COIN Act to Kill Penny

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First Lincoln gets offed by Booth and now Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Arizona) makes a second attempt to make sure the penny doesn’t get a centenial celebration (the penny was introduced Aug 2. 1909). Lincoln gets no respect these days. The Currency Overhaul for an Industrious Nation Act (someone worked real hard at fitting a bill to the acronym COIN) would have everyone round all cash transactions to the nearest 5 cents but all other transactions would still be to the penny – thus eliminating the penny. There are a lot of financial reasons to remove the penny but now that the cost of zinc makes a penny worth 1.4 cents, Kolbe’s making another try at it. There are some surprising statistics in the article such as:

Over half of the U.S. Mint’s coin production comes in the form of pennies. At current prices, the Mint would spend some $44 million producing pennies this year, nearly $14 million more than in 2005.

Personally, I think the penny is useless and we could go far in eliminating its use in everyday life and anytime you can remove some excess in the government I’m all for it. While $44M isn’t all that much in a budget of trillions, it’s better to spend it on something else than some coin no one really uses.

There are other parts of the bill that have merit as well such as a change to who can supply the Mint paper. Right now the rules make it so that Crane Paper in Massachusetts is the sole supplier of paper to the Bureau of Engraving, a protection they’ev enjoyed since 1879.

Down with the penny!

via CNN Money.

{ 16 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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16 Responses to “COIN Act to Kill Penny”

  1. CK says:

    So can I get $1000 dollars worth of pennies and sell for the metal for $1400? If I can’t, down with the penny!

  2. CK says:

    Oh yeah, let’s scrap the nickel while we are at it. Even with very conservative inflation in the future it’s dead in 20 yrs at most.

  3. CCNA09 says:

    Heck, why not elimiante all coinage ! Round everything to the nearest dollar. Everyone loves those Dollar stores where you get ten 10cent items for $1. That way you can just throw the other nine items away ! LOL. Down with the coinage !

  4. Jeremy says:

    What I would love to see more of is something I experienced in Japan. Businesses including tax in their price, and not price items ending with a 9 “or a 95”. If something cost 2000 yen, you got up there, and it cost 2000 yen. Easy enough.

    The westernized businesses, however, added tax on. I went to Subway, got a footlong club for something like 952 yen (about $9 or so, but WELL worth it at the time). The 1 yen piece looks like some plastic coin you’d find in a kid’s playset.

    Get rid of pennies and nickels! And give me the price after tax!

  5. Matt says:

    There was a West Wing episode about such a proposal a few years back. In typical Sorkin fashion, some scenes consisted principally of characters exchanging rapid-fire penny trivia. (“The most ubiquitous man-made object in America which does not interact with any electronic or mechanical device”.)

    But they were wrong about one thing. Even in Illinois, you can’t pay road tolls in pennies.

    When something is being given away for free in little blue plastic trays at gas stations and convenience stores nationwide, and people don’t take them even under THOSE circumstances, I’d say that something has conclusively proven its economic uselessness.

    I have no opinion on nickels…at least I can spend those in the vending machines at work. But pennies are just dead weight. One gets them mixed in with one’s change, and then they clutter one’s pockets until one sorts them out of his change and stuffs them in a jar or a paper bag where they sit for eternity because taking them to the bank to be turned back into real money just isn’t worth it, no matter how many have piled up.

    The $44M the government spends making more of them every year is (pardon the unavoidable pun) pocket change, compared to the aggregate nuisance they impose on the citizens.

    Eliminate them forthwith.

    (And yes, I live in Illinois. I’m quite happy with the $5 bill and the Illinois state quarter…not to mention a big marble statue prominently placed in the DC tourist zone, and generations of schoolkids all memorizing the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln being forgotten is, I think, unlikely.)

  6. jim says:

    Great points Matt, and I love(d) the West Wing (especially the earlier seasons when Sorkin was still writing it)

  7. FMF says:

    “When something is being given away for free in little blue plastic trays at gas stations and convenience stores nationwide, and people don’t take them even under THOSE circumstances, I’d say that something has conclusively proven its economic uselessness.”

