DCA News & Resources

Dollar coins recognize women, save money

In commenting on the Treasury Department’s new, harder-to-counterfeit $100 bill, Lynette Long [letters, April 24] made a good point: In this era of supposed gender equality, not one of our seven currency denominations recognizes a woman’s achievements.

But more than 2 billion dollar coins bear the image of either Susan B. Anthony, who advocated for women’s right to vote, or Sacagawea, who guided Lewis and Clark on their expedition through the Northwest. But most of us never see these coins because Congress has refused, for 30 years, to eliminate the $1 bill.

Replacing $1 bills, which last about two years, with $1 coins, which last about 30 years, would save taxpayers at least $700 million a year in paper and printing costs. Eliminating the $1 bill would not remove George Washington from our money. His image appears on more than 40 billion quarters.

Compared with trillion-dollar deficits, $700 million is a small sum. But it’s a start, perhaps an important start on the road to improved government efficiency as well as a visible reminder of the role of women in our nation’s history.

Thomas E. McMahon, Reston

The writer was senior vice president and chief counsel for the National Automatic Merchandising Association from 2002 to 2009