Eliminating US $1 bills could save America billions

As Washington looks to save money and cut spending, one area to consider might be the US currency itself. A new study suggests eliminating one-dollar bills and replacing them with $1 coins could save the US billions of dollars.

Once a visual symbol of the strength of the US economy, the dollar bill could eventually be a thing of the past.

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO), in a formal proposal the US Treasury and Federal Reserve explained that eliminating the $1 bill in favor of a $1 coin could save the United States roughly $5.5 billion over the next 30 years.

Currently the US government is forced to spend a lot of money on maintaining the circulation of $1 bills because they are made of weaker materials and wear down much faster. Using coins would keep the currency pieces alive longer and cut production costs at the Treasury.

The GAO study estimated phasing out the bills would only require a four-year transition period, where the government would invest more money in the new currency initially, but make up for it by saving $522 million each year thereafter.

The GAO has made similar proposals four times over the past two decades – each time the government has rejected them citing a number of issues, among them – Americans do not like dollar coins. Dollar coin programs in the past have been highly unsuccessful.

As Americans struggle with a massive government deficit and continue to call for government spending cuts, many wonder just how much Americans are willing to give up in order to save. Will they sacrifice their paper bills to save billions in the long run?

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