mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn bayles
Time to Ditch the Dollar Bill

The director of the nonpartistan Government Accountability Office, Lorelei St. James, has an unusual recommendation to Capitol Hill: Ditch the dollar bill.

While it may be hard to imagine life without the trusty dollar, a switch from $1 bills to $1 coins would be a smart move in the long run, the WSJ reports:

The GAO estimates that replacing $1 notes with $1 coins, which last decades longer than paper, could provide $4.4 billion in “net benefits” to the federal government over 30 years.

At $147 million per year, that’s not going to balance the budget, but it’s money worth saving. And with vending machines and urban transport systems increasingly demanding more than a dollar at a time, the failure to move to a dollar coin is a nuisance.

Even if a lot of people hate the idea (including the company that makes the paper on which dollar bills are printed), the dollar isn’t worth enough anymore to be a piece of paper. It’s time to make the change. While we’re at it, let’s stop making pennies and, ultimately, nickels too. There was a time when those coins actually bought things. Nothing costs a penny anymore, and a coin that buys nothing isn’t worth having.

Features Icon
© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service