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    Sex God AngolaZee's Avatar
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    The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    I have been hearing about this concept from many media outlets


    Story is here
    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-t...g-fight-2013-1

    Any thoughts from budding economists on JUB

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by AngolaZee View Post
    I have been hearing about this concept from many media outlets


    Story is here
    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-t...g-fight-2013-1

    Any thoughts from budding economists on JUB
    From what I understand this would be a 'Hail Mary' play to avoid default by using a loophole in current laws regulating currency to essentially create a few trillion dollars by 'minting' it out of thin air and dump it into the dollar. It would enable to US to pay its bills if the debt ceiling was not raised BUT nobody is sure what it would do to the value of the dollar as it would be a very sudden massive increase of the money supply. It almost certainly will drive down the value of the dollar and might trigger a sharp increase in inflation that many of the right are paranoid about.

    Of course, a default by the government might do the same things so who knows it might be worth it. I certainly wouldn't mind having one or two of those coins in my pocket. (grins).
    Last edited by Stardreamer; January 5th, 2013 at 10:10 AM. Reason: added point.
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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    I think this would be the epitome of a circus act to the world markets and we might as well just default.

    The correct method (IMHO) is to use the 14th amendment to simply authorize the increase in debt and then allow the outraged and impotent congressional republicans to take it to the SCOTUS. That could easily become the second term scandal all our modern presidents draw.

    Obama has already rejected the idea once but not completely. The wording is as such:

    “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion,” the critical sentence says, “shall not be questioned.”
    Shall not be questioned is as clear as right to bear arms.
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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    I think this would be the epitome of a circus act to the world markets and we might as well just default.

    The correct method (IMHO) is to use the 14th amendment to simply authorize the increase in debt and then allow the outraged and impotent congressional republicans to take it to the SCOTUS. That could easily become the second term scandal all our modern presidents draw.

    Obama has already rejected the idea once but not completely. The wording is as such:



    Shall not be questioned is as clear as right to bear arms.
    Yep, the 14th Amendment option is the other 'Hail Mary' and from what I've read so far the more likely one, call it plan B, with the coin idea being plan C.
    Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right. H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 - 1956)

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    What i dont get is why all the pundits are saying the coin would not lead to inflation because it would not be part of money supply.

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    LOL. "shall not be questioned…"

    Well, the trouble is, is it public debt unless your Congress says so?

    I'm not sure this 14th Amendment option is applicable here. Saying the debt shall not be questioned seems more like a constitutional claim that Standard & Poor's is illegal.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    This "plan" sounds like the perfect way to create inflation and cause it to spiral out of control. I'ts certainly not an option at all. What this country does need to do is curb military spending to Clinton era levels, and improve taxation especially on the wealthy. Some cuts can be done over long periods of time, but austerity is not the answer. Printing money is not going to solve anything... as I've seen a country attempt that in the past (Argentina 2001/02).

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Isnt inflation what the dollar needs right now. Considering China's remibi is kept artificially low and Japan is about to do the same thin (devalue their currency) in an attempt to boost their economy.

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by GiancarloC View Post
    This "plan" sounds like the perfect way to create inflation and cause it to spiral out of control. I'ts certainly not an option at all. What this country does need to do is curb military spending to Clinton era levels, and improve taxation especially on the wealthy. Some cuts can be done over long periods of time, but austerity is not the answer. Printing money is not going to solve anything... as I've seen a country attempt that in the past (Argentina 2001/02).
    Inflation would not happen because no money is actually being printed. For inflation to occur, the money would have to actually enter the markets. That wouldn't happen.

    This would be the Treasury using a loophole that allows them to mint a platinum coin, assign it whatever value they wish, and then use that to pay the bills until the actual debt ceiling is increased. No money would ever enter the system.

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Making a giant coin would be as inflationary as increasing the debt ceiling, no more, no less. Which is to say it would depreciate the US dollar further and be inflationary.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    Making a giant coin would be as inflationary as increasing the debt ceiling, no more, no less. Which is to say it would depreciate the US dollar further and be inflationary.
    This is exactly my point. Inflation would definitely happen. And it isn't related to money being printed or not.

    This is just a bad idea.

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'


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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
    Inflation would not happen because no money is actually being printed. For inflation to occur, the money would have to actually enter the markets. That wouldn't happen.

