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Govt. Watchdog: Dollar Coin Makes More Cents for US

November 28, 2012 in Coins, Paper Money, USA Coins

Nov 28, 2012 By Sarah Parnass (http://abcnews.go.com)

The U.S. could save billions of dollars by getting rid of the paper dollar, according to the Government Accountability Office.

One USA Dollar Bill ($)

One USA Dollar Bill ($)

The coins  might weigh heavier in your pocket, but using a dollar coin makes more sense – and cents – in the long run than dollar bills.

1 Dollar Coin USA ($)

1 Dollar Coin USA ($)

At a hearing before the  House Financial Services Committee Thursday, Lorelai St. James, a director at the GAO, plans to tell Congress that switching from paper currency to dollar coins would ultimately be more cost effective,  the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Last  February, the GAO reported that making such a  switch would save the country $4.4 billion over the next three decades – or about $146 million per year in savings.

Shawn Smeallie, executive director of the Dollar Coin Alliance, said the savings could be as much as $11 billion over a period of 30 years, without cutting any programs or raising taxes.

But defenders of the paper dollar have focused on another aspect of the report: In the first 10 years of the switchover, the government would lose more than $500 million, according to the GAO.

“This report is crystal clear about one thing: The unwieldy dollar coin is more expensive than the popular dollar bill, even over the long run,” outgoing Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., said in a statement last February. “The dollar bill will continue to be the more cost-effective currency to produce and use.”

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