Pocket Change We Can Believe In: Republicans Introduce Bill To Retire Dollar Bill

loonies and toonies

Image credit Sessiebear

Finally, the Tea Party Republicans introduce a measure that makes cents: Rep. David Schweikert (Ariz.) and two others have introduced the Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings (COINS) Act to replace the dollar bill with a coin. He points out that shredding and replacing 3 billion paper dollars every year is a huge waste of money. "At a time when we are staring down a record-breaking $1.3 trillion deficit, any common-sense measure that cuts billions needs to be given serious consideration."

Our own Pablo covered the carbon footprint of coins vs bills, and claimed that "few people want more heavy coins weighing down their pockets and purses."

The two senators from Massachusetts don't like the idea either, but then they make the paper for dollar bills in their state.

Senator Scott Brown says in the Hill:

The $1 coin is misleading because it costs taxpayers so much more," Brown said. "In fact, we have over $1 billion worth of extra $1 coins sitting idle in vaults, and that's set to double over the next several years.

But that is because people are creatures of habit; you have to take the bills out of circulation so that people get used to the coins. In Canada, people complained at the introduction of our Loonie (the one dollar coin with a loon on it) but soon got used to the convenience of using far fewer coins in everything from parking meters to laundromats. When the two dollar coin was introduced the panhandlers all said to the Prime Minister: "Thanks for the raise" and we all had fewer coins in our pocket.

Because the fact is, you don't have more coins in your pocket after introducing higher denominations, you have fewer, as a single dollar coin replaces four quarters.

After Pablo's post, we did a survey on TreeHugger, and a slim majority of Americans supported a change to coins; non-Americans, familiar with loonies and Euros, supported them 4 to 1.

Whenever I come to the States I find I end up a big wad of filthy paper in my pocket, all the same colour and impossible to tell apart, (although the new $20 is at least distinguishable) and I wonder how such a great nation can have such disgusting and badly designed money. A couple of coins are so much easier; with my debit card for bigger purchases I almost never have bills in my pocket any more.

For once I agree with the GOP: get rid the dollar bill, you will never miss it.

More on coins vs bills:
Survey: Do You Prefer Large Coins To Small Bills?
Ask Pablo: Do $1 Coins Have A Smaller Footprint Than $1 Bills?

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