More on the Coin

I was surprised at how vehemently some people insisted that the platinum coin solution was “silly” in yesterday’s thread about the subject. First, what Ryan Cooper said, responding to Heidi Moore at the Guardian:

From my seat the platinum option looks like a plainly legal and reasonable option. I’m no lawyer, of course, and I’d listen to counterarguments. But what really chafes my strap is the snidely dismissive tone of Moore and company. They are abusing the sphere of deviance, in a way which reminds me very strongly of how journalists treated marijuana legalization a decade ago.

It’s striking especially that Moore doesn’t treat the people threatening to hold the US economy hostage to extract unrelated policy concessions with the same disdain she shows for the people trying to cook up a workaround. I agree, minting trillion dollar coins sounds silly. But hitting the debt ceiling would be deadly serious, and doing silly-sounding things is a small price to pay for avoiding pointless economic crisis.

Cooper also quotes Paul Krugman, who explains why the coin wouldn’t be economically damaging (which was another point raised in that thread).

I’m not wedded to the notion of a platinum coin, but I am wedded to the need for a way to get the debt ceiling off the table as a negotiating tactic. As a couple people pointed out in yesterday’s thread, Congress could fix the platinum coin loophole quite easily, by passing a bill that clarified the law. The whole point of this entire mess is that they won’t.  If such a law came to the House floor, it would pass, but then the Senate Democrats would tack on amendments that the House wouldn’t be able to tolerate, because a good number of them can’t vote for anything that is not ideologically perfect.

When you take compromise away in a closely divided legislative body, you are left with nothing. So, inevitably, the power of the Presidency is going to continue to expand so government can continue to function. Maybe it will be a platinum coin, maybe it will be some other kind of marginal, technical move by the Treasury, but in the end I think the White House is going to try to circumvent the debt ceiling. It’s not Obama’s nature, he won’t be comfortable with it, it will be last-minute and ugly, and there will be much sound and fury. Predictions are hard, especially about the future, but that’s where I see this going.

207 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    maybe it will be some other kind of marginal, technical move by the Treasury, but in the end I think the White House is going to try to circumvent the debt ceiling.

    My bet is on this, with some explanation that boils down to “Congress passed two contradictory laws, and we have to resolve the contradiction as best we can.” And much much wailing and gnashing of teeth and clutching at pearls and rending of garments.

  2. 2
    The Tragically Flip says:

    I really take it as a mark for the platinum coin idea that most of the opposition to it rests on ad hominems to the people in favour of it. We’re silly! It’s stupid! Rawr!

    I really like the idea of doing it once, and Obama telling Congress, “send me a bill that takes away the platinum coin power, but also repeals the debt ceiling and I’ll sign it.”

    That’s “bargaining” over the debt ceiling I can live with.

  3. 3
    Not Sure says:

    I’d like to see the President issue a real humdinger of an executive order, something perfectly legal, but would cause John Boehner’s head to explode. Then he could say to Le Boner, “if you don’t like it, you can always pass a law against it. Think you can get 2/3 of the House to pass it?”

  4. 4
    dr. bloor says:

    I am wedded to the need for a way to get the debt ceiling off the table as a negotiating tactic

    From what I’ve read, the coin is a viable option for getting this done, and given the composition of Congress I don’t understand the dismissive attitudes either.

    That being said, it may not be necessary–GOS has links up to DFHs like Newt Gingrich and Judd Gregg who are already dismissing the notion of holding the debt ceiling hostage as a nonstarter. Now that they said so, the Villagers will also be comfortable in pointing out that the Emperor is buck nekkid.

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Not Sure: Why 2/3s of the House?

  6. 6
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Because Obama would veto it otherwise.

  7. 7
    RaflW says:

    I don’t usually cross-post, but what I just said in an earlier but very quiet thread seems apropos here. Namely, that the narrowly divided House will continue to be seriously unruly and undiciplined, if you extend out what Steve LaTourette offers in this Molly Ball interview today.

    Here’s a tidbit that is at least his rationale for why the House sucked so bad. I don’t see this changing in 2013:

    You look at the very beginning of the last Congress, H.R. 1, the omnibus, there were hundreds of amendments from the stupid to the sublime. One was offered to defund the president’s teleprompter. Another was to defund the electrical upgrades needed to bring the White House up to code. But Boehner’s deal was, OK, go for it, let people participate. There was an expectation that, given the opportunity to improve the bill, they would then vote for the bill. But beginning with that bill there have been 20 to 50 members who will make adjustments to the bill that guarantee you’re not going to get one Democrat to vote for it, and then they still vote against the bill themselves and deny Boehner the 218 votes he needs to bargain with.

    These are the 20 to 50 assholes who will blow up the full faith and credit of the nation. And Boehner is too conflict-avoidant to deal with it. He may have to more fully abandon the Hastert rule if he doesn’t want to be the Speaker who presided over the collapse of the US economy.

  8. 8
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: because they’ll send the president a bill without a debt ceiling repeal which Obama would then veto.

  9. 9
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Tragically Flip: Okay, fair enough.

    ETA: Any such bill wouldn’t make it through the Senate in any case.

  10. 10
    Culture of Truth says:

    the platinum option looks like a plainly legal and reasonable option.

    Really?

    I agree, minting trillion dollar coins sounds silly.

    Concur. And at risk of being called snide, when its chief defender says it sounds silly, you can be sure most people across America will think, hey, that’s silly.

  11. 11
    Culture of Truth says:

    It’s not an ad hominem attack to question the wisdom of addressing the debt ceiling political crisis by using the Treasury’s authority to mint coins.

    Incidentally, it also legitimizes the outrageous debt ceiling tactic more than demanding Congress pay the nation’s bills.

  12. 12
    Hill Dweller says:

    The Republicans should get hammered for even attempting to use the debt ceiling to extort policies they could never get under the normal legislative process.

    We know for a fact that the last debt ceiling debacle slowed job creation for 4 months, significantly reduced credit flow and earned a downgrade of our credit rating.

    When is the worthless media going to point any of that out?

  13. 13
    Suffern ACE says:

    What if the fed says “we don’t want this coin?”

  14. 14
    The Tragically Flip says:

    The platinum coin is silly but so is having a “debt limit” too. I fail to see why “silly” should be the fatal flaw that prohibits this plan.

