December 3, 2012

WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION...:

Switching from $1 bills to coins is no small change (Associated Press, December 3, 2012)

It's a simple matter of dollars and cents -- congressional auditors say doing away with dollar bills entirely and replacing them with dollar coins could save taxpayers some $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.

This projection from the Government Accountability Office came as lawmakers begin exploring new ways for the government to save money by changing the money itself.

At a House subcommittee hearing Thursday, the focus was on two possible new approaches:

•Moving to less expensive combinations of metals like steel, aluminum and zinc.

•Gradually taking dollar bills out the economy and replacing them with coins.

The GAO's Lorelei St. James told the House Financial Services panel it would take several years for the benefits of switching from paper bills to dollar coins to catch up with the cost of making the change. Equipment would have to be bought or overhauled, and more coins would have to be produced upfront to replace bills as they are taken out of circulation.

But over the years, the savings would begin to accrue, she said, largely because a $1 coin could stay in circulation for 30 years while paper bills have to be replaced every four or five years on average.

Why waste money trying to preserve any physical currency?
Posted by at December 3, 2012 8:04 AM
  
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