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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
outtolunch100
December 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Let the one dollar bill go, we do not need it if it means a savings...what difference does it make ...coin or paper bill? Stop talking about it; just do it!

Bob
December 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I lived in Canada during the introduction of the Loonie (One dollar coin with the picture of a loon engraved on it). People complained some, but adjusted well. Several years later they introduced the "Toonie" (Two dollar coin)with no real complaints. We need to reduce expenses. We need to get with the times. After we are the only civilized country that has not changed to the metric system. Think how much we would save if we only had to buy one set of wrenches.

James Fritzty
December 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I welcome the replacement of the dollar bill with a coin. Canada was successful in doing so and we can be too. However, I disagree with the idea of making dollar bills worthless. They should always be worth their face value as all other currency has been. Simply replace them with coins - withdraw those as banks receive them. It's not an impossible job to do. Vending machines would be adjusted.

JAMES P HUGHEY
December 14, 2012 at 8:29 pm

YOU DEFINITELY NEED TO DO AWAY WITH THE DOLLAR BILL. THEY SAY CONSUMERS WILL NOT USE THE DOLLAR COIN, THE SURELY WILL IF THERE IS NO DOLLAR BILL TO USE. YOU SIMPLY PUT THE CITIZENS ON NOTICE THAT EFFECTIVE ON A CERTAIN DATE THE DOLLAR BILL WILL NO LONGER BE PRINTED, AND WILL NO LONGER BE LEGAL TENDER AFTER A CERTAIN DATE AND THAT THEY CAN TURN THEM IN FOR LEGAL TENDER ON THAT DATE OR SOONER, AND STOP ACCEPTING THEM AS LEGAL TENDER. VERY SIMPLE. WHEN YOU RAISE TAXES YOU SIMPLY GIVE THEM A FIGURE, TELL THEM WHEN IT IS EFFECTIVE AND START COLLECTING, JUST LIKE YOU DO NOW. IT SEEMS LIKE THE CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS, SHOULD BE ABLE TO COME TO TERMS ON THIS, IF THEY CAN'T THEY SHOULD NOT BE UP THERE MAKING LAWS. THEY DON'T SEEM TO HAVE ANY TROUBLE WHEN IT COMES TO VOTING THEMSELVES RAISES AND BENIFITS, ETC.

JEF
December 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Be careful what you ask for. This could be a political bait and switch. Get us to agree to deleting the paper dollar, but the govt doesnt get smaller. Get the govt to get rid of structal things like whole depts, reengineer the entire organizatio with many less jobs....that is where the savings are.

Simmel Institute
December 14, 2012 at 3:41 am

We think it’s an excellent idea. Just think of the huge potential for cutting government expenses over the long term. Uncle Sam could save $4.4 trillion over the next 30,000 years !
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Lowell
December 13, 2012 at 7:50 am

NO! I will not walk around sounding like a junk truck, because the government WORKS FOR the American people, not the other way around. If the government really wants to save money they can start by accepting pay rates and retirement funds voted on by the people. A lot of "our", american people's, money is used for our congress personages to live on. While they are important in what they do, they are not important enough to warrant a lifetime salary. Every person thinks they are important, but have to settle for what they are paid and what retirement they can get.

Roger Yaeger
December 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I will adjust to what ever..but remember the two (2) dollar bill didn't go anywere. I look for the 1 dollar bill to be here for some time yet. 1 dollar coins have been tried several times and the public doesn't like them merchants have no place for them in the cash drawers, and the young folks wouldn't know what to do with them ,it happened with me a lot trying to use the 2 dollar bill.

dennis
December 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

I don't understand how doing away with the dollar bill has anything to do with our elected officials. If you don't like the people in office don't vote for them or run for office yourself. Nothing I hate worse than cry babies. Now the topic at hand the $1 bill was put up on a vote a few years back to be replaced but the old mighty dollar won the vote. Me personally, I don't care either way there is good things about both. The dollar bill is lighter and easier to carry but the coin will work in vending machines easier. If the dollar bill and coin gets replaced by a so called debit card there will be alot of people hurting since most will be broke before they even get started because with the coin or paper you can see how much you have and you will not go over that as easy as a card.

Brad
December 12, 2012 at 8:22 am

Eliminate the paper dollar? THINK OF THE POOR STRIPPERS!! They would be walking around with G-strings full of coins!