  15. 15
    dr. bloor says:

    Concur. And at risk of being called snide, when its chief defender says it sounds silly, you can be sure most people across America will think, hey, that’s silly.

    And your nonsilly solution is…?

  16. 16
    aimai says:

    One of my favorite books, as a child, was the marvellous Moon Blossom and the Golden Penny.

    The basic plot is that a very poor woman and her family are given what appears to be a gold coin by an old woman. The coin is too valuable for anyone in their neighborhood to accept and when they try to buy a little bit of food with it, or a few clothes, all the local shopkeepers applaud their good fortune and give them the things on credit until they can find someone who has enough ready cash to give them the change. As each shopkeeper sees the children pass, holding more and more good clothes, food, etc… more credit is extended to them until a shipbuilder gives them credit for a good boat. At that point the mother is able to hire workers to steer the boat and begins a good business in transporting goods and services across the bay. They hang on to the gold coin planning to hand it back to the old woman because they are certain she gave it to them accidentally in place of a lower value coin. Eventually they pay off all their debts to the various shopkeepers and are able to pay off the big boat too. When they find the old woman it turns out that the coin was no gold coin at all but a special candy wrapped as a coin.

    The point of the story–well, there’s no real point of the story but it basically expresses in children’s book form the logic of money and credit in creating a working economy and jobs for everyone.

    aimai

  17. 17
    Snoopy says:

    Moore’s other major fail is that she assumes a $1T coin would need to contain 1 trillion dollars worth of platinum, and weigh thousands of kilograms. If she’s that misinformed, I can’t trust any of her other ideas.

    There is not enough platinum in the US in a year’s supply to create that. The US produces all of 3,700 kilograms of platinum a year.

  18. 18
    Ash Can says:

    I thought Obama made it perfectly clear the other day that the debt ceiling wasn’t on the table. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already decided exactly how to end-run congress on the issue. I’d be surprised if it were the coin option, that’s all.

  19. 19
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Incidentally, it also legitimizes the outrageous debt ceiling tactic more than demanding Congress pay the nation’s bills.

    This. I don’t like the idea of working around people who refuse to do their job. Serve Congress a plate of Debt Ceiling and make them eat it.

  20. 20
    cmorenc says:

    MOST LIKELY OUTCOME:
    1) The standoff won’t be resolved until right at the deadline.
    2) No “platinum coin” or other purely executive complete runaround of the debt ceiling barrier will be attempted or overtly threatened. There may be some trial balloons floated by non-administration sources with enough ties to folks inside to provoke speculation, but these sources will be held at deniable distance by the administration.
    3) The GOP will end up backing down, but Obama will make some fiscal concessions he was mostly planning to implement anyway. Progressives will fume about whether Obama caved to negotiating with hostages, Teahadists will fume about whether the GOP establishment caved to Obama with only cheap trinkets rather than jewels to show for it.
    4) The next intense battle lines will quickly form over next year’s budget, with (for starters) the GOP House teahadists adamantly insisting that not one dime be appropriated toward implementing Obamacare. The Teahadists will stand on its head the Democrat’s position on the debt ceiling limit (it’s debt owed for money already spent by Congress) and insist “well ok then, we’ll refuse to authorize spending any more money on anything we don’t think government should be doing in the first place”. Whether that’s an argument they can win is another thing, but at least it’s the right place to have that argument; it may not prove to be as friendly a terrain as they think, however.

  21. 21

    the notion of repurposing a simpsons plotline as monetary policy is frightening.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T....._Trillions

  22. 22
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    If they did mint a coin though, it should have Ronald “Deficits don’t matter” Reagan on the obverse. But that’s my mean streak showing.

  23. 23
    RaflW says:

    I’m probably much to optimistic about this, but maybe Obama is planning to play chicken and in fact not be the one to swerve.

    I think the White House came out very much the winner politically in the “cliff” deal. Biden negotiated calmly, the Dems lined up well in both chambers, etc.

    Obama continues to cement his moderate, careful status. Heck, even raging asshole Michael Medved now says its clear that Obama is not a capitalist-hating socia1ist thug.

    So perhaps Obama really will just let Rome burn for a few days in March.

    I know, not at all his character or inclination. And, as someone who’s entire retirement is intimately linked to stock and bond markets, I don’t say this lightly, for I know there are big risks.

    But if, and it’s a major if, the GOP can be welded to the blame for a disastrous economic free-fall, this could be the turning point the nation needs. The GOP, as currently disfunctioning, has to be stopped.

  24. 24
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Culture of Truth: politics has devolved to the point where one side openly declare that their solutions are silly…but they just might work while the other side asks us to hold their beer and watch this.

  25. 25
    Todd says:

    The coin is goofier than shit, as there’s no possibility of negotiation of the thing, and it represents no store of accumulated wealth. My personal take is that it would validate all the wackadoodle arglebargling of the goldbugs for the last 75 years, and cause a general worldwide currency panic.

  26. 26
    The Tragically Flip says:

    Seriously, can anyone explain any plausible utility of a ‘debt ceiling’ law? The Republicans using it as a bargaining chip seems to to be the only possible use of the thing and that only works when you have 218 psychopaths prepared to watch the economy burn if they don’t get their way. I doubt that’s what the “framers” of the debt ceiling had in mind. But what did they have in mind?

    Is there a legitimate scenario in which Congress would be right not to raise the debt ceiling?

  27. 27
    Napoleon says:

    Of course it isn’t a silly move nor will it damage the economy.

    As to “silly” I suppose that one is a bit in the eye of the beholder, but anyone who would not use it where the alternative is default and the crushing of the US’ credit worthiness is the type of purist I have nothing but scorn for.

    As to those who think it will cause economic problems are cut from the same intellectual cloth as the Paulist when it comes to economics (ie, they are fucking morons).

  28. 28
    Groucho48 says:

    The coin IS silly, but, not nearly as silly as Republicans telling the public that doing away with the debt ceiling would be giving the President a blank check to spend as much money as he wants on anything he wants.

    A serious response to silly nonsense like that is much better than legitimizing it by trying to come up with “serious” solutions that the MSM will approve of.

    In fact, as a general rule, we should respond to Republican insanity with as silly a valid response as possible.

