DCA News & Resources

Press Release: Senator Tom Coburn’s “Back in Black” Deficit Reduction Measure Calls for Dollar Coin Transition

Dollar Coin Alliance Commends Senator’s Effort to Save Taxpayers Billions

Washington, DC (July 15, 2011) – As the debt ceiling debate rages on, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) today released “Back in Black,” a massive deficit reduction plan to cut $9 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years. Included as part of the package, which the Senator considers the basis for a bipartisan budget compromise, is a move to eliminate the dollar bill in favor of the dollar coin. The proposal estimates that transitioning to a dollar coin would save the government $2.04 billion over a ten-year period.

“We fully support Senator Coburn’s efforts to reduce the deficit by finally eliminating the wasteful $1 bill,” said Shawn Smeallie of the Dollar Coin Alliance. “This is the type of common sense solution Americans are looking  for from our elected officials – we’ll do everything we can to help make the dollar coin transition the law of the land.”

The Coburn Plan recommends:

Replace the $1 Bill With $1 Coin

The Treasury Department should phase out use of the $1 bill and replace it with the $1 coin. Paper-based currencies wear out faster than coins, and so cost taxpayers more in the long run. According to GAO, starting in the 1980’s, “Over the last 47 years, Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Spain, and the UK, among others, have replaced lower-denomination notes with coins.”

GAO also estimates that over a 30-year period, the average annual savings would be approximately $184 million.

Estimated Ten-Year Savings: $2.04 Billion

The proposal from Senator Coburn follows a recent report by the Government Accountability Office estimating billions in government savings with a transition to the dollar coin. The report, “Replacing the $1 Note with a $1 Coin Would Provide a Financial Benefit to the Government,” strongly recommends the replacement of the dollar bill with a dollar coin and estimated $5.5 billion in government savings over a 30-year period. Depending on certain assumptions in their analysis, this savings could be as high as $11.1 billion. Estimates of average annual cost savings have ranged from nearly $200 million to more than $500 million per year.