Change of plan: Treasury rules out trillion-dollar platinum coin

It’s not entirely clear whether the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein meant that he had some really big news to share about a coin, or if he had some news to share about a really big coin. It doesn’t really matter at this point, as the Treasury has ruled out the possibility of minting a trillion-dollar platinum coin as a means of ducking the nation’s debt ceiling. Anthony Coley, a spokesman for the Treasury Department, said the Treasury would not mint the coin, nor would the Federal Reserve accept it.

Is that news? It seems so, as a lot of people were taking the idea very, very seriously despite the humorous suggestions for just whose face should be on such a coin. A #mintthecoin hashtag has been going strong for over a week in the wake of the New Year’s wrangling over the fiscal cliff. And check out this tweet from the Huffington Post:

That’s right. It’s an article on six ridiculous ideas surrounding the trillion-dollar coin.

In a piece on the Post’s Wonkblog, Klein notes that although the coin enjoyed high-profile support from Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Paul Krugman, he himself had reservations.

But others, including myself, worried that the coin would be seen as an unprecedented power grab by the president, leading to a far more bitter standoff over the debt ceiling, a possible panic in the financial markets and a showdown in the courts. There was also the simple fact that it would, indeed, represent an admission that the government’s executive and legislative branches could no longer be trusted to come together and effectively manage the country’s finances.

The public seemed split on the idea as well. The fact that the coin was the subject of a poll at all shows how much traction the idea had gained, but those polled were largely opposed to the idea.

How does everyone else feel?

What option’s next if the $1 trillion coin has officially been ruled out?

Or cut spending? Is that so crazy?

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Update: Taking the trillion-dollar coin off of the table has shifted the blame for the nation’s economic woes back to — shocker — the House GOP. The Huffington Post received the following statement from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:

There are only two options to deal with the debt limit: Congress can pay its bills or they can fail to act and put the nation into default. When Congressional Republicans played politics with this issue last time putting us at the edge of default, it was a blow to our economic recovery, causing our nation to be downgraded. The President and the American people won’t tolerate Congressional Republicans holding the American economy hostage again simply so they can force disastrous cuts to Medicare and other programs the middle class depend on while protecting the wealthy. Congress needs to do its job.

Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal, perhaps the trillion-dollar coin’s biggest fan, is going out drinking with other “coiners.”

 

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