A couple of senators are dead set on getting rid of the paper bills with Washington’s likeness on them – all in an effort to garner some major long-term savings.
Sens. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) and John McCain (R., Ariz.) recently introduced the Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings (COINS) Act, a companion item to a House bill that was introduced in the fall — and hasn’t been acted upon.
The COINS Act aims to promote a $1 coin and gradually due away with all one dollar bills within a four-year time frame. Research by the Government Accountability Office last March found that swapping a $1 bill for a $1 coin could save the government around $5.5 billion over the course of 30 years.
Reason: Paper bills wear out more easily and have to be reprinted frequently — and those costs add up over time.
Of course, not everyone thinks this is such a great idea. Critics say moving to a $1 coin is a waste because people simply won’t use them, and they seem to have a point. According to the Treasury, more than 40% of the $1 coins that are produced end up getting returned to the government unwanted.