The “trillion-dollar” coin proposal hit big in the last few months, even garnering a smile, a wink, and a nod from Paul Krugman. The idea was for the government to mint a high face-value platinum hunk of token money and sell it to the Federal Reserve — to weasel around congressional approval for raising the debt limit.
Something very much like it was floated by Populist and inflationist Bo Gritz back in the early ’90s, when he was running for the presidency.
Though the current president has dismissed the notion, people like it so much — perhaps because of its “just so goofy it might work” aspect — that the whole meme is still making the rounds.
As a technical matter, a one trillion dollar coin would probably be too unwieldy. If actually given the go-ahead, the Treasury and the U.S. Mint would likely opt for smaller amounts, cranking out a batch of them — a big batch, to cover the federal government’s rising debt.
My modest proposal? Mint coins at the legal tender amount of $666 million each.
The effigy of Liberty could sport a 666 tattoo on her forehead, and a neat UPC symbol on her wrist, which she could hold up instead of a torch.
That would indicate, by commonly understood symbology, just how dangerous America’s debt really is, and how anti-American the whole idea of the high face-value coinage debt ceiling workaround would be.
Another way to go would be to carve each coin out of coprolite. Another fitting symbol for the last days of our fiat currency.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.