The dollar bill's days may be numbered. At least, that could be the case if one government watchdog had its way.
A recent report from the Government Accountability Office, which is an arm of the U.S. Congress, argues that replacing U.S. dollar bills with dollar coins could save the government roughly $4.4 billion in net benefits over the next 30 years.
"We continue to believe that replacing the note with a coin is likely to provide a financial benefit to the government," Lorelei St. James, a director the GAO, stated in a report prepared for a Congressional hearing on Thursday. "We realize that replacing the $1 note with the $1 coin is controversial."
Indeed, the idea is largely unsupported by the public as many Americans are reluctant to use dollar coins over bills. In 2011, 40 percent of dollar coins in circulation were returned to the U.S. Treasury unwanted, leading to a $1.4 billion surplus in the currency, according to the U.S. Treasury.
Leading the initiative to kill the dollar bill are Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), NPR reports. Although both Arizona and Iowa stand to profit from increased production of dollar coins -- Iowa is home to a huge metal company and Arizona hosts some of the country's biggest copper mines -- Harkin contends that the U.S. should follow the global trend toward coins if the government wants to save money.
"The most important thing is it's just more efficient. It's way more efficient than a paper dollar," Harkin said. "Canada has a coin that's worth $2... Switzerland has one worth about $5... And yet, what have we got? We got a 25-cent piece."
Source: Huffington Post | Caroline Fairchild