Lawmakers champion dollar coins

June 06, 2013

The Susan B. Anthony coin never caught on. Neither did the Sacagawea nor the newer Presidential one-dollar coins. But a group of lawmakers say switching entirely to dollar coins now could save at least five billion dollars over the next 30 years. Arizona Senator John McCain and other lawmakers introduced the Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings Act Thursday in the Senate. The bill would eliminate traditional paper dollars in favor of dollar coins — and yes, its nickname is the COINS Act.

Coins cost more to make than paper dollars, but can circulate for much longer. Former Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe, a spokesman for the Dollar Coin Alliance, says America is ready to finally embrace the coins. He says the key is phasing out the paper money completely.

“I mean imagine, if you will, when you went to the convenience store, and you got change and the clerk asked if you want paper quarters or coin quarters,” Kolbe said. “You just get coin.”

For years, polls have shown that Americans don’t like the idea of dollar coins. But Kolbe says recent studies prove that they change their minds when told about the cost savings of the coins.

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