Have you ever even seen one of the Presidential coins? I have not, and the federal government has enough of them lying around to fill a vault the size of a soccer field. Nobody wants them. Stop making them.
Nobody seems interested in these coins at all, yet they keep making them.
Unused dollar coins have been quietly piling up in Federal Reserve vaults in breathtaking numbers, thanks to a government program that has required their production since 2007.
And even though the neglected mountain of money recently grew past the $1 billion mark, the U.S. Mint will keep making more and more of the coins under a congressional mandate.
The coins themselves – sitting uncirculated in a vault – are really not part of the money supply so it’s not like the cash can be used to pay off any bills until the public starts asking for them and they are put into circulation. That said, the $1 coins cost the government .30 cents to make. So far that’s $300 million in government waste mandated by Congress.
In 2005, Congress decided that a new series of dollar coins should be minted to engage the public. These coins would bear the likeness of every former president, starting with George Washington. There would be a new one every quarter. So, far, the Mint has produced coins through the 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant.
So you’ve go 26 more presidents to go? Assuming they are making about $50 million for each president, that means they are still planning to create another $1.35 billion in coins at a cost of $405 million.
Those coins – just like the others – will sit in a vault somewhere for years.
This government program’s grand plan is to change the money culture here in the United States. (Get it 😉 It’s damn hard to change any sort of culture whether in business or in government. Some advocates of the $1 coins – including all of those Susan B. Anthonys out there – think the government should just pull paper dollars from circulation.
Leslie Paige, who represents watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste, says the government should withdraw the dollar bill from the market and force Americans to use the coins.
“I think Americans will definitely embrace the dollar coin if they’re just given the opportunity,” she says.
Read her statement again. She works for a watchdog group against government waste? She thinks we’ll “embrace” the coins if just given the opportunity? … By taking away any choice we have in the matter.
Paige wins the prize for “strange statement of the week.”
Look, the point here is supply outweighs demand for these coins right now, and just like the housing market, you’d be a fool to build more new houses in an area if you’ve already got a bunch in the same neighborhood that nobody is buying. If the demand increases and the inventory of coins sitting in storage begins to drop, then – and only then – should the government even consider making more coins.
Not surprisingly, nobody from Congress wanted to discuss the matter with NPR’s Planet Money and Investigations teams who wrote the story. Do head over to NPR’s site and read the full article.