A long time ago, the Simpsons did an episode about Congress creating a trillion dollar bill to rebuild Europe after World War II. Apparently, a few pundits and at least one Congressman think that was a documentary:
Rep. Jerrold Nadler has an admittedly “out of the ordinary” solution to the coming fight over the debt ceiling.
“There is specific statutory authority that says that the Federal Reserve can mint any non-gold or -silver coin in any denomination, so all you do is you tell the Federal Reserve to make a platinum coin for one trillion dollars, and then you deposit it in the Treasury account, and you pay your bills,” Nadler said in a telephone interview this afternoon.
I’ll let Doug Mataconis tackle the legal and statutory issues. A short version is that Nadler is using a bill for a purpose for which it was never intended. The authors of the bill have specifically said it was meant for making commemorative coins and such. The idea of avoiding the debt ceiling by printing an inflation-producing trillion dollar coin is way beyond any authority in the law. And even if it weren’t, Congress could override it in about ten seconds.
Stand by for a few, “well, actually…” articles from the left wing claiming this idea isn’t as stupid as it sounds. But rest assured, it is stupider than it sounds.