Last December, I wrote an article about a bill lurking in the dark shadows of Congress that would begin production of a fourth dollar coin over the past three decades. Harmless right? I mean, so what if the Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea coins were total busts. I remember the biggest deal about the SBA coin was that kids kept jamming them into the quarter slots of the “Asteroids” game at my favorite arcade. All I remember is that I didn’t get my Atari fix for the week.
Oh…. But did I mention that this one wouldn’t be optional? Yep, that’s right folks, this time, it’s mandatory!! Say goodbye to George on paper and say hello to the dollar coin, weighing us all down, just like all the other government regulations in our lives. So much for choice.
In the latest chapter of the “we know what’s best for you” bible being written by our government, HR 2977 and its companion bill S. 2049 (co-sponsored by Tom Harkin and that conservative icon we all know and love…. John McCain) would call for the replacement of the dollar bill with a coin….. as a deficit reduction measure…. Yeah, I’ll wait for the literary double-take…. a deficit reduction measure.
Nevermind that the minting of these beauties will be three times the cost of the printing of bills…. Yes, yes, I can hear you… “but, but, but… they’ll last longer than the bills, therefore they’ll save us in the long run!” Uh…. That might be true if someone other than the US Government was running the show. Seriously, you are just going to take their words that this will save us money? The same folks that overspend $47,000 per SECOND??!!!
Yet there is a bigger point to be made here. WE DON’T WANT A COIN DOLLAR!! I can say this with confidence due to the fact that there are vaults full of Anthonys, Sacagaweas and Presidential coins…. Wait… only half of the Presidents even made it on this last coin venture – they discontinued them after Chester Arthur.. NO COIN FOR YOU, CLEVELAND!! (channeling the Soup Nazi here). So naturally, the proper thing for Congress to do, when the whole voluntary transition thing didn’t work would be to force it on us…. Sieg Heil!!
And have we stopped to consider the impact this may have on some of the small business owners who deal almost exclusively in cash, like laundromats, vending machines and coin recognition devices? Pish-tosh! They’re just the “little people” in fly-over country anyway… no biggie. So they might have to shell out thousands to replace or retrofit equipment. We’ll just extend their unemployment benefits after we kill off their business dreams…
Today, it’s the appearance of your currency, tomorrow it’s how you spend it. The next day is how much you can keep and….. oh crap, I think we are already into next week….
As someone who has actually taken the 22 minutes it takes to read the Constitution, with amendments, I know that one of the few expressed powers our federal government has is to coin money. Sure, how it looks and how much is in circulation is implicitly included in that mandate, but it should be mentioned that said government still is basically one big employee – and the American people are STILL the boss.
This is bigger than the folding versus jingling argument. It is about whether we want this level of government intrusion in our lives. Remember, in 1930’s Germany, it started with regulations on how to cook your lobster. So you say, “Heck! That’ll never happen here in the good old USA!!” You mean like some government employee taking a kid’s lunch away because they deemed it too “unhealthy”?
I guess you’re right…. That would NEVER happen here in the U.S…..