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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
Harold Keller
November 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm

That may be a better idea,I know the dollar coin adds a little more weight to your pocket, but saving money (our money)not the Govt.s money in the long run is also a great idea, if the Politicians don't squander it on some foolish project.

Arthur Wolfman
November 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm

It might save money but those $1 coins would make be hard to carry in your pockets. Not a good idea.

George
November 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Here is an even faster way for the government to save money. Cut the pay and benefits to all the people who are supposed to be running our government. What they receive is ridiculous.

PAUL P. PANUSKY
November 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Well, I guess I am on the "other" side. I always liked the dollar coin....it was easy to handle and leave for a tip in a restaurant. I can't see letting them all sit in a warehouse when we can get rid of the paper dollar and save the gov;t money.
Someone on these comments suggested a 2 dollar coin. I like that
too. I hope for the day of the dollar coin to return.

Barry
November 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Why replace the $1.00 bill, the government isn't trying to save anywhere else.

ASHLEY
November 12, 2013 at 12:26 am

COULD GETTING RID OF THE DOLLAR BILL FOR COINS IS ANOTHER WAY FOR GOVERNMENT TO TRACK US, ISNT THIS WHAT THE NEW 100 DOLLAR BILLS IS MADE TO DO? NSA, NSA, NSA

DAK
January 04, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Get rid of all OTHER coins by rounding all prices off to the nearest dollar. Why not? One dollar and smaller denominations are almost worthless anyway. THEN and only then introduce a one dollar coin. --- Coins are heavy. Bills are not.

Bill Morin
December 18, 2012 at 9:33 am

Falied before because we didn't take the paper bill out. Do a dollar coin and think about a 2 dollar coin also.

Bernie
December 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Perhaps a nice compromise would be to use polymer plastic based bills. Australia has used this form of currency for more than 20 years. More than 20 countries now use some form of plastic bills. Canada has done so and it appears that the UK will be next.

I have personally handled "plastic bills" in Western Samoa. They last much longer than our so-called "paper" money (which is actually a cotton/linen blend). Also, polymer bills are said to be much more difficult to counterfeit.

Bob
December 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm

What's the stumbling block? Just do it! With no paper $'s available what else can the public do?