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Your Take: The COINS Act

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DollarEvery once and a while, someone introduces a bill to either kill the penny or kill the dollar bill. The one to kill the dollar bill is known as the Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings (COINS) Act and it’s made an appearance several times now, most recently this June. Senate Bill 1105 proposed to slowly transition away from the $1 bill in favor of the $1 coin. It’s estimated that the move would save $5.5 billion over 30 years, which sounds like a lot but it isn’t. US Federal spending for the 2012 fiscal year is $3.5 trillion. It is, however, still a savings and honestly I prefer $1 coins to $1 bills.

The problem is that they try this all the time and it never gets out of committee. In 2011 it was introduced, with the same name, and never left committee (House Version, Senate Version). Each had a handful of co-sponsors, was introduced again by the same Senator (Harkin, Democrat from Iowa), and who knows if it’ll make it out. I’m not hopeful.

Do you want to phase out the $1 bill in favor of a $1 coin?


{ 20 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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20 Responses to “Your Take: The COINS Act”

  1. Thomas says:

    I would rather keep the bill. Its easier to carry around. 5 $1 bills is a lot better the four 1$ quarters dangling in my pocket.

  2. I hate coins. I don’t know what to do with them, and I don’t want them sitting in my pocket. Keep the $1 bill, kill the penny and the nickel.

  3. Glenn Lasher says:

    My thought is that we should kill the $1 bill, the penny and the nickel. Much like going metric, our attempts thus far at making a viable $1 coin have been thoroughly half-assed and resultingly ineffective.

  4. Glenn Lasher says:

    I forgot to mention: if we kill off the penny and nickel, then we should also join most of the rest of the world by having a 20 cent coin rather than 25. Without the nickel, having a 25 cent coin would be awkward.

  5. Glenn Lasher says:

    Hm. Previous post didn’t post. I voted to kill off the $1 bill, the nickel and penny. Our efforts thus far at a $1 coin have been, like going metric, half-assed and thoroughly ineffective.

  6. Texas Wahoo says:

    I never carry change, so I would hate to switch from dollars to coins.

  7. Daniel says:

    Every country in Europe has transitioned to higher bills and higher coins, and it is ridiculous that we still have the penny and $1 bill, and that we don’t have the $1 coin, and that the highest bill most places want to take is a $20. I buy groceries by the $100s, and I only pay cash, and I hate carrying around a wad of 15 $20s. 3 $100s or 6 $50s would be much better.

  8. John says:

    I always appreciated the dollar coins in Canada and Europe. More so the $2 coins, which I feel helps eliminate some of the argument against how bulky $1 coins are. Makes small purchases more convenient- and vending machines, too.

    I studied abroad in Cambridge and I really liked buying lunch for a handful of change.

  9. I moved to Canada in 2009, and love the $1 and $2 coins (dubbed the “loonie” and “two-nie” respectively. Makes lots of sense, which is why the US Congress struggles to get there. Maybe someday the US will catch up to Canada and ditch the penny too. 🙂

  10. I am not sold on the coin idea, only because I hate carrying them. I do think the penny should go away, it cost more to make and they are just another thing to fill your pockets with. I do have a few $1 coins and they are on my dresser. I don’t like them one bit.

  11. Aaron B says:

    Yes! Ditch the $1 bill in favor of the coin, BUT also significantly increase production and distribution of the $2 bill. Today’s dollar buys as much as a quarter did in 1977, thanks to inflation, and we weren’t upset about carrying quarters back then.

    And while we’re at it, scrap the penny and nickel. The half-penny had the current buying power of 12 cents, at the time it was discontinued. Why do we need coins worth so little. And like Glenn Lasher said, we would need to introduce a 20-cent coin to keep change sane. With 10, 20, and 50-cent coins we could make any amount of change for a dollar (rounded to the nearest 10 cents) with no more than 3 coins, and in most cases with just two coins.

  12. Aaron B says:

    Setting aside my second-paragraph rant, though, my main point was that promoting the two-dollar bill as our smallest common paper currency would probably cover most of the concerns that people have about the dollar coin. Yet I never see this as part of any proposal.

  13. Sadie says:

    I agree pennies are a hassle!

    However, when confronted in [paying for an item “do I wish to pay $1.01 (including tax)vs $1.05 ” – I PREFER TO DIG OUT THAT $.01 & keep the other $.04.

    Pennies do add up to dollars when saving them!

  14. elloo says:

    I recall the $1 and 50 cent coins. Many confused them with quarters. And more change is a pain. The $2 bill was a bust, too. Just get rid of pennies. There are lots of things the federal government can do to reduce costs. The $1 coin is not one of them. Here’s one novel idea (call me crazy)—stop going overseas to fight deadly and hugely costly wars against enemies we will never vanquish.

  15. James says:

    About time we join the rest of the civilized world and get rid of the penny, and the dollar bill. Round cash transactions to the nearest nickel, and introduce the $1 and $2 coin.

  16. govenar says:

    I’d rather carry bills than coins.

  17. Travis says:

    What can you buy for a dollar? The penny candy store is now $0.15 or higher. Get rid of smaller coins. I am golden with also adding a $2 coin. I hate to say it, but Canada is ahead of us in more than hockey…

  18. I think they should get rid of the penny and the dollar bill. Or just fix inflation.

  19. Tommy Z says:

    Phase out all paper money and go strictly to coins only…or even better, silver and gold coins only.

  20. NateUVM says:

    Love the comment (elloo) about how there are a lot of things the federal government can do to reduce spending, but that eliminating the $1 bill isn’t one of them. Right. You mean, despite the fact that it would be?

    Seems all the arguments against getting rid of the $1 bill are because people think that they would find it inconvenient to carry $1 coins, while those that actually have practical experience with the proposed change are in favor of it.

    Now, which arguement seems to have the most merit?

    Again, as is the general problem with Congress, we are swayed by self-interest and fear of the unknown when confronted with common-sense, practical solutions at managing our expenses. We fail to realize that, to move forward, we ALL need to make sacrifices, real or imagined, in areas where we would rather not.

    Absolutely crazy that we repeatedly chose the more expensive option while we simultaneously scream from the rooftops that the government spends too much. Perhaps Congress isn’t the problem…?

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