Comments about ‘Mint trillion-dollar coins to solve debt ceiling?’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 7 2013 1:00 p.m. MST

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Bountiful, UT

I read that if it weren't for interest on the debt which we are paying, our budget would be balanced, we are paying interest on our interest.

Here is a thought, Why not 'mint trillion dollar coins' and pay our debt, take the lump of one time inflation, and vow never again (constitutionally) to get into debt without raising taxes to pay it off. If we try to get out of this hole the normal way, we really can't, due to our stupidity, we are too far in the hole.

Here is another thought, we always get into stupid needless wars, if taxes were automatically raised sufficiently whenever we got into war, we would be less likely to do it, and if we did, we wouldn't stay in debt long if taxes were raised sufficiently.

Mark from Montana
Aurora, CO

The interest on the national debt is running, I think, about 230 billion a year. Since we run a deficit of over a trillion, we are far from being able to just eliminate the interest and put the budget into balance.

We need to make hard and difficult choices, but our politicians (Chaffetz, Hatch & company) are more worried about re-election and the 'party' then the country.

We need a new group of elected officials who will tear apart the budget, eliminate the pork, then put in place only what we need. We could be in balance within a year or two and start paying down the debt.

The first thing that needs to happen is to put all elected officials on the same health plan the the average citizen is on, namely either medicaid or medicare. Put their retirement plan into Social Security, then let the DC police be their bodyguards.

Kendal, Cumbria

great idea... lose one of those and you're in trouble... mind you, if you *found* one... still think it's a great idea???

Spanish Fork, UT

Every basic econ class teaches that adding money to the money supply by printing cash (or the many other ways the government can manipulate the money supply) causes inflation. Adding several trillion dollars to the economy all at once seems like a monumentally stupid thing to do. Though since inflation is typically looked at as the friend of the indebted, maybe it will prevent foreclosures.

California Steve
Hanford, CA

So are they going to send China one or two of those coins and call it even???

American Fork, UT

Didn't 'the simpsons' try this plot?

Michael De Groote


Maybe it is a "monumentally stupid thing" to mint such coins -- but it is is fascinating to think about. And if it functions as basically the same thing as raising the debt ceiling I wonder what it says about the whole debate.

Salt Lake City, UT

Want a war with China? Just toss them a couple of these coins and tell them our debt to them is paid. They'll turn around and dump them on the US economy. We'll then be like pre-WWII Germany when a wheelbarrel full of dollars couldn't buy a loaf of bread. Yeah, that'll be fun.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said, 'It is quite clear that the economy will be better if Congress does its job and does what it routinely has done historically, which is raise the debt limit without problem.'"


My first question to Mr. Krueger, and just about every other person I've heard talking about this topic, is; "Why in the world, after what has been routinely done historically, do you continue to refer to this as a debt -limit-?"

Clearly, these people, have no idea what the word limit means.

And, apparently, that goes for most of the country who continue to vote for people without any idea of its meaning.

Until there is some increase in the value of simple honesty in our country, honestly talking about things, such as the meaning of a limit, is too much to hope for.

Pleasant Grove, UT

"...The effects on the currency market and inflation are unclear, to say the least." Nonsense. Quite to the contrary, the effects are exceedingly clear: The U.S. dollar would be immediately and dramatically devalued, and inflation would immediately and dramatically accelerate. Both of these outcomes would be unavoidable. Bad, bad, bad idea; not even close to funny or novel.

South Jordan, Utah

This article is nonsense. Think about it folks. If we mint an additional $17 trillion that will make our country a banana republic. We have already lost the confidence of the rest of the world and it is starting to show by other countries not using the dollar as the world currency anymore. The deficit is there because government cannot control their spending. Take away non mandated spending (defense, education etc) and we still have a deficit. No one in congress is willing to make hard choices and they are demonizing the tea party who only aim is cut spending and are the only ones that are wiling to make hard choices. What does a banana republic mean for you and me? A banana republic is a politically unstable country that economically depends upon the exports of a limited resource (fruits, minerals), and usually features a society composed of stratified social classes, such as a great, impoverished working class and a ruling plutocracy, composed of the élites of business, politics, and the military. Sound familiar? Does the Zimbabwe inflation crisis have any meaning to anyone?

