GOP rep introduces bill to ban the trillion-dollar platinum coin

posted at 7:21 pm on January 7, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via Dave Weigel, I’m torn. On the one hand, why would the GOP want to stop Obama from maybe conceivably possibly doing something as insane as attempting to solve a standoff over spending by minting a coin worth a trillion dollars? That would be one of the great PR coups for fiscal conservatism in American history.

On the other hand, what better way to push this banana-republic idea — now endorsed by Nobel-prize-winning Keynesian Paul Krugman! — further into the public spotlight than by having the House pass a bill about it?

Rock on, Greg Walden:

“Some people are in denial about the need to reduce spending and balance the budget. This scheme to mint trillion dollar platinum coins is absurd and dangerous, and would be laughable if the proponents weren’t so serious about it as a solution. I’m introducing a bill to stop it in its tracks,” Rep. Walden said.

“My wife and I have owned and operated a small business since 1986. When it came time to pay the bills, we couldn’t just mint a coin to create more money out of thin air. We sat down and figured out how to balance the books. That’s what Washington needs to do as well. My bill will take the coin scheme off the table by disallowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins as a way to pay down the debt. We must reduce spending and get our fiscal house in order,” Rep. Walden said.

Within the last week, numerous media reports (example here) have suggested that the U.S. Mint could create trillion dollar platinum coins, which would then be deposited into the Federal Reserve to be used to pay the federal government’s bills or avoid hitting the debt ceiling. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, touted the proposal last week (story here). New York Times columnist and Princeton professor Paul Krugman suggested the idea in an article as well (click here). Other leaders in Washington, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have urged the President to raise the debt limit unilaterally without permission from Congress.

Yes, yes, the bill would likely be DOA in the Senate. That’s fine. The point isn’t to get it passed, it’s to give it enough attention that Harry Reid and, maybe, The One himself are forced to field questions about it from the media. Watch the clip below of Josh Barro and Joe Weisenthal defending the strategy on Bloomberg TV; not until Sunday mainstays Dick Durbin and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz are forced to hem and haw over it on “Meet the Press” will our work here be complete. In the meantime, lefty Michael Tomasky seems … anxious:

This might be good economics, and it might even be the best available way out of this mess. But I don’t see this working politically at all.

Can you imagine a president giving a prime-time, Oval Office address and saying, what we’re gonna do, people, is mint a coin worth $1 trillion. That just doesn’t pass any laugh test I can conceive of. I’d bet Obama would drop 12 points in the polls within five days of making such an announcement.

I thought the best available way out of this mess would be to reach a bipartisan agreement on meaningful entitlement reform, but admittedly, the idea of a coin worth one-fifteenth of America’s GDP is a nifty Plan B. I just hope they make the coin really, really big. There’s no way to make it big enough to reflect its bullion value, but that’s okay. Imagine a coin the size of a small car, with a snarling T-Rex head on the face. Not even Rand Paul could object to that.


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Finally, SNL has material even they can’t ignore and the R’s try to snatch the candy from their gleeful hands?! What are they thinking?!

IndieDogg on January 7, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Imagine a coin the size of a small car, with a snarling T-Rex head on the face.

I’m reminded of the giant coin trophy in Batman’s lair.

Ukiah on January 7, 2013 at 7:27 PM

My bill will take the coin scheme off the table by disallowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins as a way to pay down the debt.

So? Treasury will just mint $500 billion palladium coins.

rbj on January 7, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Go ahead, mint the coin.

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

Rebar on January 7, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Finally, SNL has material even they can’t ignore and the R’s try to snatch the candy from their gleeful hands?! What are they thinking?!

Now they either outright steal the episode of Simpson’s where maybe someone steals the coin or they accidentally use it in the vending machine (for a 20 ounce soda, ooh double-hit with Bloomberg) and they unfortunately can’t pay off the bills until they get an engineer down in the cafe to unlock the machine.

If they go for the giant coin you can see just see Obama picking up the giant coin and handing it over to the Chinese ambassador or something… same character from that one great sketch they with the cash for clunkers skit they did a few years back?

Ukiah on January 7, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Let them mint the first 16, then pull the plug.

Bmore on January 7, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Did this country go full retard or what?

Chuck Schick on January 7, 2013 at 7:30 PM

It’s really too bad that Obama’s comedic genius is constantly ignored by both the skit shows and the media. I mean this guy is a laugh riot a minute!

