An on-again, off-again campaign to replace the one-dollar bill with a coin, which by one estimate would save American taxpayers $13.8 billion over 30 years, is apparently picking up a fresh head of steam.
The Dollar Coin Alliance, a group of small businesses, mass transit agencies and others released a new report this week concluding it would cost 18 cents to make a $1 coin that would last 30 years versus 4.8 years for a dollar bill.
Bill Christian, director of government affairs for the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, told CNN Money the report is fresh evidence that it's time to kill the bill.
“Once again, the result is clear: eliminate the $1 bill and save billions,” he said.
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So far, however, dollar coins have not found widespread acceptance in the United States.
The Susan B. Anthony dollar was introduced in 1979 and discontinued in 1999. The Sacagawea Golden Dollar was launched into circulation in 2000, but is mostly ignored.
The Government Accounting Office also advocates replacing the dollar bill with the dollar coin.
"Over the last 48 years, Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom, among others, have replaced lower-denomination notes with coins," the GAO said in a report.
USA Today reported Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is among a non-partisan group of senators who have introduced legislation to improve circulation of dollar coins.
"It seems to me this one common sense remedy certainly won't change the equation entirely. But even in this town, $5.5 billion or $13.8 billion is not chump change," McCain said.
"You have to phase out the dollar paper in order to make the coin successful," former Arizona representative Jim Kolbe told the newspaper.
USA Today reported the amount of waste created from shredding old dollar bills is equivalent to the amount of trash generated annually by 345,000 Americans.
The Sacagawea Golden Dollar is not actually gold, but rather a gold-colored alloy that includes an outer layer of manganese brass, according to the U.S. Mint.
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