It was bound to happen – and now, it looks as though Congress is seriously considering eliminating the one dollar bill.
There was a time when the dollar bill served a better purpose, but as we move towards a cashless society, it could be American consumers have decided it’s time. Printing money costs money, after all.
It would be a great way to cut down on some of this out of control spending. But did we mention our lawmakers are also wanting to not only eliminate the dollar bill, but they want to replace them with dollar coins.
Some say it could save money by changing the physical characteristics of a buck, but others say it’s ridiculous to believe heavy metals are easier to produce than paper bills. Still, those auditors continue to insist the transition will save more than $4 billion over the next three decades.
Even that’s a weak argument; in situations like these, trying to guess what lies ahead three decades from now is akin to guessing what the stock market is going to do tomorrow. There are just too many variables that already turn on a dime.
In fact, imagine what a 1981 society would have said if someone announced mail could be delivered in seconds or that there would be a website that allowed us to communicate in real time via status updates and tweets. And can you imagine the looks on faces when you used words like “website” and “tweets”?
So are there any benefits at all? There are if you own a vending machine company. Those frustrating bill changers that are on nearly every soft drink vending machine in the country would suddenly serve no purpose.
Those have never been that good of an invention, anyway and often serve as nothing more than one more thing to stress us out when we’re jonesin’ for a candy bar out of the vending machine.
The real question is why Congress would be considering this now. Less than a year ago, a similar effort was made.
The Treasury took to punching out dollar coins and before it was over with, there were more than 2.4 million of those coins. Most of them are collecting dust at the Treasury Department – no one wanted them.
But there’s another issue too about the motives of Congress. There have been some who’ve wondered why Congress is focusing on anything that doesn’t have to do with the fiscal cliff, Obamacare and the overall economy.
In fact, they’re down to the wire with the fiscal cliff and thus far, there’s nothing promising that’s coming out of those discussions.
Yet reports are being written and will be presented to Congress on all the reasons why we should shift from paper to metal for single dollars. Interestingly enough, that report is supposed include whether or not it will actually save money, even though it’s already said it would.
The question is how accurate is that statement if it hasn’t even been researched? Keep in mind, both cooper and nickel costs are on the rise and that’s not been taken into consideration. One suggestion has been to change the metals to zinc or even steel.
The General Accounting Office in DC has expressed concerns, as well. In fact, it’s said it would take years before any true benefit would seen. It’s cited the costs associated with replacing machinery, the costs of the metals and a hosts of other costly shifts that would be required.
The only upswing is paper money wears out faster than metal coins – but again, is that enough of a justification?
We continue to believe that replacing the note with a coin is likely to provide a financial benefit to the government,
said one analyst. A GAO spokesperson, Debi St. James, also added that such a change would work only if the note was completely eliminated and the public educated about the benefits of the switch.
That public might not be interested in being educated on the switch. More practical reasons as to why this won’t bode well include not liking the sound of coins jingling in pockets – not to mention the weight of the coins, dollar coins are too easily confused with quarters and perhaps most importantly, this serves no purpose at all.
The Treasury is expected to present the results of its study before the year is up.
So what are your thoughts? Would you embrace a dollar coin or do you like the good old fashion’ dollar bill? Do you agree that Congress has enough to do without worrying about something that, at this point, really kind of trivial? Join the conversation.