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Editorial Cartoon: Peace in Gaza
Editorial Cartoon: Peace in Gaza
Published April 19, 2024

The presidents dollar club

After the success of the state quarters, presidential dollar coins make a lot of sense.

ICorrection: Current legislation does not seek to eliminate the $1 bill. Contact the readers’ representative for corrections at [email protected].

It looks as if Tricky Dick and Slick Willy might get their faces engraved on our country’s currency after all. In a new initiative to boost the popularity of the $1 coin, the U.S. House began debating Tuesday about a bill calling for a line of $1 coins with each of the former presidents, a la the state quarters that have been so popular.

While it might seem a bit silly to spend time on our currency, the legislation has some definite merits. The state quarter program generated $5 billion in revenue for the federal government through coin collectors, and representatives and senators seem to think they could generate even more with collectable $1 coins.

In addition, the legislation aims to phase out the $1 bill, which costs the government $500 million per year to print. Coins last much longer than bills, and the United States could join a long list of other countries that have done away with their small bills.

So far, the only sticking state is North Dakota, whose native Shoshone guide Sacagawea appears on the current $1 coin. A compromise would allow the Sacagawea dollar to continue being minted along with the presidential coins. While this objection seems as wacky as a $3 bill, other states have pulled similar sentimental cards.

Take the Lincoln penny: Illinois residents have expressed their unequivocal unhappiness with eliminating our most useless form of money. When Congress reaches its goal of switching to a $1 coin, it should focus on this impractical coin.

Many overseas nations have removed their smallest coins from circulation. In this age of paying by check card and credit card, cash isn’t what it used to be. Eliminating the penny would save minting costs, and consumers paying for goods in cash would just round up or down to the nearest 5 cent mark. Eventually, it all evens out.

Boosting the popularity of $1 coins will both save and raise money for our government in a way almost completely free of any burden to our society. Congress should follow soon after with the penny, and who knows? Perhaps those too will become collectors’ items.

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