19 July, 2006

A nickel for your thoughts?

No, your thoughts haven’t gone up in value.. it’s just that if Representative Kolbe (R. Arizona) gets his way, I won’t have a penny to give you. He has introduced a bill called the Currency Overhaul for an Industrious Nation Act. (cleverly acronymed to C.O.I.N.).

Among other things, the primary target of this act would be to eliminate the antiquated penny and round all cash transactions to the nearest nickel. Cash transactions ending in a 1, 2, 6, 7 would round down, while those ending in 3, 4, 8, 9 round up.

Now, this isn’t a new idea. It gets tossed about every few years. Rep. Kolbe also introduced it in 2001. He thinks it has a better chance of getting through this time around, mainly because the cost of zinc (today’s pennies are about 97% zinc, and are only copper coated) has sky-rocketed. It now costs about 1.4 cents for the Mint to stamp out a single penny (that’s the kind of efficiency that makes our government so powerful).

Should the penny go the way of the $2 bill? (Which, incidentally would be re-introduced in this act.) Most Americans are opposed to eliminating the penny, I personally would not be.

Sure, we would end up spending extra money on cash purchases... but let’s all be honest, how often do we actually still use cash? How much more often do we pull out the debit or credit card for our purchases? I use plastic considerably more than cash.

I also have containers full of pennies that I will never use at both home and in the office. They tend to get in the way more than they are beneficial.

I want to get your opinions on this. Let’s all kick in our 5 cents on this topic, leave your comments below.


Susie Q said...

I haven't thought about it much, but now that you raise the question, I don't see any reason to go to the trouble and expense to 'eliminate' the penny. Unfortunately, our government can't do anything without it costing us money. What would be gained by eliminating pennies?
Oh yeah, and what would we put in our loafers....

Aleda said...

Why don't we really complicate things and just have a 2 cent penny? That would eliminate half of the pennies in circulation and would still give those loafer lovers something for their shoes. :)