Ukiah on January 7, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Why not support it? It’s the only option on the table that makes the people pay for free stuff.

The trillion dollar coin is the closest we’ll ever come to solving our debt and deficit problems.

How is kicking the can down the road and pretending that the GOP and/or the people will one day wake up and fix the problem any better?

El_Terrible on January 7, 2013 at 7:32 PM

For those who think this is a good idea, keep in mind that there is an entire episode of The Simpsons based on the premise of the US government printing a 1 Trillion Dollar bill (and then Monty Burns stealing it and flying to Cuba).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trouble_with_Trillions

Mohonri on January 7, 2013 at 7:33 PM

It would be totally awesome, they should put that picture of Obama smoking a joint on it.

blue13326 on January 7, 2013 at 7:34 PM

For those who think this is a good idea, keep in mind that there is an entire episode of The Simpsons based on the premise of the US government printing a 1 Trillion Dollar bill (and then Monty Burns stealing it and flying to Cuba).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trouble_with_Trillions

Mohonri on January 7, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Mr. Burns, we are all amigos here, let me see it.

Well, ok…. Can I have the bill back?

Give what back?

El_Terrible on January 7, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Homer Simpson for Treasury Sec. !

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Did this country go full retard or what?

Chuck Schick on January 7, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Yes, and it did it pedal-to-the-metal.

Resist We Much on January 7, 2013 at 7:36 PM

How the hell are we even in this place talking about this?

I think this country is so far gone it’s going to take a miracle to get it back.

gophergirl on January 7, 2013 at 7:36 PM

GOP rep introduces bill to ban the trillion-dollar platinum coin

Initially, I was going to say that this was a useless gesture, as the “trillion dollar coin” is nothing but money printing, but I have to change my mind and say that I agree with Greg Walden and think that this is an important move. It shouldn’t be needed, though, since the trillion dollar coin ruse is clearly nothing but an order from the Executive branch to the Fed to print money (as the Fed would have to print money to pay for the coin in order to put it into circulation) it is clearly un-Constitutional for the Executive to have any control over the money as that is ONLY within Congress’ purview.

I’m still torn on the idea that we should be making laws to make illegal acts which are un-Constitutional, as such acts are already illegal (and should get those pushing them impeached and worse). When we’ve come to a point where the Constitution is meaningless and we have Congress creating ad hoc laws to declare specific un-Constitutional acts federally illegal … then the paste is already well out of the tube. I would prefer to have Congress drag up for depositions all in the administration who have been conspiring to thwart the Constitution’s declaration that Congress control the money and have people impeached for their bold attempts to violate our Supreme Laws (once again, as this happens every friggin week with this criminal, America-hating administration of retards).

I don’t know. I don’t even know what to say anymore. We are so far into the looking glass that normal logic and law just don’t have any application. This will not be fixed as we have allowed too much irreparable damage to be done by the Indonesian and his junta. The fact that Congress is even contemplating such a law (and that it would actually be “needed”) just proves that it’s time for a national divorce so that the Indonesian and his leftist idiots can be left on their own. I want nothing to do with any of them and I share nothing with any of them. They are just scum who are not part of my country. Frankly, they’re not much part of civilization, in general, as they are just destructive idiots who live to debase and screw up everything they touch. Let them do that in their own hell. I don’t have to live in the nightmare they are intent on creating.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 7, 2013 at 7:38 PM

As I stated in another thread about this topic…

… The fact that there are those in our government even considering this, means that the time to panic came and went a long time ago.

Seven Percent Solution on January 7, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Homer Simpson for Treasury Sec. !

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Or:

Since Krugman Is Unavailable For Treasury Secretary…

Resist We Much on January 7, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Why stop there, mint a $100 trillion dollar coin and buy entire nations.

That this is even being considered proves just how many halfwits are being elected to office, and how many f**kwits are electing them.

Bishop on January 7, 2013 at 7:38 PM

I’d bet Obama would drop 12 points in the polls within five days of making such an announcement.

Not with our current electorate that would elect and re-elect him to begin with.

J-Paul00 on January 7, 2013 at 7:39 PM

That this is even being considered proves just how many halfwits are being elected to office, and how many f**kwits are electing them.

Bishop on January 7, 2013 at 7:38 PM

And the only way they’ll learn is if it costs them $$$.

El_Terrible on January 7, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Bishop on January 7, 2013 at 7:38 PM
J-Paul00 on January 7, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Umm … right… what you said.

