighting to push the $1 coin on the country, almost a year after the debate first began. We say fight, because as history has shown, the general population doesn’t mind chucking dollar coins in a jar but is definitely against waving goodbye to paper $1 bills forever. [More]
Here at The Consumerist, we have a long-standing anti-penny stance, but we’re somewhat in favor of the gold-colored dollar coins. They’re shiny! The Sacagawea ones have a woman on them! They save the government money! Except a new Government Accountability Office report mentions something interesting that we haven’t discussed here before. Just replacing more fragile dollar bills with durable coins doesn’t save any money at all. Minting and distributing all of those coins costs a lot. Instead, all of the cost savings would come from Americans throwing dollar coins in jars instead of circulating them.
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.
It’s cost taxpayers an unnecessary $300 million so far, and won’t end until 2016. It’s wildly unpopular with the American public, even though it saves the government money in the long run. It’s taking up comical amounts of space in secure federal government vaults. What is it? The United States Mint’s series of dollar coins featuring the faces of all 44 presidents. Congress meant well when authorizing the program in 2005, but failed to realize that the American public thinks that dollar coins are an icky Canadian affectation. One billion of the coins are currently in hibernation, and at least a billion more coins will be minted but destined for storage.
Our beloved U.S. Mint has apparently redesigned the dollar coin to feature a rotating slate of Presidents. Each President gets a three-month stint on the coin. On Thursday, James Madison, our 4th Chief Executive, took his rightful place on the golden slab – but nobody seemed to care. Why?