Change we can believe in: Economists ponder possibility of trillion-dollar coins

Once again, life imitates “The Simpsons.” A 1998 episode centered around the quest to retrieve a trillion-dollar bill printed by Harry Truman in 1945. Fast forward to 2012, as economists and legal scholars ponder the idea of minting two trillion-dollar platinum coins as a means of ducking the looming debt ceiling.

Why platinum coins? As noted in the Washington Post today, the U.S. legal code gives the Treasury the power to mint as many platinum coins as it likes, in any value it pleases. So why not press two trillion-dollar coins and deposit them in the nation’s piggy bank?

Some economists think the plan is feasible, and as the Post’s Brad Plumer writes, “The platinum coin is only one of many out-of-the-box ideas that have been proposed to avoid a debt ceiling crisis.” One crazy idea we’re still waiting to hear from inside Washington: cut spending. What else might be on the table?

Has anyone considered that the government will mint the coins and then spend them on the way to the bank?

  • ceemack

    An extra $1 trillion in spending has been built into every budget since 2009. Minting a $1 trillion platinum coin is open to discussion, but simply going back to 2008 spending levels is completely unthinkable?

    • tredglx

      What budget? Every time the House sends one up, Reid calls it DOA and it’s bidness as usual for the dimwit Dems.

  • ceemack

    An extra $1 trillion in spending has been built into every budget since 2009. Minting a $1 trillion platinum coin is open to discussion, but simply going back to 2008 spending levels is completely unthinkable?

  • Lord Foggybottom

    I’d suggest the government rename Washington D.C. to Stupidville, or Dummytown, but those are already taken in California.

  • Lord Foggybottom

    I’d suggest the government rename Washington D.C. to Stupidville, or Dummytown, but those are already taken in California.

  • Let’em Crash

    If you look very closely at my avatar, you can see I own a One Hundred Trillion Dollar bill. Better bump it up Barry, don’t want your childhood neighbors Zimbabwe to one up you (one hundred up).

    • Joshua Johnson

      I bought on of those myself when I was deployed to bahrain (I got the ten trillion bill for $15.00US) I figured it would be a good way to remind me about the problems with inflation.

      • Let’em Crash

        Awesome tourist buy, always gotta bring home something cool (besides your healthy self)! And yes, a great reminder of what happened when a corrupt African took over the monetary system. But the US doesn’t have that problem :/ … and here we are, yikes!

  • Vennoye

    Mint them fast while they will still buy a loaf of bread!!

  • Finrod Felagund

    If they’re going to do this, they should just mint a $100 billion coin the size and weight of a manhole cover and deposit one each month.

  • lillymckim

    The US Dictator has nothing on Kim Jong Mentally Ill

    Movies made about him!

    Coins with his face!

    Injects his face into “every tribute to great Americans” from Neil Armstrong to Rosa Parks and he had nothing to do with any of it he would have taxed them out of existence!

    Songs about him!

    WTH?

    Stop just stop the over saturation of the display of love you and your media have for yourself is overwhelming!

  • scotty

    What a great idea! We can solve the debt problem, make the nation flush with easy money, & increase the real gdp all at once! Why, let’s mint a few hundred of these coins.. or maybe a few million! O can give them out at fundraisers, & then get them back as donations! Just think how stable the currency would be with thousands of these coins in circulation!

  • Joseph Phillips

    Do it right. Mint four trillion-billion-million coins. Keep two, send two to China. Done. And you’re welcome.

  • nc

    Yeah, but where can you go to get change?

  • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

    “Gentlemen, we may be looking at a Trillion Dollar Coin Gap!”

  • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

    “Gentlemen, we may be looking at a Trillion Dollar Coin Gap!”

  • BeeKaaay

    Of course, balancing the budget and actually paying DOWN the debt is out of the question. That’s Marxism = Pro-slavery.

  • bo1921

    Zimbabwe has had the $billion note for some time now – certainly we can do better than that?

    • BeeKaaay

      That’s the American exceptionalism that Obama believes in.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/44F4AB4VSCTOCHBMBG4ZWWD5OU Laurel

    At the rate we are going we would still need a wheel barrow full of those coins to buy a loaf of bread.

  • J.N. Ashby

    So, trillion dollar denominations. We’re Zimbabwe now are we?

    Also,

    Bass loafers? How working class! It would have to be at LEAST Berluti!

  • http://www.nra.org/ Blackheart_Six

    Save those dollars! I need some new wallpaper for my house.
    I would love to see King Berry try this.