  29. 29
    Walker says:

    @Snoopy:

    Wow. That is just beyond ignorant. If the option was to gather $1 Trillion worth platinum, you would not bother to make the damn coin.

  30. 30
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Todd:

    The coin is goofier than shit, as there’s no possibility of negotiation of the thing, and it represents no store of accumulated wealth. My personal take is that it would validate all the wackadoodle arglebargling of the goldbugs for the last 75 years, and cause a general worldwide currency panic.

    It sounds like you’ve bought into some of that arglebargle yourself. The coin doesn’t need to represent “accumulated wealth” – it’s worth whatever the Treasury says it is. That’s the point of a fiat currency. Why have fiat currency if you’re not going to take advantage of its features when you need them?

  31. 31
    Punchy says:

    2.3 mins after O does this, the House votes to impeach. Because shut up, thats why.

  32. 32
    RaflW says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    When is the worthless media going to point any of that out?

    If you ask Jay Rosen, Jason Linkins, or Steve Bennen (whos been on this for a while now), the Village/MSM just will not.

  33. 33

    I like the idea of the coin but do you actually believe that Obama will not negotiate? He always negotiates. Like it or not he does have a record we can look back on.

  34. 34
    Brachiator says:

    I was surprised at how vehemently some people insisted that the platinum coin solution was “silly” in yesterday’s thread about the subject

    It is as stupid an idea as the fantasy that returning to the gold standard will solve America’s economic problems.

    ETA: I see that a couple of other posters have pointed this out as well.

  35. 35
    Napoleon says:

    @Todd:

    and it represents no store of accumulated wealth.

    No currency represents an accumulation of wealth. It is all intrinsically worthless and the only worth is the fact someone will take it in trade. This applies to gold also which has nearly no intrinsic value, outside of people think it has value.

    . . . and cause a general worldwide currency panic

    Only someone who has zero understanding of economics would say that.

  36. 36
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Walker: well my $50 gold liberty is worth more than that. We’d be stripping out catalytic converters to make this platinum thing…:)

  37. 37
    BGinCHI says:

    When you take compromise away in a closely divided legislative body, you are left with nothing. So, inevitably, the power of the Presidency is going to continue to expand so government can continue to function.

    This is right under current circumstances, but not when there is a Republican President and a Democratic majority in Congress.

    What you get there is a willingness to compromise by Democrats (for better or worse: see War, Iraq) for the sake of governing.

    The GOP is not interested in governing; they are interesting in rigging the government so that the greatest possible benefit accrues to the greatest number of wealthy people and the fewest number of other people.

  38. 38
    RSA says:

    I was surprised at how vehemently some people insisted that the platinum coin solution was “silly”…

    If the National Treasure movie franchise didn’t already have #3 in the works, this would make for an ideal plot: the trillion dollar coin caper.

  39. 39
    scav says:

    Mmmm. Third graders.

    knock! knock!
    Who’s there?
    Don’t knock.
    Don’t knock who?
    Don’t knock Congress who prove Cons work by not paying what they promise.

    Q: What do you call someone who authorizes spending and then won’t authorize paying for it?
    A: Representative.

    Elephant Jokes will be a natural too!

  40. 40
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @RSA:

    If the National Treasure movie franchise didn’t already have #3 in the works,

    God, that is depressing news.

  41. 41
    bootsy says:

    @Snoopy: @Walker:

    Hey, there’s $100 worth of paper in every $100 bill…

    Isn’t there? Oh noes!

  42. 42
    Napoleon says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    The coin doesn’t need to represent “accumulated wealth”

    Better yet the NEVER represent accumulated wealth. Gold coins (and gold is nothing more then shiney dirt that the few electronic uses for which it had value have shrunk in the last few years) is only worth something due to the bigger idiot theory – ie, its only “valuable” because people think it is valuable, but it nearly totally lacks value in any objective sense like oil, wheat and spices have value.

  43. 43
    Todd says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    Fiat currency has a market exchange rate of such subjective value as is assigned by the recipients. Any purveyor of goods or services is happy to accept dollars so long as it is believed that the dollar is reliable. Continued creation of exchangable dollars helps foster that subjective impression of value

    When you create an issue that cannot possibly become part of that medium of exchange, and which has never been in the stream of commerce,you absolutely wreck the subjective value of the thing.

    Economic theorists and investment analysts ignore herd mentality and psychology to their peril.

  44. 44
    Anoniminous says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Coins issued by the US Mint are legal tender for all debts public and private. They can’t refuse it.

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @aimai:
    That story sounds a lot like Mark Twain’s “The £1,000,000 Bank-Note“.

  46. 46
    Todd says:

    @Napoleon:

    Only someone who has zero understanding of economics would say that.

    Thus spake the firebagger who thinks a goofy fucking idea is smart.

  47. 47
    CaseyL says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    Is there a legitimate scenario in which Congress would be right not to raise the debt ceiling?

    If we were the Weimar Republic, and we were printing so much money it was essentially worthless, yeah.

    My concern with the $1T coin idea is that it’s not a whole lot different from print-mountains-of-money. The coin won’t actually be “worth” a trillion dollars, except by magical say-so. How is that different from “adjusting” the Treasury balance by waving one’s hand?

    If the $1T coin is such a great idea, why wouldn’t every country do it?

    Tell me why a $1T coin is any different from printing a mountain of free money.

  48. 48
    Ken says:

    @Suffern ACE: What if the fed says “we don’t want this coin?”

    I’m not sure they’re allowed to refuse it, as specie minted by the government. I suppose to make sure, they could stamp it with “This coin is legal tender for all debts, public and private”, like on the currency.

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Ronald “Deficits don’t matter” Reagan

    In fairness, it was Dick Cheney who said “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” But I think putting Cheney’s face on a coin might impair its negotiable status.

  49. 49
    ploeg says:

    @Culture of Truth: Would minting 10,000,000,000 $100 platinum coins be a silly solution? It would be much less expensive and more suitable to the task at hand to mint a $1 trillion coin than to mess with all those coins, which to my eyes would make the $1 trillion coin a less silly solution than piles of $100 coins, but we can go either way.

  50. 50
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Brachiator:

    It is as stupid an idea as the fantasy that returning to the gold standard will solve America’s economic problems.

