Hmm. This has been attempted a few times in the past. I wonder how well it’s going to work this time. I’m not sure why they think this time will be any different.
Congressional auditors say doing away with dollar bills entirely and replacing them with $1 coins could save taxpayers nearly $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.
Vending machine operators have long championed the use of $1 coins because they don’t jam the machines, cutting down on repair costs and lost sales. But most people don’t seem to like carrying them. In the past five years, the U.S. Mint has produced 2.4 billion Presidential $1 coins. Most are stored by the Federal Reserve, and production was suspended about a year ago.
A few years ago, when my son was in Junior High, I remember another attempt at replacing the dollar bill. I would give Josh a 5 or 10 dollar bill so he could hit up the vending machines at school. When he’d come home his pockets would jangle with Susan B. Anthony (or Sacagawea – I can’t recall) dollar coins. When asked, he told me that was the only change the machines would return for larger bills.
Apparently, it was actually kinda fun for him to have all those coins – I guess it made him feel richer to hear the money jangling. But, it was always a pain to use them in stores. The clerks would – more often than not – confuse them with quarters. It was a poor decision to not make them larger or octagon shape or something distinguishable.
And, there’s also the $2 bill. They are still being printed as far as I know. I wonder if those would be suspended as well.
One area where the $1 coins would shine is around Christmas when the bell-ringers are out in force. I often drop change into the Salvation Army kettles if I have it, but I never bother going for my wallet even though I might feel guilty about just passing by. Same thing with the various street musicians or “work for food” sign wielders I occasionally pass. If I had a couple $1 coins in my pocket I might be more charitable. You never know.
And, speaking of holiday bell ringers – apparently there’s a group of “secret Santas” who drop gold coins in the kettles each year. Some of the coins dropped into kettles in Houston, Iowa, and Tennessee this year have been worth $500-$2000! Must be nice to be able to “afford” that. Or, to be that naive. Take your pick.