J-Paul00 on January 7, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Barney frankenstien…. lol. :)

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Followup question:

If we continue to print money, as we have, then who would buy our debt? They buy $100, and the following year it’s worth $90 and they get back $1 in interest? WTF?

/Winning The Future! — Obama, SOTUS (Sloganeer Of The United States)

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Did this country go full retard or what?

Chuck Schick on January 7, 2013 at 7:30 PM

NEVER go full retard!

For all those worried about how large the trillion dollar coin is compared to our normal currency… don’t worry. Soon we’ll be adding massive amounts of zeros to the ends of our everyday currency, paying for bread with a barrel of bills – soon everyone will be paying for goods with trillion dollar coins… that’s when we mint the gazillion dollar coin! XD

Ukiah on January 7, 2013 at 7:45 PM

The world’s superpower is in the hands of demented children.

sharrukin on January 7, 2013 at 7:45 PM

FDR had steel pennies and that worked out okay.

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 7:46 PM

I ran the numbers. The closing price of platinum today was $1,556 per ounce.
At that price, to be worth $1 trillion dollars, Obama’s coin needs to weigh just over 20 tons.
Platinum weighs 21 grams per cubic centimeter or just under one ounce per cubic centimeter.
My math is breaking down here converting cubic centimeters to volume to a round cylinder, but it would be huge indeed. You need big pockets.
In fact, there isn’t that much platinum in the world. All of it ever mined would fit in a small living room.

Curmudgeon on January 7, 2013 at 7:48 PM

FDR had steel pennies and that worked out okay.

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Temporary and required in order to ensure the military had the copper they needed to win.

astonerii on January 7, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Remember everyone, failing to raise the debt ceiling does not automatically lead to default!

Revenues can be used to cover debt obligations.

Don’t let the media perpetuate the lie.

blink on January 7, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Obama has made it clear he’ll default before holding up any entitlement checks. So, like Cleavon Little in “Blazing Saddles”, he’s holding a gun to his head –

Bart: [low voice] Hold it! Next man makes a move, the n**ger gets it!
Olson Johnson: Hold it, men. He’s not bluffing.
Dr. Sam Johnson: Listen to him, men. He’s just crazy enough to do it!
Bart: [low voice] Drop it! Or I swear I’ll blow this n**ger’s head all over this town!
Bart: [high-pitched voice] Oh, lo’dy, lo’d, he’s desp’it! Do what he sayyyy, do what he sayyyy!

Raise the debt limit, or else Obama will default on our bonds, causing a world-wide catastrophe. “He desp’it! Do what he say! Do what he say!”

(concept and dialog by Richard Pryor)

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Voting against a bill to printing $1T coin is a vote for 1,000+% inflation. Do the Democrats really support 1,000+% inflation?

We’ll have to wait and see how they vote.

Dusty on January 7, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Obama has made it clear he’ll default before holding up any entitlement checks. So, like Cleavon Little in “Blazing Saddles”, he’s holding a gun to his head –

Bart: [low voice] Hold it! Next man makes a move, the n**ger gets it!
Olson Johnson: Hold it, men. He’s not bluffing.
Dr. Sam Johnson: Listen to him, men. He’s just crazy enough to do it!
Bart: [low voice] Drop it! Or I swear I’ll blow this n**ger’s head all over this town!
Bart: [high-pitched voice] Oh, lo’dy, lo’d, he’s desp’it! Do what he sayyyy, do what he sayyyy!

Raise the debt limit, or else Obama will default on our bonds, causing a world-wide catastrophe. “He desp’it! Do what he say! Do what he say!”

(concept and dialog by Richard Pryor)

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 7:49 PM

You are absolutely wrong, he will do both. Default on the Debt and Fail to mail social security checks in order to get the elderly riled up and pushing for the Republicans to give in. Just like last time.

astonerii on January 7, 2013 at 7:50 PM

So long as they are minted in China, I’m happy with the plan.

Bmore on January 7, 2013 at 7:50 PM

FDR had steel pennies and that worked out okay.

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Temporary and required in order to ensure the military had the copper they needed to win.

astonerii on January 7, 2013 at 7:48 PM

I’d wondered if it was copper for the wire windings needed to extract the uranium for the nuclear bombs. I haven’t found evidence of that though.

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 7:51 PM

I guess those sarc tags ARE needed. :(

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Imagine a coin the size of a small car, with a snarling T-Rex head on the face.

