Here's my 4.82 cents' worth...

tkeister By tkeister, 15th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Thanks to government-as-usual, in the United States it costs more to mint pennies or nickels than the pennies or nickels themselves are actually worth. And everybody wonders why we are going broke...

Here's my 4.82 cents' worth...

I guess this is the kind of shit we get from our elected federal officials until we know they are either unhinged enough or disconnected far enough away from reality to warrant a White House run. If that's the case, then allow me to introduce a congressman who should be an early favorite in 2016 based on his current track record.

Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) has introduced the Cents and Sensibility Act, along with a companion bill, the STEEL bill. The aim of these two bills are to get the U.S. government to use different metals to mint our currency, namely steel. Currently, a penny is only 2.5% copper, and a nickel is only comprised of one-fourth nickel. It currently cost $0.0241 per penny and $0.1118 per nickel to produce.

The two bills are similar to legislation that passed the House in 2008 but crapped out in the Senate, even though proponents said it could save the taxpayers an estimated $100 million a year. At the time, U.S. Mint Director Edmund Moy expressed concern that legislation would eliminate any consideration of other alternatives that may prove cost effective. Yeah, this phrase "cost effective," I do not think Moy quite understands what he thinks it does. To simplify for him; the United States should not be wasting money just by the sheer act of printing money. I wonder what financial shape this country would be in if that (and God knows 98% of the rest of it) if we could at least figure that out. This is not the same as bailing out a car company or an airline.

Why is it so damned hard to figure out we do not need pennies or nickels? I mean, we do without things today that would have sent a simpler world to the brink of absolute panic, and we never even give it a second thought. For every joker screaming about making coins cheaper to produce, I want to sit them down and show them a set of lawn darts, a polaroid picture, and a typewriter ribbon.

All three things are prime examples of staying power through nostalgia than continued successful sales. We all know what those items are, and remember when we thought we had hit the pinnacle, and are now left with neat little knick-knacks, and the penny and nickel should be no different. Hell, while we are at it, can we see about killing off the dime as well?

Not that I entirely disagree with Rep. Stivers. If we are going to eat it raw with a little stink left on it and produce billions of dollars a year in unpopular or obsolete currency, then why in the name of what the hell are we not at least using our own resources to come up with the materials? Yeah, I know I once again answered my own question. You get used to it, editorializing on politics.

Maybe if a congressmen or senator was feeling bold enough, they could advance a bill to simply do away with the penny, the nickel, and the dime. While it may seem like a non-issue to most voters (the ones who are stupid enough to label themselves "undecided" with the phone polls starting hitting the home phone), it will save money, the ultimate name of the game at present, and it would actually send the message that at least one elected official anywhere within the contiguous 48 states, Hawaii, Alaska, and the other seven we've been cracking jokes about, is serious about trimming out the waste.

The bill is currently in the House financial service subcommittee on domestic monetary policy and technology.

Tags

Currency, Edmund Moy, Government, Money, Nickels, Ohio, Pennies, Rep Steve Stivers, Republicans, Us Mint, Us Politics

Meet the author

author avatar tkeister
Writer/Blogger/Talk show host based near Louisville, KY. Focuses on humor, politics, entertainment/pop culture, and occasionally combat sports (pro wrestling/MMA).

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