In the halls of Congress, a measure is being pushed by four senators that could well ruin American lives. Called the COINS Act, it allegedly aims to save the government money by replacing dollar bills with dollar coins.
The bipartisan bill is actually called the Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings (COINS; get it?) Act. Introduced in June, it is sponsored by Senators Tom Harkin, John McCain, Michael Enzi, and Tom Coburn, who mostly represent "states with mining and metal-processing interests," writes Johns Hopkins professor Steve H. Hanke in an Op-Ed arguing against this foolish idea in today's Wall Street Journal.
Aside from their states' own interest, the senators are pushing this misguided bill because they say it will save the government money in the long run: some $13.8 billion over the next 30 years reported CNN. John McCain even says it will help strippers earn bigger tips. Granted, that's an important consideration. However, overall, Hanke explains that the idea of a dollar coin is terrible.
We agree. Here's why:
No One Likes Dollar Coins
"Oh man, let me trade you my dollar for that cool Sacagawea dollar coin you have," is a sentence that has never been uttered in human history. At my local post office, I once saw a woman wince, whisper something under her breath, and her body crumple into a slouch when the stamp machine spat out a dollar coin. When similar legislature was introduced in 2011, a poll from Lincoln Park Strategies found that 76 percent of Americans "strongly opposed" the idea of the dollar coin. Hanke points out that "The Federal Reserve already holds over a billion-dollars worth of $1 coins in storage due to the fact that people simply don't want to use them." You hear that, Mr. McCain?