    I can articulate why the gold stardard is stupid (as Napoleon does just above) and know enough of its history to know why it didn’t help when it was in effect.

    No one is articulating why the platinum coin is stupid at all, never mind as stupid as the gold standard (a really stupid idea that failed long ago).

    I hear talk of market panic – why? Why would there be panic? What would they do in their panic? Buy gold? Sell dollars? Why would these things be bad?

  51. 51
    BGinCHI says:

    @Todd: The platinum coin in question would never be currency though, would it?

    Isn’t it just a way to make a transfer?

    If there is no circulation there is no currency. If you’re worried ordinary people will suddenly understand that their money isn’t intrinsically valuable but is instead a representation, you don’t have anything to worry about.

  52. 52
    dr. bloor says:

    @Todd:

    When you create an issue that cannot possibly become part of that medium of exchange, and which has never been in the stream of commerce,you absolutely wreck the subjective value of the thing.
    Economic theorists and investment analysts ignore herd mentality and psychology to their peril.

    A trillion dollars, although obviously a rather large sum of money, is not enough to tank the value of the US Dollar.

    I think the psychological impact will be more along the lines of the impact seen when the US credit rating was downgraded last year: Zero. Everyone knew that the rating was a hypothetical that was going to have little practical impact on how the world at large viewed US currency and credit.

  53. 53
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Anoniminous: but they aren’t paying a debt. They’re depositing it at the fed. Does the fed have to accept all the deposits from the government? I’m just asking. It would be unusual, but if we did go this route as a country, would the fed be a veto point?

  54. 54
    ploeg says:

    @CaseyL: Great minds, man.

  55. 55
    lamh35 says:

    Slightly OT, but Booman and a great post up that I’m sure we all can agree with, just the title alone is true!

    Boehner Needs to Sober Up or Go Home
    by BooMan

    …For years people have been speculating that Boehner weeps so often in public because he is drunk so often in public.

    Personally, I wouldn’t care about Boehner’s drinking if her were just a congressman. But he’s third in line to the presidency and he’s blotto half the time. He can’t answer phone calls from mayors and governors or even the president if those phone calls come late at night.
    It’s ridiculous.

  56. 56
    Suzanne says:

    If they were really going to do this, why not make it worth, say,five trillion dollars, and wipe out all personal debts, too?

  57. 57
    Yutsano says:

    @Ken: I believe there is also a rule that in order to be placed on US currency one must be fully dead. Undead cyborgs do not count.

    @CaseyL: Theoretically there is nothing that keeps any country from doing this. The issue then becomes the rampant runaway inflation that would occur should that money hit the economy all at once. I don’t think that is what is meant to happen with the platinum coin, however.

  58. 58
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    The Treasury has used special high denomination banknotes in the past. I believe they were used to efficiently move ‘money’ from one place to another. I do not have a reference for this but I’m pretty sure there were $50K notes printed at one time in small quantities that were for internal use only.

  59. 59
    Todd Dugdale says:

    The House has completely abdicated responsibility for the so-called “purse-strings”. Saying that you are not going to pay for things that you have already agreed to pay for is not “fiscal responsibility”.

    It’s not “responsible” behaviour on any level. As we have learned from the Medicare “cuts”, the war in Iraq, and the extension of the Bush tax cuts, the Republicans’ goal is to make Obama craft a club that they will then beat him with.

    When the war in Iraq went sour, Republicans loudly pointed to Democrats’ initial support of it – even though the GOP had devoted years to the narrative that all Democrats were treasonous for not supporting the war enthusiastically enough.

    Same with the $700 billion in Medicare “cuts” (eliminating the private-sector Medicare Advantage), which had bipartisan support and the support of “deficit hawks”. Suddenly, this became the Democrats’ idea, and something so vile that no Republican would ever propose it.

    With a partner like the Republicans, any compromise becomes a weapon that is used against you. Republicans take no responsibility for their end of a compromise. Therefore, the platinum coin option becomes necessary, however “silly”.

  60. 60
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @CaseyL:

    f we were the Weimar Republic, and we were printing so much money it was essentially worthless, yeah.

    No, well normally the Federal Reserve creates money. The Treasury prints the paper currency, but the debt ceiling has nothing to do with either, and couldn’t be used to say, prevent QE4 or some other Fed contrivance to pump up the money supply.

    My concern with the $1T coin idea is that it’s not a whole lot different from print-mountains-of-money. The coin won’t actually be “worth” a trillion dollars, except by magical say-so.

    Neither is the $20 in your wallet “worth” $20 except by magical say so. At risk of being snarky, this is how fiat currency works. A trillion is a lot bigger than $20 but the principle is identical.

    If the $1T coin is such a great idea, why wouldn’t every country do it?

    Because basically no one else is dumb enough to have a “debt ceiling” that has to be “raised” in order for their executive branches to spend the money their legislatures have already voted to authorize. This isn’t about minting 16 trillion dollar coins to pay off the national debt, this is just a contrivance to avoid a crisis caused by a stupid and unnecessary law being abused.

  61. 61
    hells littlest angel says:

    The platinum coin, the 14th Amendment, the “fuck y’all motherfuckers” clause — whatever sticks a thumb in the eye of the Republican congress, I say, do it, Bamz, and do it good.

  62. 62
    Violet says:

    I’d be happy if we could just get a functioning $1 coin into circulation and have it be widely adopted and used.

  63. 63
    Todd says:

    @dr. bloor:

    I think the psychological impact will be more along the lines of the impact seen when the US credit rating was downgraded last year: Zero. Everyone knew that the rating was a hypothetical that was going to have little practical impact on how the world at large viewed US currency and credit.

    Ah, but the credit downgrade was uttered by the same frauds that were calling collateralized crap AAA only a few years before, on an economy which always honors its bond obligations and is hugely productive. This one is different, and affects the basic worldwide reserve currency.

  64. 64
    CaseyL says:

    @Yutsano:

    I don’t think that is what is meant to happen with the platinum coin, however.

    Unintended consequences are a bitch, and this idea has “Hoocoodanode?” written all over it.

  65. 65
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    $100 platinum coins would be a bad idea. Platinum is $1500+/ounce. A cent is 2.5G of zinc and copper. A nickel is 5G. One ounce is roughly 5 nickels, so minting a nickle from platinum would cost $300 or so.

