No more Presidential dollar coins will be minted for general circulation.
Have you ever seen a $1 presidential coin? Neither have we. Except that one time when we received seven of them in change from a MetroCard machine in the New York City subway system and, perplexed as to where to fit such weighty coins in our dainty-sized wallet, we relegated them to the bottom of our junk drawer.
And perhaps for that very reason, Vice President Joseph Biden announced Tuesday that the U.S. Mint would halt the production of those pesky $1 coins for circulation, because they’re not exactly in demand.
In fact, the U.S. Treasury Department said there are 1.4 billion surplus $1 presidential coins just sitting in the vaults of the Federal Reserve, and that the government would save taxpayers at least $50 million per year in production and storage costs by suspending their production.
Instead, U.S. Mint will produce a limited number of the coins, which “will be sold at a premium to collectors, so it will ensure that the coins will not be produced at a cost to taxpayers,” said Treasury spokesman Matt Anderson.
Until Tuesday’s announcement, the U.S. Mint had been on track to produce 1.6 billion more of the $1 presidential coins through the year 2016, even though the 1.4 billion in surplus is enough to meet demand for more than a decade, Anderson said.
File that under “more reasons why the paper dollar bill will never go away”, despite the insistence of some that it’s more cost efficient. Not if no one wants them it’s not, and given our track record I daresay any effort to mandate their usage by getting rid of the paper dollars will be about as successful as metric coversion has been. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of dollar coins, but as an option, not a requirement. Kevin Drum has more.