DOLLAR BILL OR COIN? HOW THE GOVERNMENT SAVES MONEY.
Congress considers getting rid of dollar bills for $1 coins to save money.
The switch would save taxpayers $4.4 billion over the next 30 years, congressional auditors said.
Will dollar bills soon be a thing of the past? Congress says the change could save billions. Is it time to ditch the dollar? Congress is taking a new look at killing bill — the dollar bill — as lawmakers search for creative ways to slash spending. A new report by congressional auditors claims that replacing dollar bills with dollar coins could save taxpayers $4.4 billion over 30 years. The coins last for decades, but the bills wear out and must be replaced every four or five years, the auditors found. It’s the seventh time that the Government Accountability Office has documented the savings that dooming the dollar could generate.
Now a coalition of mining companies, vending machine operators and other interested parties is trying to rally Americans behind the idea, framing it as an easy way to attack the deficit without hiking taxes. On Thursday, a House Financial Services subcommittee held a hearing to explore phasing out the dollar. Several lawmakers sounded like they are not about to consign all those George Washingtons to history. Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) said men don’t like carrying coins in their pockets or their suits.
And Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) said the $1 coins have proved too hard to distinguish from quarters. “If the people don’t want it and they don’t want to use it, why in the world are we even talking about changing it?” she said.
Polls show that most Americans oppose the idea. Indeed, an official at the U.S. Mint testified at the hearing that most of the 2.4 billion $1 coins made in the past five years sit in Federal Reserve vaults. The coins are so unloved, production was halted last year.
But the proposal won a hearty endorsement Friday night from workers who handle bills as part of their daily grind. At Sapphire New York, a gentlemen’s club on E. 66th St., exotic dancers said ending the dollar bill would lead to better tips.
“These ladies are worth five, tens, and twenties,” said a stripper who goes by the name of “Jane Alexander.” She added, “I pity any man who tries giving me a coin.” Dancer Lady Dula also endorsed the proposal, saying it would “weed out cheapskates.” “You want my attention, it begins with a five,” she said.