    Unless a $100 platinum coin weighed less than 2G or so the material value would exceed face.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Cassidy says:

    Well, no matter what happens, somehow this is all Obama’s fault, he threw the real liberals under a bus, and the nig(clang) is a horrible negotiator who doesn’t belong where a real white liberal belongs.

  68. 68
    JS says:

    The magic coin option is no sillier than the debt limit concept being manufactured by the body of Congress responsible for appropriating (or not) spending bills. You want $2.7 trillion in cuts Boehner? Write a bill and identify them. Please proceed, Mr. Speaker.

    I would have the whoever is in charge of Treasury (after Geithner steps down, and McConnell refuses to allow a vote on his replacement) mint the coins. I’d put Boehner’s face on them, myself. His place in history. As the debt limit deadline approaches, maybe a week before, I’d call the four leaders to the Oval Office just to show them they exist.

    If Harry’s got his back, the President can definitely afford to have the argument. Obama’s the guy who said suspending the gasoline tax was stupid back in May, 2008.

    Seigniorage is the difference between the value of money and the cost to produce it. (If anyone was suggesting you have to gather a trillion dollars worth of platinum to make the coin.. you don’t).

  69. 69
    Walker says:

    @CaseyL:

    The point is that the coins do not go into circulation. Which makes it no different than issuing bonds that earn 0% interest. Which makes it no more inflationary than current Fed policy.

  70. 70
    Todd says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    The Treasury has used special high denomination banknotes in the past. I believe they were used to efficiently move ‘money’ from one place to another. I do not have a reference for this but I’m pretty sure there were $50K notes printed at one time in small quantities that were for internal use only.

    There are still some 10000 bills in circulation, and to my knowledge, 4 100000 bills in the hands of collectors.

  71. 71
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @ploeg:

    Thanks.

    The largest denomination of currency ever printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) was the $100,000 Series 1934 Gold Certificate featuring the portrait of President Wilson. These notes were printed from December 18, 1934 through January 9, 1935 and were issued by the Treasurer of the United States to Federal Reserve Banks only against an equal amount of gold bullion held by the Treasury Department. The notes were used only for official transactions between Federal Reserve Banks and were not circulated among the general public.

  72. 72
    Ken says:

    @Todd: But the coin could enter the exchange stream, provided there was someone who had a trillion dollars of something to exchange for it. China, for example; if they tried to redeem all their Treasuries at once, we could send them the coin. It would work out fine, provided we also agreed to accept the coin back for a trillion dollars worth of other goods.

    It’s not that different from what we would do now if China came calling. We’d say “OK”, the Treasury would change some bits in their computers so they had a trillion less in currency[*], and the Chinese banks would change some bits in their computers to show they had a trillion more. As a result, China could buy a trillion dollars worth of goods from the US, just as if they had the coin – but all they really have are some computer bits, and the US government’s promise to accept those bits in payment for goods.

    [*] They’d also change some bits to show they had a trillion more in Treasury bills – actually, somewhat more since this assumes China is redeeming the bills before they mature; so the Treasury would profit on the deal.

  73. 73
    ploeg says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Not sure what the law specifies for platinum content in a “platinum coin”, but I don’t know that it would necessarily need to be pure. A nickel is only 25% nickel, for example. But just from the perspective of scale, it’s cheaper to do a one-coin run than 10 billion coins.

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @Violet: BRING BACK SACAJAWEA!! Seriously, that was like one of the coolest coins ever. But vending machine manufacturers refused to upgrade their metal sensors (though Coinstar did almost immediately) so the dollar coin died quickly. It would save something like $20 billion if we did that switch.

  75. 75
    Anoniminous says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace:

    If the US Mint issues a $1 Trillion coin – stamped on platinum or balsa wood – it’s, by definition, legal tender. No different, really, from the US government stamping and then depositing a Suzie B dollar coin.

    That’s what the various US Mint Acts were all about.

  76. 76
    scav says:

    @Violet: Coins were functioning just fine, we may just be dealing with a large number of people with trouble distinguishing and handling more than four flat metallic objects.

  77. 77
    Todd says:

    @JS:

    I would have the whoever is in charge of Treasury (after Geithner steps down, and McConnell refuses to allow a vote on his replacement) mint the coins. I’d put Boehner’s face on them, myself. His place in history. As the debt limit deadline approaches, maybe a week before, I’d call the four leaders to the Oval Office just to show them they exist.

    That’s just plain funny.

  78. 78
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Ken: if china came calling, we’d tell them to sell their bonds on the open market and once they’d raised a trillion dollars, come to talk about the coin.

    Eta: I think the Chinese would be better off using their trillion to buy the scream and some old masters, but I guess they could have the coin if they really wanted it.

  79. 79
    Paul says:

    The entire National Debt (now at nearly $10T) is nothing more than an accounting abstraction, so what difference could the coin make except with people’s perceptions?

    It would add no spending to the economy, but would result in less interest income so the net amount of new money spent into the economy would decline.

    Further, folks like Apple might have to find alternative storage for their cash hoard…nothing is as safe as govt. bonds.

    The National Debt is more correctly called National Savings since it equals to the penny the total number of net dollars in existence in the world.

  80. 80
    JS says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    The Treasury has used special high denomination banknotes in the past. I believe they were used to efficiently move ‘money’ from one place to another.

    Woodrow Wilson appeared on the $100,000 bill – none of which ever left the hands of the Federal Reserve System. I believe the $1,000 bill is the highest denomination ever circulated in public.

  81. 81
    Anoniminous says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Here you go.

    There was a $10,000 note (the Chase) and the $100,000 note (the Wilson) but, alas, never a $50,000 note.

  82. 82
    Violet says:

    @Yutsano: Yep. I love that coin. It’s just stupid that we don’t have $1 coins. They could even make various ones for each state, like they did with the quarter.

  83. 83
    Todd says:

    @Pauli:

    The entire National Debt (now at nearly $10T) is nothing more than an accounting abstraction, so what difference could the coin make except with people’s perceptions?

    The perception is the dangerous factor here, creating the ultimate “hoocoodanode” moment.

