Press Release: NPR Story Misses the Mark on Benefits of Dollar Coin
“All Things Considered” Listeners Shortchanged on Facts
Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2012) — Despite claims in a recent report on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” a transition to a dollar coin makes good sense for the taxpayer and for the government. Here are some key facts about the dollar coin transition:
- Government Savings: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended switching to the dollar coin not once or twice but seven times over 22 years (see links below). Each time, they’ve found it would save the country literally billions of dollars. GAO’s detailed and comprehensive analysis of the subject is thorough and is further buoyed by the experiences of other countries. When Canada made the switch 25 years ago, the government saved at a rate ten times initial estimates.
- International Experience: According to the GAO, “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.” The United States has by far the lowest value paper currency in circulation among G-8 nations. In Canada, the least valuable paper currency is the five dollar bill and in Japan it is the ¥1000 yen ($12 US).
- Public Opinion: In a January 2011 poll conducted by the Tarrance Group and Hart Research, 65 percent of Americans support replacing the dollar bill with the dollar coin when informed that it would save the U.S. government hundreds of millions of dollars each year. This is consistent with previous polls conducted on behalf of the GAO in the past.
- Institutional Support: Four of the nation’s top-ten newspapers – The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and The Washington Post have all carefully vetted this issue and endorsed a dollar coin transition.
- Dollar Coin as a “Tax”: Despite claims in the NPR report, the idea that consumers keeping coins in a jar is a “tax” is simply a red herring. By this definition, holding onto any form of currency – paper or coin – is a tax. The government is not levying a fee against anyone by producing a dollar coin, which is the traditional definition of a tax.
7 GAO Reports
- 2012 “Annual Report: Opportunities to Reduce Duplication, Overlap and Fragmentation, Achieve Savings, and Enhance Revenue” (Savings Estimate: $146 million per year)
- 2012 “Alternative Scenarios Suggest Different Benefits and Losses from Replacing the $1 Note with a $1 Coin” (Savings Estimate: $146 million per year)
- 2011 “Replacing the $1 Note with a $1 Coin Would Provide a Financial Benefit to the Government” (Savings Estimate: $184 million per year)
- 2000 “Financial Impact of $1 Coin” (Savings Estimate: $522 million per year)
- 1995 “A Dollar Coin Could Save Millions” (Savings Estimate: $395 million per year)
- 1993 “1-Dollar Coin Reintroduction Could Save Millions if Properly Managed” (Savings Estimate: $395 million per year)
- 1990 “National Coinage Proposals” (Savings Estimate: $318 million per year)
About the Dollar Coin Alliance: Members of the Dollar Coin Alliance include Citizens Against Government Waste, the International Association of Machinists, the National Bulk Vendors Association, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council and United Steelworkers. For more information, or to get involved, please visit www.DollarCoinAlliance.org.