It better be an electric car.
Is there a charging station in the treasury building?

docflash on January 7, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Iowahawk suggested a picture of Caligula’s horse on the trillion-dollar coin. I say Robert Mugabe or Paul Von Hindenburg on the front and Caligula’s horse on the back.

Walter Sobchak on January 7, 2013 at 7:54 PM

If Boehner was smart, he’d bring this bill for a roll-call vote the day of the State of the Union speech.

Robert_Paulson on January 7, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Iowahawk suggested a picture of Caligula’s horse on the trillion-dollar coin. I say Robert Mugabe or Paul Von Hindenburg on the front and Caligula’s horse on the back.

Walter Sobchak on January 7, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Funny. A phallic symbol next to an outline of the U.S. would work. A picture of Hitler. A flush toilet. The back end of a donkey. Medusa. Alfred E. Neuman from Mad Magazine. Pauly Shore. Howie Mandel. The Three Stooges.

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 8:00 PM

If Boehner was smart, he’d bring this bill for a roll-call vote the day of the State of the Union speech.

Robert_Paulson on January 7, 2013 at 7:59 PM

+$1,000,000,000,000.00

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Curmudgeon on January 7, 2013 at 7:48 PM

I did the math for you…
6.2 million cubic feet
183 x 183 x 183 foot cube.

astonerii on January 7, 2013 at 8:01 PM

pleaaaaseeee, make it happen! this would be deliciously comic!
Make the coin! Make the coin!

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Walter Sobchak on January 7, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 8:00 PM

if i was obama, i would just have a picture of a teabag on it

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:10 PM

FDR had steel pennies and that worked out okay.

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 7:46 PM

It doesn’t matter what the pennies are made of, because they have no inherent value and would be worthless if the government didn’t say they were worth something.

BTW, they’re not made of copper now either. They’re zinc with a thin copper plating.

Walter Sobchak on January 7, 2013 at 8:12 PM

pleaaaaseeee, make it happen! this would be deliciously comic!
Make the coin! Make the coin!

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:08 PM

What wouldn’t be comedic is the world and the financial markets’ reaction to such. Both the short- and long-term implications of such a manoeuver simply cannot be understated. The ability of the Federal government not only to finance the debt, but to borrow money to spend on further expenditures, as well as every American’s purchasing power, could be seriously impacted.

Such Banana Republicanism could destroy the dollar in a very short period of time. There’s nothing funny about that.

Resist We Much on January 7, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Curmudgeon on January 7, 2013 at 7:48 PM

I did the math for you…
6.2 million cubic feet
183 x 183 x 183 foot cube.

Thanks! Good to know. I’ll start expanding my living room so I can store the ones I get in change.
I figure once inflation kicks in, you’ll need a five of them to fill up your car.

Curmudgeon on January 7, 2013 at 8:16 PM

6.2 million cubic feet
183 x 183 x 183 foot cube.

astonerii on January 7, 2013 at 8:01 PM

If you made it into a “coin” that was 1/2 foot thick, it would be about 748 miles in diameter.

Kraken on January 7, 2013 at 8:17 PM

if i was obama, i would just have a picture of a teabag on it

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:10 PM

You would ‘cuz mockery of people, who have legitimate concerns about unsustainable Federal spending, is sooooooo indicative of what passes for seriousness and intellectualism on the Left.

Instead of a teabag, people with a better understanding of economics and economic history would suggest a wheelbarrow.

Resist We Much on January 7, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Double sarc tags,, sometimes. Lol.

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Did this country go full retard or what?

Chuck Schick on January 7, 2013 at 7:30 PM

…back in 2008!

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2013 at 8:20 PM

I’d wondered if it was copper for the wire windings needed to extract the uranium for the nuclear bombs. I haven’t found evidence of that though.

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 7:51 PM

I don’t remember the exact figure, but the percentage of US electricity production that went to power the Manhattan Project was mind-boggling. A lot of it was probably used just for transmission lines and transformers.

And even without the Manhattan Project it took a lot of copper to wire all the new tanks, trucks, ships, and every single bullet we produced for the war had full-metal jacket made of copper.

Walter Sobchak on January 7, 2013 at 8:21 PM

if i was obama, i would just have a picture of a teabag on it

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:10 PM

…with your lips around it!

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Kraken on January 7, 2013 at 8:17 PM

BULLCRAP, you moroon!! Try about 1/2 mile.