  84. 84
    Ken says:

    @Yutsano: Back when the vending machines only took coins, the manufacturers were pretty much the only lobby pressing for a dollar coin. Now that the machines all take bills, that support has dropped. Or so I heard.

  85. 85
    Alex S. says:

    I hope they mint the coin in the form of a triangle with a hole in the middle to symbolize an all-seeing eye.

  86. 86
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    We have boring money. I recently purchased quantities of Mexican and Canadian currency for upcoming trips. It’s so sophisticated compared to ours. The Mexican 20 and 50 Peso notes are nearly indestructible plastic. Holograms, little windows, specific sizes for the denominations, distinctive colors and more.
    Compared to our northern and southern neighbors our currency looks like Monopoly money run off on a Mimeograph machine by 5th graders.

  87. 87
    Culture of Truth says:

    And your nonsilly solution is…?

    Make unilateral cuts on his own until the GOP realizes they have handed Obama a huge amount of power.

  88. 88
    CaseyL says:

    @Walker: Yes. This time. And maybe it would work as intended.

    The coin is not intended for public circulation. It is not intended as a fiat against which to issue more currency. That’s good.

    My issue is the unintended consequences part. Something which is done once, and works (for whatever value of “works”) is rarely never tried again.

    You could argue that worrying about unintended consequences is a fool’s errand, and would mean nothing new was ever tried. That would be a fair argument. But financial manipulation is hardly new; and the record suggests that newfangled financial manipulation tricks always have a sting attached.

    How, then, do we issue the magic coin while ensuring that no one else can ever do so?

    ETA: And to Paul’s point: If we’re going to create a $1T coin to solve the debt ceiling mess, why not create 10 of them and declare the national debt no longer exists?

  89. 89
    jwb says:

    @Ash Can: I agree with this, though I think if the situation dragged on to threaten actual default Obama would take some drastic action before allowing that to happen.

  90. 90
    scav says:

    @Violet: They’re doing it with Presidents right now. Chap thrill for all the kids I was with at the Museum of Science and Industry and the eldest boy wanted the sakajawea above all others. Had to keep stuffing the machine as there were far too many Harrisons appearing.

  91. 91
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @JS:

    I believe the $1,000 bill is the highest denomination ever circulated in public.

    The $1K is extinct now. They were taken out of circulation (’70s or ’80s?) to make it more difficult for drug dealers to move money.

  92. 92
    Anonymous At Work says:

    At least 4 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices have publicly declared that the literal, plain-meaning wording of laws should control. And the literal, plain-meaning wording of the platinum currency law supports the $1 trillion coin.

  93. 93
    Culture of Truth says:

    That is, make decisions on his own on how to spend the limited pile of money, as he must.

  94. 94
    Anoniminous says:

    @Violet:

    They are a pain in the butt. Vending machines don’t accept them, they are more expensive to manufacture than the dollar bill, and there’s never been enough in circulation to overcome consumer and vendor preference for the dollar bill.

  95. 95
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @The Tragically Flip: I oppose the coin for this reason: A coin, any coin, is only as valuable as what someone accepts it for. They could print a $1T coin, but if the largest it gets accepted at is $1995.99, then that’s all its worth.

    I think a much better solution is to say “Congress said spend this much money. I am required by the Constitution to follow this rule. There is nothing in the Constitution about the debt ceiling.”

  96. 96
    Todd says:

    @Alex S.:

    I hope they mint the coin in the form of a triangle with a hole in the middle to symbolize an all-seeing eye.

    You want to give the goobers heart attacks?

  97. 97
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Culture of Truth: they did that during the last deal, which is how we got sequesterization.

  98. 98
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    For some time at the end of the era of the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin, the only businesses requesting them from banks were ‘adult’ shops. They had peep shows designed to take dollar coins.
    That had to be pretty depressing for Susan B. Anthony’s fans.

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    @CaseyL:

    My concern with the $1T coin idea is that it’s not a whole lot different from print-mountains-of-money. The coin won’t actually be “worth” a trillion dollars, except by magical say-so. How is that different from “adjusting” the Treasury balance by waving one’s hand?

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the Federal Reserve has been doing its very best to increase the money supply like crazy since 2008, and it hasn’t caused any problems. We actually want inflation to be higher than it is now, so all the expected negative consequences of printing money are so much smoke. As far as the platinum coin business, it’s exactly like printing money, except that increasing the amount of dollar bills in circulation requires Congressional approval while minting platinum coins does not.

    And, most importantly, it’s not something that’s being suggested as a regular approach to our economy. It’s an emergency expedient intended to avoid financial calamity. Everyone who’s advocating the platinum coin approach will tell you they’d be much happier for Congress to do its job and raise the debt ceiling so we can pay our bills. The platinum coin is the best of a bad set of alternatives created by Congressional misbehavior.

  100. 100
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Anoniminous:

    I think it’s the dollar bill that’s an asspain. They’re cheaper to make than a coin but only last 18 months. It takes a fist full to buy a cup of coffee.
    But try taking away the dollar bill and a thousand nutball conspiracy theories will bloom. We’re stuck with it, and will therefore never have a valid coin alternative.

  101. 101
    Culture of Truth says:

    Would minting 10,000,000,000 $100 platinum coins be a silly solution?

    For the President to order Treasury to do this on his own to address the debt ceiling? Yeah, a bit.

  102. 102
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Roger Moore: yep. There used to be mechanisms to get that money circulating down to people who could spend it and drive up prices. Now it just ends up in tbills and securities, paintings and such.

  103. 103
    hells littlest angel says:

    @JS:

    I’d put Boehner’s face on them, myself.

    Only copper could do Boehner’s face justice.

  104. 104
    Anoniminous says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    US law states legal tender must be accepted at the face value inscribed thereon.

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Not going to defend the George. I agree the coin would be better. Practically, tho’, been tried many times and failed.

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @CaseyL:

    And to Paul’s point: If we’re going to create a $1T coin to solve the debt ceiling mess, why not create 10 of them and declare the national debt no longer exists?

    Because that would actually wreck the economy.

  106. 106
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace: One doesn’t necessarily follow the other. You could get sequester with a trillion dollar coin too.

    In any case, while sequester was undeniably weird, it was Congress and the President doing what they should do, make decisions about spending and taxes.

