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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    All that Congressmen claim glitters is not necessarily gold

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 08:17:41 AM EST
    Tags: Trillions, More Trillions, Dave Camp, Fred Upton, Super Committee, Spending, Currency, Coinage, Arizona, Schweikart, Reinforced Pockets (all tags)

    Let me start by telling Michigan Congressmen and Super Committee members Dave Camp and Fred Upton--I am not yelling (or typing, rather) at you--I am yelling (yeah, typing) to you.

    "Balancing the budget" by killing the dollar bill and forcing Americans to carry little burlap bags full of dollar coins like it is the 12th century, not the 21st?  I know this is RightMichigan.com, not 30 Rockefeller Center, but... Seriously?

    According to Roll Call, that's the proposal being floated by a "Republican" Congressman from Arizona by the name of Dave Schweikart.  (Because the last time Republicans followed the lead of an Arizonan it worked out so well.  (ZING!))

    Schweikart (pictured at right swimming in cold, hard home-state-mined cash) claims that burning all the paper money and forcing Americans to use those gold colored copper one-dollar coins (you know, the ones you immediately hand back to the cashier or the bank teller asking for "real money" every time she tries to hand it to you?) will help balance the budget by saving less than $200 million a year.  Coins are more durable, the argument goes, so they'd last longer and cost less to reproduce.

    Yeah they last longer.  Because they sit in the bottom of our sock drawers since you'd have to lug around eight pounds of metal to buy a freaking Big Mac!  The American people have had the option -paper or coin--for years.   We've chosen lighter pockets and fewer trips to the chiropractor.

    Camp and Upton sit on the powerful Super Committee and have not yet provided any clear inclination that they back this expensive, onerous, poorly thought out  bit of cow-towing to Arizonan special interests (I'll get there, bear with me), but its just a sneakily stupid enough of an idea I figured it'd be worth raising the red flag.

    Please read more below the fold.

    Seriously, now, let's take a look at the idea the good Congressman from Arizona is presenting to the Super Committee as a way to help "balance the budget."  The Arizonan says the switch to Sacagawea will save $184 million a year.  Golden (colored) idea.  We're good conservatives--we like saving money.

    Alas for Schweikart, we're not also idiots.  According to the Government Accounting Office (GAO) any savings from the switch won't be seen for at least ten years.  The Super Committee he's appealing to is tasked with cutting $1.5 TRILLION in spending by the time the U.S. Treasury would stand to finally save its first copper dollar.  Not much of a help there, is it, even if the dubious savings are in fact finally realized two or three Presidents down the road.

    So that's a timing problem.  There's a math problem, too.  Two of them even.

    A not insignificant chunk of the U.S. economy is set-up and equipped to handle paper dollars, not coins.  Many businesses rely on machines that accept George Washington but don't know the Native American translator from Lewis or Clark.  The change would, in essence, represent a tax hike on these businesses as they are forced to conform to the newer, heavier, unwieldy norm.  The Super Committee is supposed to help trim the government, not make it more onerous.

    The second math problem for the Congressman--because folks have already spoken on coin dollars and decline every day to use them, it is estimated that replacing the current 9.5 billion dollar bills would require 14.25 billion dollar coins in order to maintain a proper circulation of currency.  In other words, we're talking $4.75 billion in new upfront costs just to create the surplus coins.  Hardly cutting into the deficit that way, are we?

    So what's Schweikart's deal?  Creating 14.25 billion new coins is going to require a lot of new metal.  I'll give you two guesses where the mines that supply that metal are located but you'll only need one.  Ah, Arizona.

    So here we are with Schweikart's proposal on the table.  Camp, Upton and the rest of the Super Committee have a choice.  They can strap coin bags to each of our belts and pray to Heaven that the world of fashion continues its retro-trend and harkens us back to the 60s--the 1160s--or it can ignore this special interest nonsense and focus on real cuts to real big-government spending programs that will save real taxpayers real dollars.  

    Whatever they're made of.

    < Gover Snyder calling for another tax hike. | Lansing: Senate Republicans Hose House Reps. >

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    Amen... (none / 0) (#1)
    by rdww on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 10:54:39 AM EST
    ... having spent time in England, with its one-pound coins (which seem pretty close to that in weight too), I agree.

    Hmmm, a poorly timed quagmire (none / 0) (#2)
    by Corinthian Scales on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 12:06:25 PM EST
    Not to be a Party pooper, but with the nations growing trend of electronic payment transfers, it does beg the debate of the relevance of certain paper denomination existence.

    From the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

    What is the average life span of a Federal Reserve Note?

    The average life span of a Federal Reserve Note varies by denomination:

    Denomination Life Span

    $ 1 = 42 months
    $ 5 = 16 months
    $ 10 = 18 months
    $ 20 = 24 months
    $ 50 = 55 months
    $100 = 89 months

    Perhaps, the $1 denomination is not being properly addressed in terms of longevity respective of cost savings.

    An aside, for Republicans, I'd suggest that they haven't followed the lead of the right Arizonan.  Well, at least not yet here in Michigan. (ZING!)

    I think that you're being a little too premature.. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by KG One on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 10:58:54 AM EST
    ...on this one.

    On it's face, you're right. Getting your daily workout lugging around that many coins is impractical. However, Rep. Schweikert has the beginnings of the right idea here to at least put the brakes on some of that growth in the debt.

    With a few exceptions, until about the mid 1930's, US currency was directly pegged to a set value in a fixed asset like gold or silver.

    What we should be considering is to go back to that fixed standard with something akin to a Liberty Dollar.

    With a national currency whose value can no longer be manipulated, you'll be able to at least address one aspect of that growth.

    One more thing. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by KG One on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 11:06:37 AM EST
    If Congress actually adhered to the Constitution, we would already be doing this.

    Art 1 § 10:

    "No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility."

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