    This would be the Treasury using a loophole that allows them to mint a platinum coin, assign it whatever value they wish, and then use that to pay the bills until the actual debt ceiling is increased. No money would ever enter the system.
    If they are paying the bills using the coins as funding, then that is new money entering the system. I can't see how you can semantic that away just because the coins themselves don't enter the market directly.
    Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right. H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 - 1956)

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by AngolaZee View Post
    What i dont get is why all the pundits are saying the coin would not lead to inflation because it would not be part of money supply.
    I would have appreciated some explanation of that, myself.

    I suspect that this would be something like my idea of borrowing money from Limbo and paying it back later.

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    LOL. "shall not be questioned…"

    Well, the trouble is, is it public debt unless your Congress says so?

    I'm not sure this 14th Amendment option is applicable here. Saying the debt shall not be questioned seems more like a constitutional claim that Standard & Poor's is illegal.
    If Congress has passed bills authorizing spending, that constitutes a public debt.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    BTW, I can see an argument here that could be used to stir up some dissension in the Republican ranks:

    If the Republicans actually threaten default, that could be considered a national emergency. Obama could decide it does, and declare a state of emergency, and then invoke all those laws (and supposed laws) that Glen Beck and his ilk say would turn us into a totalitarian country overnight.

    Thus, by threatening to default, the Republicans would be begging Obama to turn the US into a totalitarian state.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by GiancarloC View Post
    This is exactly my point. Inflation would definitely happen. And it isn't related to money being printed or not.

    This is just a bad idea.
    Inflation requires circulation. This money would not enter the economy in any way, shape, or form. Government spending would remain as it is now, and not a single penny of 'new' money would enter the system. Inflation would only occur if they created this trillion dollars out of thin air and then dumped it into the system via bailouts, stimulus or some other sort of thing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    Making a giant coin would be as inflationary as increasing the debt ceiling, no more, no less. Which is to say it would depreciate the US dollar further and be inflationary.
    It will have no effect on the dollar because it won't enter circulation. If this coin was, say, put into circulation and held at a bank like Chase, then it would devalue the dollar. But it isn't, so it wouldn't.

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    I would have appreciated some explanation of that, myself.

    I suspect that this would be something like my idea of borrowing money from Limbo and paying it back later.
    That is exactly what it is. The money is there already, there is just a barrier preventing the government from grabbing it. The coin would be an end-run around that barrier. Spending levels wouldn't increase, and the amount of money in circulation wouldn't either.

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Krugman explains it a bit better. Essentially, the coin would be a different form of debt than what the government usually uses. Instead of the debt being issued in the form of a t-bill, it would be issued in the form of the platinum coin. (which would likely be converted to a t-bill once congress raises the limit)

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/201...-time-of-zero/

    In reality, to pursue the thought further, the coin really would be as much a Federal debt as the T-bills the Fed owns, since eventually Treasury would want to buy it back. So this is all a gimmick — but since the debt ceiling itself is crazy, allowing Congress to tell the president to spend money then tell him that he can’t raise the money he’s supposed to spend, there’s a pretty good case for using whatever gimmicks come to hand.

    But leaving the debt ceiling on one side, isn’t it true that since spending can currently be financed by Fed money printing, we shouldn’t care at all about the notional debt owed to the Fed? Alas, no.

    It’s true that printing money isn’t at all inflationary under current conditions — that is, with the economy depressed and interest rates up against the zero lower bound. But eventually these conditions will end. At that point, to prevent a sharp rise in inflation the Fed will want to pull back much of the monetary base it created in response to the crisis, which means selling off the Federal debt it bought. So even though right now that debt is just a claim by one more or less governmental agency on another governmental agency, it will eventually turn into debt held by the public.

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by GiancarloC View Post
    This "plan" sounds like the perfect way to create inflation and cause it to spiral out of control. I'ts certainly not an option at all. What this country does need to do is curb military spending to Clinton era levels, and improve taxation especially on the wealthy. Some cuts can be done over long periods of time, but austerity is not the answer. Printing money is not going to solve anything... as I've seen a country attempt that in the past (Argentina 2001/02).
    Or the Weimar Republic in the 1920's, when I think it took trillions of Marks to buy a pencil or a loaf of bread.

    Has the National Debt passed the tipping point where fixed obligations, such as interest payments on the National Debt itself, make any hope of a balanced budget impossible? Furthermore, what is needed is not only a balanced budget, but a surplus - a huge surplus - and years and years of them for as far as the eye can see. Nothing else will pay it down.

