$1 Coins Instead Of Bills? Killing The Dollar Bill Could Save Government Billions

Is it time to get rid of the dollar bill? One nonpartisan arm of Congress says that the government could save billions if it started using $1 coins instead of bills.

The Government Accountability Office reports that coins are in circulation much longer than bills and would end up saving the government a lot of money. The GAO estimates that a $1 bill, which costs about five cents to make, only lasts for 4.7 years. A coin would cost a little more to produce, about 30 cents for a $1 coin, but would last more than 30 years.

The GAO says that using $1 coins instead of bills would save the government $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.

Lorelei St. James, a GAO director, said:

“We continue to believe that replacing the note with a coin is likely to provide a financial benefit to the government if the note is eliminated and negative public reaction is effectively managed through stakeholder outreach and public education.”

Jeffrey Bernberg, President of the Professional Numismatists Guild, said in an email to the Inquisitr that the change to $1 coins would only be possible if $1 bills were taken out of circulation.

Bernberg said:

“If $1 coins are going to win, the $1 bills will have to lose.We don’t advocate elimination of any current denomination, but the Treasury Department will have to stop production of $1 bills to get $1 coins to circulate. Canada, Australia and England simultaneously eliminated production of one-dollar and one-pound denomination paper money when they successfully introduced into circulation coins of the same denomination.”

Bernberg also noted that the United States has seen several denominations of currency come and go over the years and that it wouldn’t be unprecedented to see the dollar bill become obsolete.

Bernberg said:

“Dollar denomination paper money was authorized by the Continental Congress in 1775, and the dollar became the official monetary unit of the United States in 1785.The first one-dollar denomination coins were struck for circulation by the Mint in Philadelphia in 1794. Over the centuries, the U.S. used to have half-cent, two-cent, three-cent and even 20-cent denomination coins in circulation.Perhaps the day will come when $1 bills also be obsolete.”

CNN reports that the GAO has been recommending the change for at least the last two decades. They will try again to convince congress to use $1 coins instead of bills this Thursday during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee.

What do you think? Should the United States start using $1 coins instead of bills?

If you aren’t ready to give up your dollar bills, how about your pennies? President Obama said last year that he was trying to find a replacement material for pennies and nickels since both coins cost more to make than they’re worth.