- Last Updated: 2:57 AM, December 1, 2012
- Posted: 1:52 AM, December 1, 2012
WASHINGTON — The feds are talking again about doing away with the dollar bill.
Congressional auditors told a House subcommittee hearing that replacing paper bills with $1 coins could save taxpayers some $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.
The General Accounting Office’s Lorelei St. James told the House Financial Services panel on Thursday that it would take several years for the benefits of switching from paper bills to dollar coins to catch up with the cost of making the change.
Equipment would have to be bought or overhauled and more coins would have to be produced upfront to replace bills as they are taken out of circulation.
But the savings would begin to accrue, she said, largely because a $1 coin could stay in circulation for 30 years, while paper bills have to be replaced every few years.But Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Man.)., said the $1 coins have proved too hard to distinguish from quarters. “If the people don’t want it and they don’t want to use it,” she said, “why in the world are we even talking about changing it?”
Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), a member of the House panel, said Canadians have embraced their dollar coins. “I don’t know anyone who would go back to the $1 and $2 bills,” he said.