Get rid of the dollar bill

At last, a Republican proposal I can wholeheartedly support: Doing away with the dollar bill and replacing it with dollar coins.

Dollar coins haven’t exactly taken off in the United States, though they’re common in Europe and other nations. A group of Republicans overcame their distaste for anything vaguely European, though, and recommended the one thing that will guarantee widespread acceptance of dollar coins: Getting rid of dollar bills.

For way too long, the government has clung to the irrational belief that it needed to wait until consumers of currency were ready to make the change on their own. It offered up an array of dollar coins it hoped would spur acceptance. The government has mandated the production of a certain number of dollar coins every year since 2007. But the dollar bill is still available, and Americans are creatures of habit. So the dollar coins have been piling up in the Treasury, to the tune of more than $1 billion.

The solution is simple: Quit making dollar bills. Once the bills currently in circulation wear out, Americans will have no choice.

Maybe you think the government shouldn’t thwart the desire of American citizens. But maybe you’d think different if you realized that Americans addiction to paper dollars costs the government $184 million a year. That’s the cost of replacing bills that wear out so much sooner than coins.

I’ve never understood the resistance to dollar coins. As long as you design them so they aren’t easily confused for quarters – like the ill-fated Susan B. Anthony – it can be incredibly convenient to have a couple hanging around in your change pocket. And just think how much more your change jar will be worth when you cash it in with an assortment of dollar coins spread throughout.

Most times, I believe in consumer choice. But when it comes to paper versus coins, consumers have been making the wrong choice for years, and it’s been costing the government – and taxpayers – billions of dollars.

The government should stop accommodating that. Eliminate the dollar bill, and save billions. The sooner, the better.

One Response to Get rid of the dollar bill

  1. Joe Mostowey says:

    dollar coins have weight. Like pennies, nickels and dimes, they weigh too much in the pocket, they clink. I can carry 20 one dollar bills easily, 20 one dollar coins, not so much. When dollars are your most common domination, what you carry and spend, going to coins make you feel poorer. A few bills a day gets me lunch, handing coins to the clerk are a pain, give me greenbacks they fit in my pocket, are harder to lose, and are much quieter.

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