Area, not circumference…

Kraken on January 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM

What wouldn’t be comedic is the world and the financial markets’ reaction to such. Both the short- and long-term implications of such a manoeuver simply cannot be understated. The ability of the Federal government not only to finance the debt, but to borrow money to spend on further expenditures, as well as every American’s purchasing power, could be seriously impacted.

truth is, just recently, the fed bough billions of T-bills directly. that just the same as the this coin scheme, just without the comic theater.
there is a certain down to the us dollar image, sure, but i think it would be small.

Such Banana Republicanism could destroy the dollar in a very short period of time. There’s nothing funny about that.

Resist We Much on January 7, 2013 at 8:15 PM

a default would do the same…

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:24 PM

…with your lips around it!

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM

was that really necessary?

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:26 PM

You would ‘cuz mockery of people, who have legitimate concerns about unsustainable Federal spending, is sooooooo indicative of what passes for seriousness and intellectualism on the Left.

Instead of a teabag, people with a better understanding of economics and economic history would suggest a wheelbarrow.

Resist We Much on January 7, 2013 at 8:18 PM

its was just a joke… playing devil advocate comedian… by the reactions i do that too well :p
i just

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Why didn’t they just build a nuclear plant to supply power for the Manhatten project?

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 8:36 PM

This trillion-dollar platinum coin story seems familiar….

.

“Aaron gathered up the Israelites’ golden earrings, constructed a “molten calf” and declared “This is thy god, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” Aaron built an altar before the calf and proclaimed the next day to be a feast to the LORD. So they rose up early the next day and “offered burnt-offerings, and brought peace-offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to make merry.”

MichaelGabriel on January 7, 2013 at 8:40 PM

Why stop at half measures? Make it a $100 trillion coin to pay off all US obligations in one fell swoop!

One little coin and you can pay off all the national debt, fund social security for years, make the income tax unnecessary, give everyone the freedom of food stamps, pay everyone’s health insurance premiums for them, and do a cash-for-clunkers for all our tired old homes. Tear the old ones down, build all new. Create employment. Build the economy.

The possibilities are endless. One little coin.

And everyone can afford a yacht. Ahhhh.

flicker on January 7, 2013 at 8:40 PM

Kraken on January 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM

ah, caught yourself I see. 3/4 miles by the way.

astonerii on January 7, 2013 at 8:40 PM

I guess I shouldn’t have squandered my insight on the Pelosi thread. This dovetails nicely.

ROCnPhilly on January 7, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Is there some problem with QE4=$2 Trillion?

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Is there some problem with QE4=$2 Trillion?

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 8:41 PM

I don’t know the difference between a $1 trillion QE and minting a $1 trillion platinum coin.

/Where does the money come from in either case

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 8:46 PM

I don’t know the difference between a $1 trillion QE and minting a $1 trillion platinum coin.

/Where does the money come from in either case

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Well, that’s an easy one!
Secretary Timmy G. counterfeits it right there at the mint.

ROCnPhilly on January 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Well, that’s an easy one!
Secretary Timmy G. counterfeits it right there at the mint.

ROCnPhilly on January 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM

One is electronic, one is coin … then you have paper. The question is no longer whether we’re going to debase our currency, it’s how. It’s like being offered the choice of the gas chamber, electric chair, or a firing squad. Seems like all the same thing, in the end.

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 8:53 PM

…with your lips around it!

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM
was that really necessary?

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:26 PM

its was just a joke… playing devil advocate comedian… by the reactions i do that too well :p
i just

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:36 PM

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2013 at 8:55 PM

“Aaron gathered up the Israelites’ golden earrings, constructed a “molten calf” and declared “This is thy god, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” Aaron built an altar before the calf and proclaimed the next day to be a feast to the LORD. So they rose up early the next day and “offered burnt-offerings, and brought peace-offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to make merry.”

MichaelGabriel on January 7, 2013 at 8:40 PM

I would choose this:

Judges 19:25
The men raped her and abused her all night.

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Given the amount that it is worth, it would certainly have to be big enough for the size of Obysmal’s head.

onlineanalyst on January 7, 2013 at 8:57 PM

I don’t know where it comes from. But I know where it leads.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation_in_the_Weimar_Republic.

You have to ignore the Keynes BS they throw in there about not borrowing and taxing enough. It’s wiki. We have that covered too in this case. Mostly due to him in the first place.

