Will One Dollar Coin At Last Replace The Dollar Bill?


Elimination of the dollar bill

Once again, the government is discussing the possibility of eliminating the one dollar bill.  According to Congressional auditors, doing so, could save $4.4 billion dollars over the next thirty years.   Paper dollars have to be replaced every four to five years where as dollar coins only need to be replaced once every thirty years.  According to Lorelei St. James of the Government Accountability Office, “We continue to believe that replacing the note with a coin is likely to provide a financial benefit to the government, but such a change would work only if the note was completely eliminated and the public educated about the benefits of the switch.”  In addition to eliminating the dollar bill, a House subcommittee is looking at using cheaper metals in the other coins such as steel, aluminum and zinc.  The Mint is preparing a report due in the middle of December, that will show how changing the metal content of coins will save money.  The reports details more than eighteen months of research.  Canada introduced the one dollar coin, (the loonie, named for the Loon on the coin) in 1987 and followed it up with the two dollar coin (the toonie) in 1996.  Paper bills begin with the five dollar bill although Canada is rolling out a new polymer or plastic bill that will replace the paper bills.  They are far more durable than paper although there have been reports they melt in extreme heat.  One real drawback to the one and two dollar coins is a person quickly builds up a large collection of coins.  After a week in Canada, ones pockets are filled and it’s quite heavy and annoying.  Yes the looney is beloved but not sure the one dollar coin will catch on in the US.  There have been prior attempts, most recently the Sacagawea dollar and all have failed.  Afterall, Canadians made the jump to the metric system, we didn’t.  One major reason for the resistance is vending machined do not accept dollar coins.  That would obviously have to change.  But ultimately, the only way the change to the dollar coin will happen here, is if the Mint simply cuts us off and we have no choice but to accept it.

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