Adventures in Non-Destructive Budget Cutting

You can’t balance the budget this way, but you can’t balance the budget by cutting food stamps either and this idea wouldn’t really hurt anyone:

Earlier this month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a formal proposal to the Treasury and Federal Reserve noting that if it eliminated the $1 bill and replaced it with the $1 coin, the country could save roughly $5.5 billion during the next 30 years. The reason, according to the agency’s report, is that dollar bills have a shorter lifespan than dollar coins because they wear much faster, which in turn requires the government to spend more to print new bills.

Back in March of 2008, Barack Obama seemed to say he favored eliminating the penny which would save almost as much money. As I understand it, the mighty vending machine lobby impedes dollar bill elimination (since machines are currently equipped to accept dollar bills but not dollar coins) whereas the penny is kept alive by big zinc.



CORRECTION — I think I had this backwards on the vending machine lobby. They want dollar coins, and good for them! Apologies for the slander.