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Seems like all the same thing, in the end.

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Yep. Destruction of a nation, misery, and a harsher, meaner existence.

I wonder how the destroyers will claim to be our saviors after clearly systematically destroying the wealth of the nation. Can an entire nation be that willfully ignorant?

ROCnPhilly on January 7, 2013 at 9:01 PM

ah, caught yourself I see. 3/4 miles by the way.

astonerii

Yeah, not a good night for math. Gotta divide by 0.5 before taking the square root. Still, quite the coin to flip, no?

Kraken on January 7, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Why bother with platinum? Why not just write a number on a PostIt ™?

Peri Winkle on January 7, 2013 at 9:02 PM

why would the GOP want to stop Obama from maybe conceivably possibly doing something as insane as attempting to solve a standoff over spending by minting a coin worth a trillion dollars?

It is a leap of faith on your part to think that after November 6 the average American will see this as insanity. I, on the other hand beg to differ at this point.

DaveDief on January 7, 2013 at 9:04 PM

That is easily far and away the dumbest Paul Krugman column I have ever wasted my time to read.

Given his track record, that’s saying something.

But what’s sad is that the more absurdly he rants, the more vehemently his acolytes in the comments osculate his rectum. The token voices of reason that used to pop in from time to time all seem to have given up hope.

CapnObvious on January 7, 2013 at 9:08 PM

I’d bet Obama would drop 12 points in the polls within five days of making such an announcement.

Right, because Obama is worried about re-election and what the polls say.

I say, pass the bill with one caveat; the coin(s) can only be minted in pure unobtanium.

Left Coast Right Mind on January 7, 2013 at 9:10 PM

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Sometimes the fight is the party.

ROCnPhilly on January 7, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Ah,

The coin REPRESENTS a value, doesn’t have that value. So it could be, oh, maybe 2 inches across with a gilded Obama profile on one side and a picture of a golf course green on the other.

I say why be a piker with only a $1,000,000,000,000 coin? Why not just make it $1,000,000,000,000,000 (quadrillion) coin and we’d have a surplus for years! Or maybe to the end of the current Obama administration…maybe…

/sarc

ProfShadow on January 7, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Obama can display the newly minted coin beside his equally useless Nobel.

can_con on January 7, 2013 at 9:20 PM

I was just providing commentary on your question of whether there are enough willfully ignorant. It would seem so. The educated ones have been indoctrinated, and what I submitted is most of the rest.

Not all,, but most.

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 9:23 PM

I think they should mint a hundred of them

Tzetzes on January 7, 2013 at 9:34 PM

I say why be a piker with only a $1,000,000,000,000 coin? Why not just make it $1,000,000,000,000,000 (quadrillion) coin and we’d have a surplus for years! Or maybe to the end of the current Obama administration…maybe…

/sarc

ProfShadow on January 7, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Now that’s just a little crazy! Oh, wait. With a quadrillion, Obama could by our votes for the rest of our lives. And we can all have boats!

You know, on the NYT site this Krugman article is getting a lot of favorable comments. How idiotic can the American public be?!!

And if the voting public is so greedy and stupid, how can reason ever prevail? After all, not every tragedy leaves survivors.

flicker on January 7, 2013 at 9:38 PM

a default would do the same…

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 8:24 PM

There would be no default.

Debt Service:

December 2012: $95,736,594,801.52
November 2012: $25,068,968,472.99
October 2012: $12,922,741,407.27

Total for first 3 months of FY2013: $133,728,304,681.78

($133,728,304,681.78: That would pay for 1.3 years of food stamps for 50 million Americans, just so that you have an idea how much money we are wasting on debt service. The total in FY2012 spent on servicing the debt was $359,796,008,919.49. Imagine how much it will be in 2017, when Obama leaves office and the national debt is predicted to be, at minimum, $22 trillion. Heaven help us if interest rates go up).

In FY2011, tax revenues were a little more than $2.4 trillion. In February 2012, tax revenues collected were $103.4 billion. In March 2012, tax revenues collected equaled ~$171.2. Debt service in February 2012 was $17.4 billion and in March it was $24.7 billion. The same receipts are expected, at minimum, and outlays for debt service are about the same for February and March as they were last year.

IOW, WE CANNOT DEFAULT ON THE DEBT. BY LAW, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MUST PAY THE DEBT SERVICE FIRST.

