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Let’s Make Some Money

The President has the legal right to mint platinum coins with a face value of his choice. People have been talking about this for years. The current conversation is for a $1 trillion coin which could be deposited with the Federal Reserve and used to avoid the ‘debt ceiling crisis’ that replaced the ‘fiscal bluff’ as the apocalypse du jour in Washington and the Village.

Why limit him to a single coin? Make several in different denominations to cover other possibilities. We could have a $1 trillion with Reagan on it, then a $5 trillion with George H.W. Bush, a $10 trillion featuring George W. Bush, and finally a two-headed $20 trillion coin with Ayn Rand on one side and Alan Greenspan on the other to celebrate their contributions to the national debt.

In normal times such coins would be inflationary if deposited with the Fed, but thanks to the financial blow-out and all of the assets lost as a result, the economy has a lot of room to spare at the moment.

Actually, the Treasury could just mint the coins and put them on display without actually depositing them as a reminder to Congress that they have a work-around for stupid Congresscritter tricks.

Update: The CBC has a piece featuring Krugman up today. I would note that the Congresscritter from Oregon who thinks he’s going to stop this with a new law had better be able to round up two-thirds of the House and Senate to back his bill, because there is no way a President is going to voluntarily give up any power, so a veto is a given. It is also important to note that the President has no legal or Constitutional way of spending money that isn’t appropriated by Congress. We aren’t talking about the Executive branch choices when it comes to the budget – Congress controls spending. The deficit spending is the fault of Congress. If Congress wants to trim the budget, they need to stop handing out money to their friends and supporters. The President can prevent spending by vetoing appropriations bills, but has no power to spend more than what Congress appropriates.

4 comments

1 hipparchia { 01.09.13 at 8:28 pm }

Actually, the Treasury could just mint the coins and put them on display without actually depositing them as a reminder to Congress that they have a work-around for stupid Congresscritter tricks.

i would love watching the exploding heads if we did this.

2 Bryan { 01.09.13 at 10:26 pm }

You have to do outrageous things to convince outrageous people that you are serious. If they want crazy, given them crazy. The platinum used will keep its value, and you can auction them off if Congress regains its sanity. We can easily recover the cost of making them, so they will be the ultimate in cheap tricks.

Treasury is already talking about stalling income tax refunds until there is a settlement, so poor people are going to get hit first – just like always.

3 Steve Bates { 01.10.13 at 7:34 pm }

“We could have a $1 trillion with Reagan on it, then a $5 trillion with George H.W. Bush, a $10 trillion featuring George W. Bush, and finally a two-headed $20 trillion coin with Ayn Rand on one side and Alan Greenspan on the other to celebrate their contributions to the national debt.”

In recognition of the social views of the party that spawned those presidents we could issue the coins from a newly created institution called the Amos ‘n’ Andy’s Mint… you could obtain replicas by the bright green box, like GS cookies, suitable for eating for dessert or snacks.

4 Bryan { 01.10.13 at 9:55 pm }

The Franklin Mint would probably sue for patent infringement, or some such nonsense as they feel they have a lock of cheap knockoffs of coins, medals etc with sprayed on “precious metal” coatings “only available through this TV offering. Operators are standing by….”