Insanity - Repeating the same action over and over again, but expecting the results to be different this time.
By that definition, both the Treasury Department and Congress are insane. What am I talking about?
A dollar. And not just any dollar, but two kinds of dollar in particular.
One folds. The other clinks.
For the third time as in many decades the Treasury is trying to interest the American public in moving away from dollar bills and towards dollar coins. The problem? It won't work.
The first time, they came out with the Susan B. Anthony dollar in the 80's. It was an unmitigated disaster. It was easily confused with a quarter, meaning people had to pay too much attention to make sure they weren't spending a dollar rather than 25¢. The Treasury also made the mistake of keeping the dollar bill, which meant there were two different forms of the same denomination, something inherently wasteful. Bags of Anthony dollars remained in bank vaults all over the US.
The second time, they tried with the Sacagawea dollar, a gold colored coin with smooth edges that couldn't possible be confused with a quarter. But it too failed, again because the Treasury and the Congress didn't do away with the paper dollar.
Now this, the third attempt, is doomed to fail for the same reason, despite 'sweetening the pot' by releasing the Presidential Series of coins, much like the 50 State Quarters Series. Without the discontinuation of the One Dollar bill, any attempt to use the One Dollar coin will see the same response as the previous two attempts: Initial favorable circulation, mostly by the curious and the collectors. After that they'll start to pile up in bank vaults and at the Federal Reserve. Billions of dollars worth of coins will languish unused and unwanted
What a waste of the taxpayer's money.