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?

* * *

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.”


  • $30423294

    Not to throw a wet blanket on the festivities, but we all know in the pit of our stomachs that in just a few weeks, the bipartisan gang of 12 or whatever will jam a bill through to jack the debt limit up a few trillion in exchange for an executive proclamation that America should “really, like totally get a handle on the debt!”

    • Vennoye

      Really should be–“no budget, no debt ceiling raise”. As long as there is no budget there is no accountability for spending whatsoever…as we have so painfully seen.

  • detroit19

    GOOD! And to those idiots (sorry for being insensitive-not really) who thought this was a viable solution to our SPENDING PROBLEM!!; who cares.

  • TJ

    All they had to ask was, would China take this coin as payment and not have the ability to get change of anything smaller. They would say no. They might as well print 1 trillion on a square of White House toilet paper and call it money. it would have the same value. On the flip side would the US take a 1 trillion Yuan coin in payment for 1 trillion dollars in US government bonds. It is legal tender made by legal means so it must be in the US as legal tender and exchanged of goods.

  • wildman

    if there is any new coins printed- there should be a likeness of a turd printed on them as osama hussein obamama has this country in the proverbial toilet and never in the history of this once great nation has a president pushed the flush button like osama obammy has,—————————————————-
    Yes facebook I have read your narrow minded rules. But I believe you might need to garner a better grasp of the FREEDOM OF SPEECH. That kind sirs is a FREEDOM many AMERICANS have fought and died to protect. And you and obamam which you so strongly supported are doing your best to destroy that among many other rights. SO if you want to ban me again for speaking out on issues that you dont support so be it,it just shows what facebook is really about

  • nc

    BHO insists there is no spending problem, and this One Trillion Coin gets talked about for a week like it could happen.


  • stuckinIL4now

    Okay, who was planning to steal it–or were there too many libturd suspects to name them all?

  • Michael John Naretto

    Stupid idea. Almost as stupid as Sharpton claiming that Obama should be on Mount Rushmore.

    • Elaine

      They are now talking SERIOUSLY about that over at MSNBC! Remember Cornel West: Obama ‘Obsessed With Being On Mount Rushmore’ now this? What a JOKE.:/

  • $29561723

    Just my guess, but i think we’ll all be paying “a little but more” AGAIN

  • BeeKaaay

    How’s this for a change of plans? Treasury doesn’t cut any checks for new spending until a budget is passed.

    Naah, that makes sense.

  • TomJB

    Is my idea of $5T solid platinum Nimitz carriers still alive? At least they would be useful :)

  • GaryTheBrave

    Carney is attempting to blame the credit downgrade on Republicans. What a maroon! The downgrade occurred because no budget is in effect and the spending was out of control.

    IMHO, every credit reporting agency should put America at “below junk” status. If you bought a 20-yr bond today you’ll never see your money. The next generation will be forced to scrap our currency and renege on the debt.

  • dwsmokin

    With all the problems the country is facing, the fact that this was even seriously discussed gives us an idea of what level our government is currently operating at-the lowest.

    • GaryTheBrave

      THIS is what happens when a government does not have a budget for several years.

  • Humanity4Humans

    Yeah. The IMF through their pawns at the Fed gave Obama the finger. (This monetary “bird” should be perceived as a warning to everyone.)

  • aclay777

    How do you boil a bullfrog” just like this. the old idea of picketing and assembling should be brought back, this is beyond pretentiousness of a self-loved god. We are sheep headed straight to the slaughter; when we decide to do something, it will be too late.

  • overboosted

    Obama’s likeness should be on the face of a new dollar coin that is meant to replace the dollar bill. Why? Because every time they try to replace the dollar bill with a coin, it fails miserably – just like Obama……


  • J.N. Ashby

    “I liked the $1 trillion coin idea, but it would have been HATED by voters, IMO. better not to do it, politically” Well that’s because you’re stupid, Greg. It’s a stupid idea. Zimbabwe did something like that, and they’re rubbish.