Is President Obama gunning for the penny?

The commander in chief expresses support for getting rid of our least-valuable coin, which costs more to produce than it's worth.

By Aimee Picchi Feb 15, 2013 1:57PM

Image: Pennies ( Corbis)If President Barack Obama has any say in it, the United States is going to lose its cents. 


The subject came up during a Google+ hangout with Obama that was advertised as a "fireside" chat, reminiscent of FDR's famous radio addresses.


One participant asked the president why the U.S. hasn't yet phased out the coin, according to Business Insider.


"I gotta tell you, John, I don't know," Obama replied. "Any time we're spending more money on something that people don't actually use, that's an example of something we should change."


If the U.S. dumps the penny, it would be following its neighbor to the north. The Royal Canadian Mint earlier this month halted distribution of the pennies to banks and other financial institutions, with the goal of eventually phasing out the tiny coin from distribution. The reason? The penny costs Canada 1.6 pennies to make, turning it into a money-losing proposition.


The situation is similar for the U.S., where in 2011 it cost the country 2.4 cents to manufacture each coin. According to a group called the Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny, the country spent almost $120 million in 2011 to produce $50 million worth of coins. 


Dropping the penny would produce savings, but overall the amount would be tiny compared with the government's $3.5 trillion in annual spending. 


That hasn't escaped Obama's attention. 


"This is not going to be a huge savings for government," he noted on the Google+ hangout. 


Of course, the penny's fate isn't up to Obama. The U.S. Mint, which makes the coins, is a federal agency, and getting rid of the coin would take an act of Congress.


Obama seems to realize that getting rid of the coin wouldn't be easy. 


"One of the things you see chronically in government, it's very hard to get rid of things that don't work so then we can invest in the things that do," he said, according to Business Insider. "So the penny becomes a good metaphor for a lot of the problems that we've got."


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468Comments
Feb 15, 2013 6:42PM
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Do it!  I eliminated mine from the cash register back in the mid-80s!
Feb 15, 2013 6:41PM
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Who cares, under Barry O we may be using the EURO next year.

Feb 15, 2013 6:40PM
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They miss the point - It's not how much it costs to make (within reason) its how much it's used!!  Since no one can melt down a penny and get more out of it than it's worth (such as the case might be with silver in an old nickel) that penny will go through thousands of transactions!  Is everyone going to round to the nearest nickel?  Or is the penny only going to exist in the virtual (credit card) world . . . .

 

To be honest, I thought Obama was smarter than this . . .   The Canadians . . .   not so much.  Sorry. 

Feb 15, 2013 6:38PM
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Anything but do their job....I need to hear/see the word  "Impeach".. let's get rid of Obama before it's to late.. Oh crap, I believe it is !!!    I think Obama has finally accomplished what he set out to do...''Bring down the USA"    And shame on the Liberal school system and the Liberal teachers, they are part of the problem, most of the problem....!!!!

P.S. The spell checker says the word Obama is a mistake.. This computer is smarter than 51% of the voters.. Check it out.....

Feb 15, 2013 6:33PM
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My question is when will they start minting the mill? When you go to fill up your gas tank and the price is always 3.50 9/10 or 3.65 9/10. I have yet to see anyone able to get 1 gallon of gas for a certain amount plus 9 tenths of a penny and if you were able to how could they return 1/10 of a penny unless they begin minting the mill. What a conundrum!
Feb 15, 2013 6:33PM
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You haters are becoming more and more PATHETIC!  How BLIND do you have to be.  I don't worship the man, and I don't see him as any kind of 'Savior' or 'Anointed One.'  But I DO have respect for the man.  Since he has been in office, I have recovered from 20 months of unemployment, watched my house go up in value, I now pay less than $150 a month for FULL medical coverage for my family, and now, even in CA, there is lots of hope for new job growth.

 

All you damn trolls refuse to discuss policy, or offer practical solutions  You can't even contribute to a message board with an open mind!.  All you can do is berate, belittle, and divert.  If the presidency WERE about the individual who holds the office, then BUSH would have been ousted.  The fact that he wasn't only serves as proof that presidents can be fallible, and still accomplish SOMETHING.  Obama is not the pope, but neither was Bush.  But the more we decry the man holding office because of media manipulation, the less we accomplish!