Resist We Much on January 7, 2013 at 9:49 PM

I’d wondered if it was copper for the wire windings needed to extract the uranium for the nuclear bombs. I haven’t found evidence of that though.

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 7:51 PM

I don’t remember the exact figure, but the percentage of US electricity production that went to power the Manhattan Project was mind-boggling. A lot of it was probably used just for transmission lines and transformers.

And even without the Manhattan Project it took a lot of copper to wire all the new tanks, trucks, ships, and every single bullet we produced for the war had full-metal jacket made of copper.

Walter Sobchak on January 7, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Actually, the electromagnetic coils needed for the Manhattan Project presented a huge problem. Copper was in very short supply due to the war effort and diverting the amount needed for the huge coils would have prompted questions. Questions nobody wanted asked given the top secret nature of the project.

The answer was to release tons of silver from the treasury stocks. Silver is also an excellent conductor of electricity (even better than copper, actually). The electromagnetic coils were constructed from silver, worked just fine, and the whole thing was done quite secretly.

trigon on January 7, 2013 at 11:49 PM

I ran the numbers. The closing price of platinum today was $1,556 per ounce.
At that price, to be worth $1 trillion dollars, Obama’s coin needs to weigh just over 20 tons.
Platinum weighs 21 grams per cubic centimeter or just under one ounce per cubic centimeter.

Curmudgeon on January 7, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Did you figure it using troy ounces or avoirdupois ounces? Precious metals are measured in troy ounces.

And… how many troy ounces are in a troy ton?

E-R

electric-rascal on January 8, 2013 at 12:34 AM

And… how many troy ounces are in a troy ton?

E-R

electric-rascal on January 8, 2013 at 12:34 AM

If I remember correctly, 29,400.

trigon on January 8, 2013 at 1:27 AM

What if they lose the coin? Or get mugged?

netster007x on January 8, 2013 at 1:32 AM

I don’t really understand why there’s such emphasis on the coin idea. It’s really just a special case of monetizing the debt thru inflation. Can’t the Fed do this anytime w/out the need for the trillion dollar coin? Or is the issue that Bernanke might say no?

netster007x on January 8, 2013 at 1:35 AM

I’m gonna invent the flux capacitor, find an old DeLorean, go back in time to 1960, and prevent Ann Dunham and Frank Marshall Davis (or BO Sr., or whoever his daddy was) from ever meeting.

Of course, by doing that, we’ll have an alternate alternate universe where Kennedy survived and served two terms, Johnson was never elected (and the “Great Society” was never created), Watergate never happened, Gerald Ford was elected President in 1976 and re-elected in 1980, Reagan never made it into office, and the Soviet Union overran Europe and WWIII started in 1993.

Which one would be worse? That alternate, or the one we’re living in now?

falcon on January 8, 2013 at 9:02 AM

FDR had steel pennies and that worked out okay.

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Pennies are worth one cent and not $1 trillion, and we are not in a war so bad the military needs every gram of copper it can get.

See the difference?

Which one would be worse? That alternate, or the one we’re living in now?

falcon on January 8, 2013 at 9:02 AM

So help me, I’ve mentally debated the merits of this timeline versus the events of the Red Alert series being real. Even when those events include the invasion and partial occupation of the continental United States. Because we are THAT screwed up now.

MelonCollie on January 8, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Can you imagine a president giving a prime-time, Oval Office address and saying, what we’re gonna do, people, is mint a coin worth $1 trillion. That just doesn’t pass any laugh test I can conceive of. I’d bet Obama would drop 12 points in the polls within five days of making such an announcement.

You’re giving the idiot-and-retarded vote WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too much credit, Michael.

Myron Falwell on January 8, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Did this country go full retard or what?

Chuck Schick on January 7, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Can’t stop laughing at that.

I guess those sarc tags ARE needed. :(

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Don’t you dare. :)

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 11:47 AM

I think this country is so far gone it’s going to take a miracle to get it back.

gophergirl on January 7, 2013 at 7:36 PM

There’s no going back, GG (WYAN). Seriously. It isn’t physically possible, like trying to get my family to take a picture together at Thanksgiving. Not going to happen. Respectfully suggest you let go just for sanity’s sake.

The future, though — you can reintroduce whatever you’d like, carry forward everything you can. At least, that’s the way I’m looking at it. The day’s lost. But who does tomorrow belong to? That kind of thing.

Those really are different ways of seeing it and trying to get back to sanity might drive you nuts. :)

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 11:59 AM