  107. 107
    j says:

    For any lawyers out there: couldn’t Holder start drawing up treason charges for anyone who willing allows the nation to default? The constitution is specific about not screwing with the money in this regard. Maybe the threat of facing a firing squad will snap some sense into these teabaggers’ empty (though ideologically pure) heads.

  108. 108
    Lynn Dee says:

    The notion of a trillion dollar coin is silly. But I still like it, for three reasons: (1) the debt ceiling itself is silly; (2) holding the debt ceiling hostage is silly (if also dangerous); and (3) the executive being able to mint a trillion dollar coin represents something that is definitely not silly and that we shouldn’t lose sight of — i.e., that the President/executive branch has the authority under the Constitution to pay our debts. Period.

  109. 109
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’d like to see the folks at pimco really scramble to figure out what to do. That poor guy who gets paid to manage my treasury medium term fund. What would he be good for?

  110. 110
    Roger Moore says:

    @Violet:

    They could even make various ones for each state, like they did with the quarter.

    They’re still minting dollar coins, but they’re doing a series of all the dead Presidents. It’s the only real chance for minor Presidents like Franklin Pierce, Chester Alan Arthur, and Calvin Coolidge to wind up on currency.

  111. 111
    Violet says:

    @Anoniminous: False economy, since coins last much longer than bills, even if the bills are cheaper to manufacture.

    The way to get $1 coins into circulation is to gradually make fewer $1 bills and more $1 coins. Plus incentives for merchants to switch and contests like “pick the design for your state on the coin” one they did for the quarter to get the public involved.

    Lots of “The government making $1 coins saves the government money” PR stuff too to get people behind it.

    I know it’s been tried and failed. Needs carrots and sticks to make it work.

  112. 112
    Joel says:

    The silliness is a political loser. It opens Obama up to mockery. That shouldn’t matter to us, but it will matter to the Democrats, who need to win elections.

  113. 113
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Violet:
    We used to have one-ringgit coins here in Malaysia, during the last decade. The central screwed up on the design, though; it was too easy to fool vending machines with metal blanks. They were withdrawn from circulation in the middle of the decade.

    The new series of notes, in denominations of one ringgit to 100 ringgit, are the polymer type with a transparent window and other security features that were impossible with paper notes. They are also less susceptible to wear and tear than paper notes, which would save on the costs of printing replacement notes.

  114. 114
    Steeplejack says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    And, as I’ve already said, it should be called the “Ronnie,” à la the Canadian “loonie.”

  115. 115
    Joel says:

    @Violet: Why not plastic bills? This is what they do in Australia, among other places.

    I hate coins, find them terribly inconvenient. I hate having them fall out of my pocket. I hate their weight.

    Also, we need to abolish pennies (completely worthless) and nickels (mostly worthless). Before people complain about the rounding effect, we’re already there. Since when did things get priced to the penny anymore, except as a means of attempting to trick people into thinking an item is worth less than a dollar?

  116. 116
    Roger Moore says:

    @Anoniminous:

    they are more expensive to manufacture than the dollar bill,

    Sure, but their expected lifespan is measured in decades rather than months, so they have the long-term cost advantage.

  117. 117
    Pauli says:

    The Fed creates no “net money”, only credit headroom, and even that doesn’t hit the economy unless someone borrows and spends. The Fed essentially is “pushing on a string”.

    Household credit expansion has been nil for at least the past four years so no matter how big the Fed’s balance sheet gets it means nothing to the economy. The Fed can’t force people to borrow and it can’t buy anything.

    Household debt is merely borrowing from future income and future income is dependent on deficit spending.

    The only actual “net money” that exists in the economy is the total of all government deficits over history less bonds held by foreign investors.

    That leaves about $7T, and most of that is savings which does nothing for the economy.

  118. 118
    Culture of Truth says:

    Here’s the way I look at it. Congress is saying, “here’s a fake crisis!” The $1T is Obama saying “Fine. Here’s my fake solution.”

    Cute, but there’s a risk that the GOP and Media would in concert say (A) “So you admit there is a crisis!” and (B) “The trillion dollar coin is cheap stunt to avoid the law!”

    Better to respond, “it’s a fake crisis. Do your jobs and pay America’s bills or I will.”

  119. 119
    Roger Moore says:

    @Violet:
    The other thing they’ve been doing is to have the government itself issue and accept the dollar coins. If you buy stamps from the machine at the Post Office, and change over $1 is in the form of dollar coins. The same thing with many other government vending machines, like ones that sell transit tickets.

  120. 120
    R. Johnston says:

    @Anonymous At Work: At most zero members of the Supreme Court genuinely hold to a literal-letter-of-the-law method of interpretation as a matter of universal principle. The fact is that the trillion dollar coin would draw a legal challenge from the Republicans in court, it’s a challenge they’d be pretty likely to win, and the Republicans are crazy enough to take that winning option. The $1T coin is so clearly invalid on any good faith interpretation of the law in the contexts of either intent, purpose, or the body of law beyond the platinum coin exception that it would be quite surprising to see a court allow it, and the Republicans would refuse to back down as the case worked its way through the courts. The $1T coin would seriously embolden the crazy in the Republican party.

    Besides, if you’re going to work around the debt ceiling by interpreting the law according to its literal letter but contrary to legislative intent it makes vastly more sense to simply hold that any appropriation coming later in time than the debt ceiling legislation conflicts with the debt ceiling and being later in time takes priority over the debt ceiling and invalidates it. In that case you actually have a sound legal and governing principle–laws passed later in time take priority over earlier passed laws–backing you up, whereas the $1T coin has no sound general principle beyond “the debt ceiling is idiotic and dangerous” backing it up.

  121. 121
    Pauli says:

    There’s only about $1T of physical currency in existence and about $850B of it is coins.

    Money is not a “thing” or an object, it is a credit on a balance sheet somewhere. Currency is a physical representation of an accounting entry on a balance sheet.

    A $1T coin would be the same thing, only it wouldn’t circulate, it would sit at the Fed.

    Further, we need bonds as a storage for savings of large amounts of cash.

    It would take 260,000 separate savings accounts insure for $500,000 each to hold Apple’s $130B cas hoard.

    The debt ceiling must be eliminated…balancing the budget means the persistent money supply (not credit) cannot be increased to account for growth and savings.