    Even a taxation rate of 100% on all incomes above $250,000 would only be a tiny portion of what is needed.

    I can't get my "arms around" the concept that this wouldn't devalue the money supply nor cause inflation, though, as mentioned by JB3 and others. Not saying it's wrong, but just one of those things I can't make sense of.
    Last edited by frankfrank; January 6th, 2013 at 04:08 AM.
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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
    Inflation requires circulation. This money would not enter the economy in any way, shape, or form. Government spending would remain as it is now, and not a single penny of 'new' money would enter the system. Inflation would only occur if they created this trillion dollars out of thin air and then dumped it into the system via bailouts, stimulus or some other sort of thing.

    - - - Updated - - -



    It will have no effect on the dollar because it won't enter circulation. If this coin was, say, put into circulation and held at a bank like Chase, then it would devalue the dollar. But it isn't, so it wouldn't.
    It will be put into circulation by way of people's pensions getting paid, contractors getting paid, etc.

    Moreover it can't help but have an impact on the perception of future value of the currency, which is the only driver of inflation that exists.

    While we're at it, why not just mint a Debt Coin, eliminate the debt with it, lock it in a vault and forget it? It won't work because it is just an example of trying to inflate away the debt. It appears to work until other countries get tired of propping up one economy with their foreign exchange, so they do the same.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by AngolaZee View Post
    What i dont get is why all the pundits are saying the coin would not lead to inflation because it would not be part of money supply.
    Quote Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
    Inflation would not happen because no money is actually being printed. For inflation to occur, the money would have to actually enter the markets. That wouldn't happen.

    This would be the Treasury using a loophole that allows them to mint a platinum coin, assign it whatever value they wish, and then use that to pay the bills until the actual debt ceiling is increased. No money would ever enter the system.
    Exactly correct. Which is the reason we have printed trillions but have yet to see ANY inflation. The trillions printed went into banks coffers to loosen their ability to lend money then the banks chose to lend at a millionth of the rate they were previously so hence we have experienced no inflation.

    One of the main concerns the Fed has each time it does QE is whether they will start to inflate the dollar. Being that controlling inflation is part of their mission statement and all.

    A trillion dollar coin printed and placed into the fed would never touch the markets and therefore would never inflate a single thing.

    The value of the dollar based on our potential would be reduced however because we would demonstrate their is no ceiling or no limit. We are already doing it to a degree one little step at a time with QE however the trillion dollar coin would be a giant leap.

    I think the wheels are about to come off anyways. Geithner is stepping down in the midst of the debt ceiling crisis. In other words he is tired of playing paddy cake with the imbeciles on capitol hill.
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  22. #22

    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    That the government is considering any of these options is further testament to the lunacy of the Republican Party and an example of their inability to govern. The Tea Party radicals in the GOP care more about ideology than they do about the welfare of their country, its citizens, or the health of the world economy. Shameful that anyone would vote for these imbeciles.

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Actually Palemale while both items are fun to conjecture about I have no doubt political destruction and pressure will be used to come to a deal well before any of these options is used.

    The only folks who still support the republican party in using the ceiling as a bargaining chip are irresponsible groups like the club for growth. The folks with power have money and money will be destroyed like it was the last time the republicans held the ceiling hostage. I think there will be a lot of back and forth in the media but what will really sway republican opinion is when the folks who donate billions to campaigns call up and say they are losing money -- make a deal and move the fuck on.
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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by frankfrank View Post
    I can't get my "arms around" the concept that this wouldn't devalue the money supply nor cause inflation, though, as mentioned by JB3 and others. Not saying it's wrong, but just one of those things I can't make sense of.
    It wouldn't immediately, and it wouldn't in the US any more than borrowing money from Switzerland or somewhere does. In the long run, it would, but at the moment we need to fix the short run.

    The difference between this and just printing money is that, as Krugman points out, they'll want to buy it back from the Fed. That makes it a different form of debt, actually the same thing as I've suggested: "borrowing" money out of Limbo, and spending it, then paying it back later.

    But here's a critical point from Krugman:

    but since the debt ceiling itself is crazy, allowing Congress to tell the president to spend money then tell him that he can’t raise the money he’s supposed to spend,
    Looking at it that way, the debt ceiling may be unconstitutional.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    It will be put into circulation by way of people's pensions getting paid, contractors getting paid, etc.

