By eliminating the dollar bill and replacing it with a coin, taxpayers could save $4.5 billion, says Sen. Mike Enzi.
Writing in Politico
, the Wyoming Republican said he's working with a bipartisan group of his colleagues from five states on a plan called the Currency Optimization Innovation and National Savings Act that would reduce the deficit "without raising taxes or cutting a single program" by shifting from the $1 paper currency to a $1 coin.
Enzi says his plan has been endorsed by the Government Accountability Office, which has recommended the move from a dollar bill to a dollar coin nine times.
"We believe the COINS Act is a common-sense proposal that starts down the right track toward addressing our country’s deficit," Enzi wrote. "The GAO calculated at least $4.5 billion in savings for taxpayers — but the Canadian experience indicates we can do better. When our northern neighbors made the switch, savings totaled 10 times the original estimate."
Enzi also cited the environmental benefit of coins over bills. "Dollar coins are 100 percent recyclable while dollar bills generate an enormous amount of waste. Billions of dollar notes are shredded and sent to landfills each year, while a single dollar coin would replace 17 dollar bills in its lifetime – and then be recycled to replace 17 more."
Former Arizona GOP Rep. Jim Kolbe, who now heads an association called the Dollar Coin Alliance, agrees that moving to a coin currency makes sense.
"If you look at what’s happened in the rest of the world, they’ve figured this out. A coin is just a common-sense change that we need to make," he told Bloomberg.com.
Kolbe's coin alliance has joined forces with other groups to lobby for the Enzi measure. Other supporters include the National Mining Association and the National Bulk Vendors Association, Bloomberg reports.
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