Friday, November 30, 2012

Potential Bad News for Moneyfolders

Folded December 25, 2009 by Michael Sanders

 I've worried that the printing on the single dollar bill might one day be changed and updated (which means certain models like the Won Park koi that relies on the printing on the bill for added effect will lose some of its charm); but ending the dollar bill altogether would be disastrous for moneyfolders.  But that's of no practical consideration and consequence to lawmakers:
 Congress is taking a new look at killing bill — the dollar bill — as lawmakers search for creative ways to slash spending.

A new report by congressional auditors claims that replacing dollar bills with dollar coins could save taxpayers $4.4 billion over 30 years.

The coins last for decades, but the bills wear out and must be replaced every four or five years, the auditors found.

It’s the seventh time that the Government Accountability Office has documented the savings that dooming the dollar could generate.

Now a coalition of mining companies, vending machine operators and other interested parties is trying to rally Americans behind the idea, framing it as an easy way to attack the deficit without hiking taxes.

On Thursday, a House Financial Services subcommittee held a hearing to explore phasing out the dollar.
Some lawmakers are making arguments against such a changeover:
Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) said men don’t like carrying coins in their pockets or their suits.

And Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) said the $1 coins have proved too hard to distinguish from quarters. “If the people don’t want it and they don’t want to use it, why in the world are we even talking about changing it?” she said.

Polls show that most Americans oppose the idea.

Indeed, an official at the U.S. Mint testified at the hearing that most of the 2.4 billion $1 coins made in the past five years sit in Federal Reserve vaults. The coins are so unloved, production was halted last year.

There's yet another hearing today in Congress on getting rid of the dollar bill and forcing everyone to use dollar coins.
A number of news reports, citing GAO testimony prepared for the hearing, have said that switching to dollar coins would "save the government money." This is wrong. As the GAO testimony itself says the benefits of switching to coins come from:
a transfer from the public, and not a cost-saving change in production. ... these are benefits to the government and not necessarily to the public at large.
In other words, it's not more efficient for the government to produce dollar coins than dollar bills. Saying it would "save the government money" to force everyone to use dollar coins is like saying raising taxes would save the government money. It wouldn't.
Well, origamists could put forth one more argument against the extinction of the $1 bill.  Maybe Won Park should testify to Congress?

1 comment:

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