When congress comes back to Washington to (hopefully) represent their constituency to carry out the nation’s legislative interests, a twelve-member bipartisan commission (a “super congress” as the press is calling them) must find a way to deal with the government’s debt and deficit by Thanksgiving or the law requires an additional $1.5 trillion in cuts, mostly to defense.

Followers of the debate have found that there are fundamental differences between both sides of the aisle as to how to manage the affairs of government. Rather than look for common ground and try to negotiate about the differences, their actions are reminiscent of a smoker who quits their habit but uses food to make up for the cigarettes trading one condition (cancer risk) for another (obesity). In an attempt to get them started, I have a proposal:

End production of the one-dollar Federal Reserve Note!

According to the most recent report from the Government Accountability Office, the independent, nonpartisan legislative branch agency that investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollar, the government could realize a savings of $5.5 billion dollars over 30 years by eliminating the paper dollar for coins.

By eliminating the one-dollar Federal Reserve Note, congress can begin show that they are willing make “difficult decisions” to help the economy while not stepping on either side’s political hot buttons. Also, if congress votes to eliminate the paper dollar, the approximately $1.1 billion of dollar coins sitting the Federal Reserve’s coin vaults will start to circulate in the economy. This is $1.1 billion dollars of money not doing anything but sitting. It would be a $1.1 billion stimulus to the economy that will not add any money to the deficit because the coins are already paid for.

If you add the $1.1 billion of existing money to a $5.5 billion in long term savings, that is a total of $6.6 billion of economic immediate economic stimulus that does not cost the government anything. Further, once the $1.1 billion is circulated in the economy, the money spent will generate additional revenues from the taxes collected by the economic activity, something both parties said they want to encourage.

But this is such a small amount compared to the total debt, why do it?

Using the correct form of the Lao-tzu quote: “The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.” Lao-tzu believed action naturally arises from stillness. This country has been still on its money production policies, it is a natural move to eliminate the one-dollar note. Or to use the more colloquial version: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Borrowing an anonymous response to a previous post:

You people need to get over yourselves – put it to a vote and the public does not want or need dollar coins! / Just because coin collectors want coins doesn’t mean the rest of us need to suffer. / If it’s dollar coins versus dollar bills… bye bye dollar coins.

It looks like saying that countries like Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, and the United Kingdom eliminated their unit currency in favor of coins is not a good argument for some. Or that the European Union started this century with producing only a coin for the 1-Euro denomination will not work either. How about this:

Supporting the elimination of the paper dollar is the patriotic thing to do!

Is it patriotic to continue to waste money? Or is it our patriotic duty to do what is in the best interest of the country even it means making a few minor sacrifices for the common good? True patriots will make the adjustments and do what is right by the country!

Sacrificing for your country is the patriotic thing to do!

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