Coin to “cancel” debt
Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
It’s been said that drastic times call for drastic measures. As legislators on Capitol Hill deliberate about the state of the U.S. economy and what should be done about it, some on the left, seemingly unconcerned about the government’s spending problems, simply want to blast a gaping hole in the debt ceiling that is repeatedly pushed higher.
If the Republicans want to be total killjoys and stop reckless spending, the obvious solution is to mint a $1 trillion coin.
That’s right—one platinum coin worth $1 trillion. Think it’s crazy? So did a host of critics in Washington when it was proposed.
In fairness, there are always two sides to every coin. Those in favor of the idea claim it’s completely legal. Those opposed say, although it’s legal, it’s just downright irresponsible and would only be a loud clink in the fiscal bucket.
The idea poked its head through a legal loophole that was intended to allow the secretary of treasury to mint collectible coins.
What is not found between the lines of the nebulous wording is a limit on the value of the coins.
In theory, the super-coin would cancel out $1 trillion of the deficit when placed in the federal treasury.
However, others claim inflation would skyrocket as a result of such a hasty act.
Interestingly, members of the Obama administration see the financial responsibility exhibited by ending the federal government’s spending problem as an attack on the population.
White House Spokesperson Jay Carney, who was criticized for not ruling out the idea, being one of them, said in a statement related to the topic of the coin, “The President and the American people won’t tolerate Congressional Republicans holding the American economy hostage again simply so they can force disastrous cuts to Medicare and other programs the middle class depend on while protecting the wealthy. Congress needs to do its job.”
On the flip side, Judge Andrew Napolitano, a political commentary, spoke out in opposition to the coin. He thinks the idea would only worsen the situation.
“It would be economically catastrophic, he said. ”It would result in massive inflation it would devalue everything that everybody already owns and it would be fruitless. If this were not so, then why doesn’t the government give all of us coins and make all of us billionaires?”
They say what’s at the top trickles down. Maybe the economic indecision being showcased by Congress has originated in the Oval Office itself.
Every president before the current one has routinely approved a yearly budget. Obama is entering his fifth year in office and has not done so once. And Congress wonders why it can’t seem to make heads or tails of anything lately.
If legislators would spend less time arguing and more time working together looking for a plan, they might come up with something a bit more creative than a magic fix-all coin.
Congress needs to sacrifice its partisan pride and reach an agreement.