    I took my kids to the amusement park yesterday and when my daughter bent over to pick up a penny I told her not to waste her time. 😉

  8. JSH says:

    This reminds me of one of Paul Reiser’s rare funny lines: “I heard about a man who died penniless, and I thought ‘Good for him!'”

  9. Doug says:

    I don’t have a problem with them getting rid of the penny. They haven’t been made of (mostly) copper for more than 20 years now. I sort through every penny I get and pull out the pre-1982 coppers and save them…they contain about 2.5 X their face value in copper. I hope the nickel lasts for awhile though, I save every nickel I get now too because they contain more than 5 cents worth of metal, and no sorting is required. Yet. Check out this forum for people who hoard copper pennies and nickels:

  10. Star Money Articles for the Week of July 17

    Here are interesting posts and news this week from the MoneyBlogNetwork members and beyond: MightyBargainHunter shares his very, very best money-saving tip. Five Cent Nickel says Dish Network customer service SUCKS. Blueprint for Financial Prosperity i…

  11. Robert Sellars says:

    A Mint employee who I know stated “without Cash our world would be different”. The bad side is, without cash we would not have privacy from the Government’s eye. The good side is, without cash how could our leaders take a bribe if all transactions were electronic, thus in the view of the Government? How could the Mob operate without cash? How could Dope King-pins buy large scale shipments of illegal drugs for delivery to to American streets. How could the terroirsts transport Opium from Afghanistan to America’s children and use the money to fund their operations?

    In 1999-2000 the U.S. Mint hired Korean Manufactures to make Nickel blanks, and later
    out-sourced the manufacture of the new Iraq’s coins to Egypt and is looking for ways to out-source the Mint’s labor force at this time. Why not do away with the penny and the nickel and all circulated coins for that matter? Replace circulated coins with Metal plated Plastic coins made the way plastic car grills are with plastic that’s chrome plated. For example,a new 2 Cent coin and 3 Cent coins can be made in China. The picture of Bill Clinton on the 2 Cent Coin to commerate the American weath Bill Clinton exported to (2) China. Thanks for Bill Clinton’s GAT, NAFTA and Open Tade With China laws and the American heavy industry newly relocated inside China. Hence, Chinese industry is available to make U.S. coins. Also. the Chinese can make a 3 cent U.S. coin with all three U.S. Presidents from Texas and the Wars each helped to start in their first terms. By the time we are done paying for the Wars and the retirement of America’s Baby Boomers we will be broke anyway without the tax income from the long lost American heavy industry. And, it won’t matter if the Chinese are so rich they can bribe America’s leaders with cash and do what ever they want with their new American pupet-State/ Colony.

  12. Matt says:

    If there were no cash from the government, something else would spring up in its place for the same purpose. Green pieces of paper are not the only possible media of exchange, after all…

  13. Macy says:

    I think the Coin Act is a stupid idea. I like the penny! We have been used to it for so long! Why sould we put down Lincoln. He is the best out of all of the coin presidenst anyway!

  14. We’re running a poll on whether the public wants to save the penny. As of today, only 8 percent of respondents are in favor of taking the penny out of circulation. We encourage you to vote at

  15. Flid the Kid says:

    Some people are going get rich picking up your Pennys,
    It make scense to save ,even that lowly Cent ,for Highway tax ,PROPERTY TAX eTC, WE STILL USE ThE Mill,BUT IT IS A HIDDEN tax the mill COIN WAS DISCOTUNED IN THE FORTY.
    People today are have so much debt in credit cards, pick up them penneys
    regardless how less you think of them, the banker like to charge you so many cents, on any thing that why a penny at a time they make good returns.
    CARRY LINCOLN a LITTLE longer,you woun’t Regret it.

  16. Dino says:

    Well now … since were getting rid of nickles and pennies to save government money why dont we do away with cash period . we all pay banking fees to take money out ect. ect. Credits for payroll could be put in your account and we will pay for things the same way . This could also help stop drug trafficing and elicit activity , possibly improving our society and mabey even the economy .

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