Sandy, UT

This idea would not be inflationary in the context of how our monetary system works. In fact it would lower our overall debt but this idea will never fly because it will actually save the taxpayer money.

bountiful, ut

They could make a Quintillion $ coin and it would be as worthless as a soggy paper bag.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

The question is how much debt can we have as a country (and we have had debt for a long, long time BTW). Paying off the debt in a timely matter won't happen. It's just plain mathematics. Any politician from the left or right that says different is a liar or stupid and probably both. So the question is whether having debt or deficit spending is actually crippling or does the economy runs somewhat freely of the government debt and debt itself isn't the destructive force everyone thinks?

Tooele, UT

Re: "Mint trillion-dollar coins . . . ."

No need. The Bureau of Land Management is already sitting on more than 700 million acres of land, valued by various experts at between $18T and $44.5T.

That doesn't include national parks, forests, wilderness areas, or monuments. It's just land, like any other, where bloated, distant federal government is the uninvolved absentee landlord, and where distant, uninvolved federal bureaucrats act the Sheriff of Nottingham role.

Why not sell some or all of it, reserving public access to the best of it?

That would at least have the virtue of cashing in on real, existing value that we, the people already own, instead of creating a phony, dangerous politcal loophole large enough for profligate liberals to drive an armored car through.

DN Subscriber 2

Hey, great plan. If that works, than I plan on getting my crayons out and making up a bunch of really pretty $10,000 bills and use them to pay all my bills.

Any talk about "trillion dollar coins" is just ignoring reality which is we are spending way too much, and handing the bills to our kids.

What we should be doing is mailing every kid on their 16th birthday a bill for all the money they already owe to pay off what their elders have spent, and telling them how much more they will have to pay every year, just to cover existing debt and debt service. Of course, if they want any national defense, welfare, roads, or entitlement for the next year, they will have to pay for that as well.

Oh, and all those pretty national park lands- I think those are already collateral for the loans to the Chinese. They will want to drill for oil after they take them over on default.

MiddleofNowhere, Utah

Who are you suggesting they sell all that land to? Those we owe money to? That would be awful, but believe it or not, the U.S. has already done that. China owns roads all over the U.S. It's crazy.


Josh Barro is the lead writer for the Ticker, Bloomberg View's blog on economics, finance and politics. He's a pretty smart guy. Recently he suggested that "Obama should simply say that he will issue platinum coins as necessary to pay government bills if he cannot borrow. But, to avoid causing long-term inflation expectations to skyrocket, he should pledge that he will have the Treasury issue enough bonds to buy back all the newly issued currency as soon as it is allowed to do so.

And then he should offer to sign a bill revoking his authority to issue platinum coins -- so long as that bill also abolishes the debt ceiling. The executive branch will give up its unwarranted power to print if the legislative branch will give up its unwarranted restriction on borrowing to cover already appropriated obligations."

This would solve the problem of GOP Congressmen trying to hold us hostage because they don't want to pay for the bills they passed.

Burley, ID

Why stop at just a few trillion dollar coins? Why not mint up a whole batch and give every man, woman and child a million dollars each to pay off their debts and have a good time.

Oh wait, something like that already happened in Zimbabwe and look how it turned out for them.

Can you imagine the panic at the banks when debtors start repaying their loans in next to worthless dollars? The irony of it all would put a smile on my face until I saw a loaf of bread selling for $1000.

Springville, UT

I love this discussion!

It proves beyond a reasonable doubt that America has become completely ignorant in all regards. We have finally fallen as a free people. As one comment noted, basic high school economics teaches you this is inflationary. History teaches this is what failed economies do, ultimately leading to war as the normal end consequence, frequently including either civil war or very close to it. Weimar Republic of Germany, instead of printing one coin printed tons of fake dollars to pay off their debt to the Allies at the end of WW1, circa 1920's. End result for those of you who refuse to learn from history, wheelbarrels of fake dollars to buy a loaf of bread.

When the political dialogue in this country reaches a level that a weak high school teacher would give it an F, we have failed as a country.

Since we are imploding our economy, why not do it right. Let's raise the minimum wage to $50/hr. Every 16-year old needs that kind of money. It'll work, trust me. It will. Now businesses may have to charge $75 for a Big Mac to afford those wages but hey...

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