    Moreover it can't help but have an impact on the perception of future value of the currency, which is the only driver of inflation that exists.

    While we're at it, why not just mint a Debt Coin, eliminate the debt with it, lock it in a vault and forget it? It won't work because it is just an example of trying to inflate away the debt. It appears to work until other countries get tired of propping up one economy with their foreign exchange, so they do the same.
    That's not the same thing. This doesn't eliminate any debt, and it doesn't get rid of any financial obligations because the Treasury would be planning to buy it back from the Fed. That makes this a form of debt, not an evasion of it. It's just an interesting form of debt, because it's owed to -- in essence -- a piece of paper that says the coin is worth a trillion dollars. Of course it's also an interesting form of debt because it wouldn't be paid back with interest.

    I find the concept amusing because to a great extent modern money is worth something only because the government says it does -- and the proposal is to issue a coin which only has value because the government says it does.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    Exactly correct. Which is the reason we have printed trillions but have yet to see ANY inflation. The trillions printed went into banks coffers to loosen their ability to lend money then the banks chose to lend at a millionth of the rate they were previously so hence we have experienced no inflation.

    One of the main concerns the Fed has each time it does QE is whether they will start to inflate the dollar. Being that controlling inflation is part of their mission statement and all.

    A trillion dollar coin printed and placed into the fed would never touch the markets and therefore would never inflate a single thing.

    The value of the dollar based on our potential would be reduced however because we would demonstrate their is no ceiling or no limit. We are already doing it to a degree one little step at a time with QE however the trillion dollar coin would be a giant leap.

    I think the wheels are about to come off anyways. Geithner is stepping down in the midst of the debt ceiling crisis. In other words he is tired of playing paddy cake with the imbeciles on capitol hill.
    Geithner stepping down is exactly why this would be a good time for him to do this: order a dozen of them minted, resign, and send them to the President in a little box. The blame could be put on Geithner, we get a new guy in charge, and Obama has a weapon for facing down Congress.

    BTW, "imbeciles" isn't the right term -- I want to say "simpletons", because they have a very simplistic understanding of the world, but in many ways they aren't simple. "Obstinate fools" covers it better.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    Actually Palemale while both items are fun to conjecture about I have no doubt political destruction and pressure will be used to come to a deal well before any of these options is used.

    The only folks who still support the republican party in using the ceiling as a bargaining chip are irresponsible groups like the club for growth. The folks with power have money and money will be destroyed like it was the last time the republicans held the ceiling hostage. I think there will be a lot of back and forth in the media but what will really sway republican opinion is when the folks who donate billions to campaigns call up and say they are losing money -- make a deal and move the fuck on.
    The time for a $Tn coin to be produced would be at the point when the Tea Partites are wavering: a handful could be minted, and Obama could keep them in his pocket, and then produce one at a press conference, or perhaps better in a meeting with Congressional leaders, and say that if the debt ceiling isn't raised without fuss and without brinkmanship, he'll just do things a different way. It would totally neutralize their threats, and given the immense regard for Congress these days I think the President's approval rating would swell inversely to that.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  28. #28
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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    It will be put into circulation by way of people's pensions getting paid, contractors getting paid, etc.

    Moreover it can't help but have an impact on the perception of future value of the currency, which is the only driver of inflation that exists.

    While we're at it, why not just mint a Debt Coin, eliminate the debt with it, lock it in a vault and forget it? It won't work because it is just an example of trying to inflate away the debt. It appears to work until other countries get tired of propping up one economy with their foreign exchange, so they do the same.
    Not quite. This coin does not increase the money supply. At all. That if the biggest cause of inflation. Nothing about the minting of this coin would cause inflation.

  29. #29
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    Re: The 'Trillion Dollar Coin'

    A Republican I'm sad to admit is from my state had a comment about this:


    This scheme to mint trillion-dollar platinum coins is absurd and dangerous," Walden said in a written statement Monday. "My wife and I have owned and operated a small business since 1986. When it came time to pay the bills, we couldn’t just mint a coin to create more money out of thin air. We sat down and figured out how to balance the books. That’s what Washington needs to do as well. My bill will take the coin scheme off the table by disallowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins as a way to pay down the debt."
    Plainly he doesn't understand economics.

    Does anyone here expect this to even make it out of committee?


    whole story

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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