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Could a trillion dollar coin solve the debt ceiling crisis?

Because of a loophole in minting laws, rumors began swirling that a trillion dollar coin would be minted to solve the debt crisis – is it true? Will it happen?

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trillion dollar coin

Trillion dollar coin: fact or fiction?

There have been numerous discussions of the trillion dollar coin and how it could possible solve the looming debt ceiling problem. If you’re rooting through your wallet wondering why you aren’t in possession of one of these, calm down.

As of now, these coins don’t exist and are only discussed in theory as a possible solution to the U.S. debt problem. However, this past weekend the Treasury shut down any possibility of minting these coins, so it’s back to the drawing board to find another solution. Nonetheless, how did the discussion even begin in the first place?

Trillion dollar coin loophole

There is a limit to how much money the U.S. is permitted to circulate in regards to paper money, as well as gold, silver and copper coins. However, under Title 31 of the United States Code, there is no limit to the amount of platinum coinage the U.S. Treasury makes.

In essence, the Treasury could create trillion dollar coins at its own discretion. The suggested plan recommended the President deposit the coins at the Fed, after which they would be put into the Treasury and used to pay bills and other debts, thereby decreasing the probability of default. However, as proved by the recent rejection of the proposition, such an action by the Treasury would be highly unlikely.

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Dispelling consideration of minting the coin

“Congress can pay its bills or it can fail to act and put the nation into default,” wrote White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in a statement released Saturday, further dispelling any serious consideration of minting a trillion dollar coin to solve the debt ceiling problem.

Since no solution was created during the recent fiscal cliff discussions, government officials still have a more than $16 trillion borrowing deficit to grapple with. While interesting to speculate on, a trillion dollar coin will not be the savior to these problems; and if the fiscal cliff negotiations were any indicator, this will take a lot of serious thought and back and forth before an actionable solution is reached.

Destiny Bennett is a journalist who has earned double communications' degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as a certification in Business from The University of Texas at Austin. She has written stories for AustinWoman Magazine as well as various University of Texas publications and enjoys the art of telling a story. Her interests include finance, technology, social media...and watching HGTV religiously.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. JoeLoomer

    January 15, 2013 at 6:53 am

    The global supply of money has already more than doubled in the last twelve years – hence the pretty much global recession. You can’t spend your way out of debt – even if you’ve got a magic money tree.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Gabriel

    January 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

    why dont we just drink ourselves sober lol. i wish i can put my self in debt to pay off more debt Jesus man i dont know if the people running the country are being ignorant or just plain dumb everybody can see that printing magic money will make everything worse as it did to Germany in the 1920’s

  3. Gabriel

    January 15, 2013 at 8:10 am

    its about that time were taxes need to be increased on everybody in order for us to pay off the actual debt if not its just going to keep being pushed back for another day and then when the debt is at an even higher standard our kids and grand kids will be slaves of the government paying off the debt that we accumulated thanks mr. PRESIDENTS for our great treasury system (NOT) it totally sucks its as if its made to fail. we cant even pay off the interest on the money we have already loaned!!!!!

    • Hassan Snap

      January 16, 2013 at 12:54 am

      yeah but taxes need to increase and spending needs to be cut

      • Gabriel

        January 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

        Yeah it sounds bad but its going to happen

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