Platinum trillion dollar coins could end up being a viable alternative if the nation’s debt ceiling isn’t raised, some pundits are now saying.
The idea goes like this — the Treasury could exploit a loophole to mint platinum coins with a value of $1 trillion or another very high number. If Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling later this year, or becomes embroiled in partisan bickering that prevents the ceiling from being raised, the government would be able to carry out its tax and spending policies as normal.
Though the idea is seen as a gimmick, but the Washington Post noted that some of the other ideas are just as bad. The fact that it’s a bad gimmick is sort of the point of the trillion dollar coin, the report noted:
“But ultimately, the platinum coin is an idiotic solution to an idiotic problem. Congress has given the Treasury a series of mutually exclusive instructions. If Congress can’t pass a debt ceiling increase, the choices that Obama and the Treasury face will all be bad ones. Is suspending Social Security checks or payments to military contractors a more appropriate step than exploiting the platinum coin loophole? Both would have real consequences as well, either for seniors trying to scratch by or for government contractors trying to make payroll (not to mention more credit rating downgrades for the United States).”
The idea of using a trillion dollar platinum coin might be getting some traction from the White House, The Huffington Post reported. When asked about it in a briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney wouldn’t rule out the option.
“The option here is for Congress to pay its bills,” Carney said about the idea of Obama considering the $1 trillion platinum coin approach. “There is no Plan B. There is no backup plan.”