 

Feel free to continue to decry Obama, or whatever democrat is currently in office.  We all know the GOP is in it's death throes.  But if we continue to distract ourselves with this meaningless rhetoric about his idealogy, religion, birth, race and past, then we will all deserve the Idiocracy we are creating for ourselves.

 

I think I am becoming more discouraged by my own fellow citizens, that the government that represents them!!!

Feb 15, 2013 6:32PM
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Why are you guys so sad over losing the penny?  Who cares I've always hated them and I'm sure most of you probably don't like having a bunch of pennies in your pockets, i'd rather have quarters lots and lots of quarters!

 

Feb 15, 2013 6:31PM
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I don't use Pelosi get rid of her.
Feb 15, 2013 6:30PM
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Personally I am one of those who votes for dumping the penny, the nickel, and the quarter leaving just the dime and a smaller 50 cent piece.  Round everything to the dime.  I could even be talked into getting rid of everything but the quarter and round to that but I admit that might be a little more tricky for some people.
Feb 15, 2013 6:30PM
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I hate Republicans, they are all trolls.
Feb 15, 2013 6:29PM
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And Obama says Bush took out the credit card from China, and that was unAmerican and unPatriotic.  So what is Obama doing but Bush on massive doses of Steriods.  What a lying sack of ....
Feb 15, 2013 6:29PM
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now the gov't will just "NICLEL &DIME" us to death with even more taxes at the registar
Feb 15, 2013 6:28PM
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We had mil coins in Oklahoma (10 mils to the penny)  which were used for sales tax. In the 50s we got rid of them. No one really noticed. This was at a time when I could go the movies for a dime, a coke or a candy bar cost a nicole, and a pack of smokes was twenty-five cents white gasoline was eleven cents a gallon...so, that mil coin was worth more in real money than a penny is now.

 

If we dump the penny it frees a spot in the cash drawer for the Dollar coin, and we save even more money by getting rid of the paper one-dollar bill.

Feb 15, 2013 6:28PM
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wrap up your pre 1983 pennies in a "redneck penny rool" aka copper tubing with the ends crimped and scrap them at the scrapyard ,they are worth about 2&1/2 to 3 cents each ,pays way better intrest then the bank ,they usually charge you fees to get rid of pennies
Feb 15, 2013 6:28PM
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"Every Penny counts".  If we save on many small things, they can add up to tremendous amounts
of money.  We will never find a few larger cuts that will add up to the national debt by themselves but combined they will make a measurable difference.

Feb 15, 2013 6:27PM
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Oh, Obama wants to save money?  He wants to cut spending 120 million on the penny.  Good Lord, man, you spend 1,300,000 million (1.3 trillion) dollars you don't have and you look at the penny.  Oh, and Romney was crazy for saying we don't have enough federal money to subsidize Big Bird, remember?

 

Ok, cut big bird and cut the penny, but for the love of pete and country, cut some 500 to 800 billion NOW and save the country.  If the Americann people don't think Obama's 6 trillion in "new" debt and the next ten trillion he would happily add over the next 10 years won't kill the economy and the country, then ok we will all see what real austerity is. 

 

Of course this is the Progressive plan.  Kill the economy so we all beg for bread, and the only savior we know is Uncle Sam.  Then we will be like any of some 150 other countries where people beg and have no clue that prosperity comes from free people pursuing their best interest and yes profit not hand outs.

 

But people in those countries hang onto the given or security of free bread and keep giving the power to those handing out the bread and to those that made them poor and needy in the first plan.  hence the elictic's plan.  You think Obama etal will ever want for bread? 

Feb 15, 2013 6:24PM
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spending money on something the people don't use we should get rid od.....REALLY..........REALLY
Feb 15, 2013 6:24PM
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Washington has already lost their sense!No pun intended.
Feb 15, 2013 6:23PM
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The only problem with everyone's thinking, we had the opportunity to get rid of him and failed.  Seems most of those not wanting him in, didn't vote.   I did and can tell you from the looks of my polling place, 90% were Obama fans.  Stupid is as stupid does!!

Feb 15, 2013 6:21PM
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Idiotic!!! I have had many occasions where I NEEDED pennies! Like 'SOMEONE' said' keep the pennies---------dump Obama', I'm with you on that brother (or sister); RIGHT DOWN THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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