Follow the Money

The Bright Idea:

Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and two other House Republicans — including supercommittee co-chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) — introduced legislation last week aimed at retiring the paper dollar. Schweikert said his bill would save $184 million a year and $5.5 billion over 30 years by transitioning to a dollar coin in four years, or as soon as $600 million worth of dollar coins are in circulation.

The Blowback:

But Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced a competing bill over the weekend, the Currency Efficiency Act. That bill is aimed at protecting the paper dollar from what the senators call a “massive overproduction” of the “unpopular one dollar coin.”

The Surprise Twist:

The Dollar Coin Alliance, which favors the House bill, says the two Massachusetts senators have a specific reason for wanting to protect the dollar bill, arguing that the Senate bill is aimed at protecting Massachusetts-based Crane & Co., the sole-source supplier of paper used to produce dollar bills.

What? You thought a simple issue like this could be argued on its merits?

House GOP wants to cash out dollar bill [The Hill, via TPM]

I say dump the penny while we are at it.

If dollar coins will save money, do it. The Euro single is a coin as is the British pound. Their societies have not fallen apart, amazingly enough.

While taking a local public transit conveyance, I happened to have no smaller bill than a $20 on me. I now have in my possession $17 in $1 coins. It’s truly not that bad, although it’s not how I would honestly prefer to carry $17. That has little bearing on coin or paper though, either one is equally inconvenient.

I think a dollar coin becoming standard would be pretty cool.

Another take on the dollar coin issue:

“How the hell do you use a dollar coin at a strip club?”

“In my experience, the talent prefer and underhand toss, rather than an overhand heave. ”

A few weeks back at a coffeehouse, I pulled out a couple bucks to pay for a brew. The barista took them, then paused because one of them didn’t look right. There was George, sure, but it had funny printing on it.

It was a Silver Certificate.

Rather than explain monetary history, I just took it back. Now it’s sitting in a drawer with my Eisenhower dollar.

I like paper dollars, but if I made the argument from utility, I’d point out that the Hot Wheels supercharger cost twenty bucks — a fortune. Comic books were twelve cents (soon fifteen), and movies were a buck-fifty. And yet we somehow got by without paper quarters.

But it’s really a fight between vending-machine lobbyists and Crane lobbyists, so never mind.

I’m in favor of the metal money, mostly because I could then carry my money around inna little bag like an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons character. Also I am still mad at Kerry over the shitty, off-message campaign he ran.

@Walking Still: I am all for dumping the penny.

@blogenfreude: The drawback I see is that I like to keep some ones on me when traveling to tip shuttle drivers and such. I try to not take coins to make passing through securety easier.

@nojo: Do you remember the Classic Comics that cost a 3 cent premium over DC and Marvel?

We had a theater that only charged 8 bits for the Saturday matinee.

The government single sources most raw materials that they purchase, from the Treasury to the FBI. They write their specifications so narrowly that only a single source can meet their requirements. The cost to lobby for easing of the specs usually costs so much and can be so onerous that new suppliers do not want to try to compete. I have seen a wispering campaign used years ago to get the government, in this case the Air Force, to change their specs for a material used in refurbishing aircraft. I thought that it was pretty slimey but it effectively opened up the specs to allow multiple vendors to compete for the business of supplying a material that was widely available.

@Mistress Cynica: Yeah, when putting your clothes on in the morning it’s a good thing to remember, in terms of directional fit:

The thong remains the same.

@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: The thong remains the same.

Now I’m Mr. Crankypants.

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