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Making Money and Making it Cheap

August 10, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Nothing inspires creative thinking like new restrictions:

>House Democrats have sponsored legislation to change the metal content of coins, outraged that it costs a dime to make a nickel.
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>House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Domestic and International Monetary Policy Subcommittee Chairman Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., are sponsors of the bill that would give authority to the Treasury Department to change the composition of coins issued by the U.S. Mint to less expensive materials.
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>The two estimate that by changing the composition of the penny and nickel, the federal government could save more than $100 million annually. Another $300 million could be saved if similar changes were made to the half-dollar, quarter and dime. …

>The measure would require a public comment period before bidding to hear on alternative compositions of the coins. The bidding process on materials would be competitive and Gutierrez said his panel would have tough oversight of the process.

It’s actually a bipartisan effort. The bill was also introduced in the Senate by Republican Wayne Allard (CO).

I have to admit, this is something I don’t totally understand. Commenters, is this too good to be true, are there major risks involved, or is this actually just “common sense legislation” like Allard asserts?

Photo by Chris J used under a Creative Commons license.

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