Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Iconic Dollar Bill, Starring George Washington

The U.S. Government Accountability Office is being cited once again in news stories as the source of estimates that the permanent retirement of the dollar bill would save the federal government money, since coins last longer in circulation than notes. This year the GAO issued a 41-page report (GAO-11-281) entitled, "Replacing the $1 Note with a $1 Coin Would Provide a Financial Benefit to the Government."

This is nothing new. In 1993, the GAO issued, "One-Dollar Coin: Reintroduction Could Save Millions if Properly Managed" (GGD-93-56). In 1995, the agency issued, "A Dollar Coin Could Save Millions (T-GGD-95-203) as well as "1-Dollar Coin: Reintroduction Could Save Millions If It Replaced the 1-Dollar Note" (T-GGD-95-146).

Does the United States want to retire its iconic $1 note, which has featured George Washington in one form or another for nearly a century?

Other GAO reports hint at the answer, such as, "A New Dollar Coin Has Budgetary Savings Potential But Questionable Acceptability" (T-GGD-90-50, 1990); "National Coinage Proposals: Limited Public Demand for New Dollar Coin or Elimination of Pennies" (GGD-90-88, also 1990); and "New Dollar Coin: Marketing Campaign Raised Public Awareness but Not Widespread Use" (GAO-02-896, 2002).

1 comment:

Kevin Deany said...

Some vending machines have trouble accepting older or more folded dollar bills.

I say bring on the dollar coins, though I realize I'm in the minority.