New proposal would kill the dollar bill

A bipartisan group of senators wants to replace the paper currency with a coin to save money.

By Kim Peterson Jun 7, 2013 1:51PM
Image: Shredding money (© RubberBall/SuperStock)Americans hate dollar coins, and they've made their feelings clear. But that isn't stopping a group of senators from pushing to replace the paper dollar with a coin.

The bipartisan group -- which includes such heavyweights as John McCain, R-Ariz., and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa -- has a pretty good reason to like the coin, as it would save the country a bunch of money. Last year, the Government Accountability Office said scrapping the bill for a coin would save $146 million a year.

Dollar coins cost more to make but last decades, while a paper dollar has an average lifespan of 21 months.

Other countries have figured this out and seem to have no problem with a coin of comparable denomination. But Americans' distaste led to suspended production of the Sacagawea dollar coin, which had been criticized for looking like play money and being too similar in size and heft to the quarter.

So how could a new dollar coin succeed where Sacagawea, Susan B. Anthony and the wildly unpopular presidential dollar coins could not? It's very simple: All you have to do is get rid of the paper dollar. The senators' bill, filed Thursday, would stop the printing of $1 bills within four years.

"The key, the absolute key to making this work, is phasing out the paper dollar," former Rep. Jim Kolbe, now a co-chairman of the Dollar Coin Alliance group lobbying for the coin, told Bloomberg.

The group has one thing in its favor: When people hear about how much money the government saves, they're more likely to support dollar coins.

But killing off the paper dollar -- the item so lovingly framed on the walls of mom-and-pop restaurants, the currency so easily used in allowance payments, tip jars and charity donations -- is going to be a very tough sell no matter what the financial benefits may be.

More on moneyNOW

310Comments
Jun 7, 2013 2:08PM
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That could be a real problem for strippers.
Jun 7, 2013 2:46PM
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Stop the unlimited free travel for Congress and the President and your could save a billion a year.

Jun 7, 2013 2:49PM
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If we cut Congress perks, retirement, etc.  Think of how much we could save!
Jun 7, 2013 2:49PM
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How lame can our lawmakers be? The cost to each of us for something we really want to keep is only about $0.50 a year. Why don't you morons in government focus on the stuff we clearly don't want like such as congressional insider trading, free hair cuts to senators and $50 million of conferences for the IRS. There are a ton of things we could pile on this list and yet you seem determined to go after something we want that will save us very little. Replace them all. Term limits would save us a fortune in preventing them from coming up with stupid laws that cost us up the Whazooooo!
Jun 7, 2013 2:32PM
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IF saving money is the issue, I can think of SOOOO many other ways for the gov. (i dont care what party. ALL guilty) to save lots more than that. They waste more than that EVERY DAY!
Jun 7, 2013 2:24PM
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They want to make the use of cash inconvenient so folks will use credit/debit cards. That will make it much easier for them to track each and every financial transaction every person makes.

 

The government’s move to a “cashless” society is another step towards big brother.

 

We already know they’re tracking phone calls and internet usage, so it seems that tracking financial transactions even more than they already do is their next step.

Jun 7, 2013 2:29PM
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I think its more important to get rid of the penny first
Jun 7, 2013 2:58PM
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Get rid of 40% of all politicians and a 40% pay cut to the rest. That would  be a good start.
Jun 7, 2013 2:31PM
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THIS is where they want to save money?
Jun 7, 2013 2:45PM
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first dollar bills, then cash money, then the government to see how you spend all of your money

Jun 7, 2013 2:46PM
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Politicians always like to use a smokescreen on how to save tax dollars. I'll tell you how to save $40B a year, legalize pot. The money that is spent trying to combat this losing battle is ridiculous. But, let's use this as a smokescreen....
Jun 7, 2013 2:51PM
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Pure cold hard cash is one thing the irs  can not trace .
Jun 7, 2013 2:48PM
Jun 7, 2013 2:13PM
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Strippers will love this change!!! lol
Jun 7, 2013 2:58PM
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I guess the gov. need to save money so it can send more to Packistan!
Jun 7, 2013 2:50PM
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They need to consider the additional weight and inconvenience of the coin over the bill. It will cost much more to transport and it will be much more difficult to handle. Just not a good idea.
Jun 7, 2013 2:55PM
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The best way to save money is to cut the senators outrageous pay, and do away with their healthcare. Make them buy healthcare insurance like the rest of us! Leave the dollar bill alone!!!
Jun 7, 2013 2:32PM
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Who pulled McCain's chain.  He is a lap dog for the GOP!
Jun 7, 2013 2:29PM
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I personally like and use dollar coins. I would also like to have a two dollar coin like Canada and wouldn't object to converting five dollar bills. I often have trouble with machines that take bills for payment at stores, vending, etc but never a problem with coins.
Jun 7, 2013 3:12PM
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How about getting rid of these senators the next time they run?
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