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No Platinum Coin For Us

by Stuart Shapiro

We are now a month and a half from the Republicans in the House holding the credit rating of the United States hostage for their policy aims.  One idea for dealing with the problem was having the Treasury Department mint a trillion dollar coin and depositing it with the Federal Reserve and then paying its bills as normal.  But the Treasury Department threw cold water on what always seemed liked a hokey idea:

The Treasury Department will not mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin to get around the debt ceiling. If they did, the Federal Reserve would not accept it.

That’s the bottom line of the statement that Anthony Coley, a spokesman for the Treasury Department, gave me today. “Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit,” he said.

I always thought this was a bit of a crazy idea.  But I have to wonder if the situation was reversed, wouldn’t the most extreme Republicans be open to any option for getting their way.  It is always a handicap when you are the side hampered by fealty to the law.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart Shapiro Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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