Another Attempt To Change Over To The Dollar Coin

Hey, it's deja vu all over again!

There have been a number of attempts over the past 30 years to move the US away from paper dollars over to dollar coins, but every attempt has failed. The reasoning behind the change has been a simple one: minting coins is cheaper than printing bills, at least in the long run.

This is something I've covered more than once, wondering when Congress would finally make the decision to pull the plug on the dollar bill. It looks like coin advocates in Congress are going to give it another try.

I expect the usual pushback from opponents to the idea, but I think the time has come to get rid of the dollar bill because of it's cost. While it's cheaper up front to print bills, they generally don't last very long as compared to coins. While the article linked just above states that dollar bills last 48 months, in truth they last an average of 20 months. Higher denominations do last longer, with $100 dollar bills remaining in circulation the longest.

Coins, while they cost about 3 times more to make than bills, last an average of 30 years, or about 15 times longer than bills. Overall that means the $1 coins are cheaper because they only need to be replaced one-fifteenth as often as the dollar bill.

While it makes economic sense to make the change to the $1 coin, every attempt has failed because Congress refused to eliminate the $1 bill. Until that is made a condition of issuing dollar coins, the coins will fail, just as they have since the Susan B. Anthony dollar in 1979. (The Anthony dollar coin failed for another reason – it was almost indistinguishable from the quarter. That's why the follow on attempts like the Sacagewea and Presidents dollar coins looked different, sporting a gold color and smooth edges.)

It's time to save the taxpayers some money by changing over to a less expensive means of making our currency.