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The death of the $1 bill?

By David McMillin · Bankrate.com
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Posted: 7 am ET

As Congress looks for opportunities to save money, the Government Accountability Office recommends that lawmakers start by looking at what's in their own wallets.

A new GAO study highlights the potential cost benefits of replacing the $1 bill with a $1 coin. The extinction of the $1 bill could give the government approximately $4.4 billion worth of savings over the next 30 years. On average, the $1 bill has a lifespan of under five years while the $1 coin's durability gives it a lifespan of an estimated 30 years.

While the proposal may be cost-effective, it's not going to happen without the buy-in from a pretty important group: American consumers.

"For such a replacement to be successful, the $1 coin would have to be widely accepted and used by the public," the GAO writes.

That could be a big stumbling block. My colleague, Claes Bell, explained in a post last year that Americans tend to avoid using $1 coins. They cling to old habits, he wrote, and many of them simply refuse to fill their purses and pockets with coins.

Even if you convince consumers to use them, businesses would still need to make plenty of adjustments.

Banks, vending machine makers and others would need to find ways to replace the $1 bill with a coin.

The switch has worked in other countries, however. In Canada, the government saved $450 million in just five years by replacing the small-value bill with a coin. As headlines of the dreaded fiscal cliff continue to dominate the news, it's hard to ignore a proposal that carries great potential to cut government spending.

What do you think? Are you in favor of replacing a paper bill with a coin to save the government money?

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381 Comments
SMITTY
November 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

DO AWAY WITH THE PENNY, NICKLE, DIME, THE QUARTER THE SIZE OF A DIME, THE HALF DOLLAR THE SIZE OF A PENNY, THE DOLLAR THE SIZE OF A NICKEL, DO AWAY WITH THE PAPER DOLLAR, MAKE THE REST OF THE BILLS OUT OF POLYMER BILLS THAT LAST LONGER AND ARE MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO COUNTERFEIT, THERE ALONE YOU COULD SAVE CLOSE TO BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, MAKE THE JOB WORTH THE PRICE, DON'T OVERPAY FOR A JOB DESCRIPTION IF IT'S NOT CALLED FOR, DO AWAY WITH THESE SO CALLED EXTRA COMMITTED'S, WHERE YOU GET $15, OR $20,000 OR MORE FOR BE IN CHARGE OF FOR BEING A FAVORITE REP OR DEM, BY DOING WHAT YOUR TOLD TO DO FOR THE EXTRA MONEY THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE BRINGS, HAVE A BOARD HAND OUT THE JOB BY A BID CYCLE, SO THEIR IS NOT FAVORTISM, AND BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE EXPENSE, AND THE WORK BEING DONE, GET RID OF THE OLD BOY'S WAY AND GET INTO SAVING THIS COUNTRY AND IT'S PEOPLE BEFORE IT'S TO LATE?