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All the Coins That’s Fit to Print

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.

14 comments

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  1. Section8 says:

    The authors of the bill have specifically said it was meant for making commemorative coins and such.

    So are you saying this won’t work? Even if the coin is sent to the Fed in a genuine cherry laminate box with real felt inside, along with a map of all 57 states? How about if they make two and they just pay processing? We could pay down the debt twice as fast. Don’t be such buzz kill Hal, it could work.

    This kind of reminds me of the time long ago when a few neighbors were over at the folks house and one of them brought their kid. I forget what the conversation was, but the neighbor said he couldn’t afford whatever they were talking about at the time. His kid said why not, you can just write a check. Since the kid was only 8 or 9 at the time maybe younger, everyone had a chuckle at the innocent lack of understanding that the check needed some weight behind it. I’ll be damned though if that little shit wasn’t a visionary. Who knew? I wish I remembered his name. He could have just been sworn in for the new session for all I know.

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  2. Mississippi Yankee says:

    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.

    Doesn’t mean it won’t happen tho…

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  3. Seattle Outcast says:

    Keynesian thinking is nothing but a gimmick, but that doesn’t stop billions of idiots from attempting to make it work on a constant basis.

    It would not surprise me at all if our “Fair Share President” actually tried to go forward with something this stupid.

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  4. Iconoclast says:

    That this is being considered at any level seriously suggests that this great nation is done for; our government is looking for ways to avoid its responsibilities and continue its merry spending spree, accountability be damned. Obama likes to yammer on about this county’s “addiction” to oil (which is as profoundly stupid as discussing homo sapiens’ “addiction” to food and water), but the truth is that the federal government is addicted to spending OPM, and this latest appalling display is exhibit A.

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  5. InsipiD says:

    I can’t say anything that Iconoclast didn’t already say, but look at this link. I don’t want to camouflage it…

    The title is enough to make me sick immediately.

    http://gawker.com/5973717/your-guide-to-the-trillion+dollar-platinum-coin-that-obama-can-mint-to-save-the-world

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  6. Iconoclast says:

    From the link:

    …as a hostage in their war on government services…

    Sickening, indeed. Advocating smaller, less intrusive government is a “war on government services”, said services not authorized by the Constitution in the first place. Not that the Constitution matters, obviously.

    Like I said before, this nation is on its last legs, and is entering irreversible decline. The notion of being independed and forging one’s own way, seeking one’s own fortune, is outdated. Getting “free” shit from Big Brother is the new American Dream. Our best days are behind us.

    Period.

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  7. Iconoclast says:

    “Government services” is progressive-speak for wealth redistribution, so “war on government services” really means war against redistributing wealth.

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  8. CM says:

    I don’t know about there, but here when someone is accused of undertaking “a war against Government services” it usually means they’re doing it solely for ideological reasons. I.e. they’re not looking to “trim fat” or make Government more efficient – they just strongly object to the Government providing A and B and C, right through to about P.

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  9. CM says:

    Beat Michael Phelps riding an eagle. We dare you.

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  10. Hal_10000 says:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Krugman today opined in favor of the trillion dollar coin, saying it will do no economic harm.

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  11. CM says:

    Beat Michael Phelps riding an eagle. We dare you.

    A contender.

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  12. Mississippi Yankee says:

    It boggles the mind to think someone is still considering this magical coin. Or that congress may have to pass a bill to stop it’s creation.

    Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has introduced a bill to specifically ban President Barack Obama from minting the coins.

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  13. AlexInCT says:

    “Government services” is progressive-speak for wealth redistribution, so “war on government services” really means war against redistributing wealth.

    Every time I hear the words “government” and “service” combined, I think that government services people the way a bull “services” a cow. And it is not meant a as a good thing. At least the bull’s work produces something of value. Government’s servicing just screwes us all.

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  14. Dick Fitzwell says:

    Then there’s this.

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