  122. 122
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Ken:

    China, for example; if they tried to redeem all their Treasuries at once, we could send them the coin. It would work out fine, provided we also agreed to accept the coin back for a trillion dollars worth of other goods.

    China can’t do that. The treasuries they bought have dates on them as to when they are redeemed, generally 10 years from when they were purchased. China can’t demand all their money any more than your bank can suddenly decide you should pay your entire mortgage back. You have a contract that stipulates how much you pay every month, and they have to stick to that as long as you do.

  123. 123
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @R. Johnston:

    The legal logic is compelling, but the “5 wingnuts on SCOTUS will vote down whatever Obama does” theory also holds there. SCOTUS can invalidate the 14th Amendment approach, the platinum coin, and the “appropriations bills are implied to raise the pre-existing debt ceiling” theory.

    Basically whatever way Obama picks to circumvent the debt ceiling runs that risk. I say it’s a risk he has to be prepared to take if he’s not prepared to face a US default, or cave to GOP demands for spending cuts.

  124. 124
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Nope. Obama has never done anything as president that is that close to the line. No, despite all the protestations that he won’t bargain, in the end there will be a last minute shit sandwich thrown together by the senate and the White House, the same as always happens in these hostage situations.

  125. 125
    dr. bloor says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Make unilateral cuts on his own until the GOP realizes they have handed Obama a huge amount of power.

    I don’t think “we’ll shoot the hostages before you do” is as obvious a winning strategy as you do, and is likely to run into as much friction from several Congressional Democrats as it is from Republicans.

  126. 126
    👽 Martin says:

    They’re not going to do the coin thing. While it might be technically legal, it’s clearly not what was intended in the Constitution.

    But by the same token (pun!), refusing to raise the debt limit in order to satisfy the budget that Congress has passed creates a dilemma that Congress itself have created, which the executive must resolve. This is an honest to god Constitutional crisis. If he doesn’t borrow, he can’t spend as Congress demands he spend.

    The debt limit is clearly intended to prevent the executive from borrowing money *above* the budgetary authority that Congress has already granted. So, I think it we were to throw this to SCOTUS they’d likely rule that Congress already authorized Obama to borrow whatever was needed to satisfy the budget that Congress already approved, but no more. It’s not like the same douchenozzles that are holding up the debt limit didn’t vote for the budget in the first place.

    So, I think Obama should simply say ‘fuck y’all’, you gave me a budget, I’m going to satisfy it how I like, and if you have a problem with it, go bitch at John Roberts. He can borrow or cut spending – since he can resolve the problem from either side, and Congress has granted him that flexibility by not raising the debt limit. If they do raise the debt limit, then he loses his flexibility to cut spending. Congress’ failure to act grants authority to Obama. That’s his trump card.

  127. 127
    Cassidy says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Shorter: It’s always Obama’s fault, never the crazy people that are actually manufacturing causing the problem.

  128. 128
    JS says:

    @hells littlest angel:

    @JS:

    I’d put Boehner’s face on them, myself.

    Only copper could do Boehner’s face justice.

    Ha Ha!

    Touchè. ;)

  129. 129
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Cassidy: Oh, fault’s got nothin’ to do with it. mistermix said the administration would actually mint the coin in the end. Nothing in the history of the last administration supports that conclusion, and everything supports the idea that there will be negotiation with terrorists, just as there always is. That’s just an empirical or “positive” observation, not a normative judgment.

    Now, from that we could go to a second order discussion of whether negotiating with terrorists encourages acts of terrorism. But I wasn’t engaged in that discussion.

  130. 130
    paulj says:

    “Nothing in the history of the last administration supports that conclusion, and everything supports the idea that there will be negotiation with terrorists, just as there always is.” – Bobby Thomson

    Quoted for truth.

  131. 131
    Ian A says:

    @Snoopy: Well, all my $20 bills contain twenty smackers worth of paper, don’t they?

  132. 132
    Arclite says:

    I was surprised at how vehemently some people insisted that the platinum coin solution was “silly” in yesterday’s thread about the subject.

    Well, it IS silly. That doesn’t mean it won’t work and shouldn’t be used. Extraordinary intransigence requires extraordinary measures.

  133. 133
    Todd Dugdale says:

    @CaseyL: The coin is debt. You can’t wipe out the national debt with the coin simply because you can’t wipe out debt with debt.

    The purpose of the coin is not to pay off any kind of debt. Its purpose is allow for more debt, which hopefully will allow the economy to create real wealth and pay that debt.

    The U.S. can do this because the dollar is the reserve currency for most of the world. Other countries have to buy dollars if they want to buy oil – a clever arrangement with OPEC – which artificially creates ‘value’ and demand. This basically how Reagan ‘defeated’ the Soviet Union. The Soviets needed real, actual wealth to back up the ruble, but we could essentially print worthless currency because everyone needed it to buy petroleum.

    There is a very eerie correlation between countries dropping the dollar as the reserve currency, and those countries’ governments being overthrown, their economies being controlled by the IMF, and extreme poverty being imposed. Yeah, it’s a racket, but it’s our racket.

  134. 134
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Amir Khalid: The UK has £2 coins, worth a bit over $3 US at the moment and unremarkable in use. There are also £5 coins (crowns) as legal tender but they’re limited-edition, usually issued as commemorative items and destined for collectors. They can still be used to pay for stuff, it’s just that most places wouldn’t accept them as the counter staff wouldn’t recognise them, a bit like US $2 bills in some places.

    The largest-value coin I know of in regular use is the Japanese 500-yen coin, worth about $5.50 at the moment.

  135. 135
    chopper says:

    of course it’s fucking silly. minting a special trillion-dollar coin and bringing it to the fed to cash and write checks off of? absolutely wacky.

    now, legal and silly are not mutually exclusive. neither are possible and silly.

    but come on, why stop at a trillion? why not make it 15 trillion and erase the entire national debt?

  136. 136
    chopper says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    so minting and cashing 10 trillion dollar coins would wreck everything, but minting one will have no negative effect.

    then how about 5 of em? still wreck everything?

  137. 137
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @chopper:

    but come on, why stop at a trillion? why not make it 15 trillion and erase the entire national debt?

    This objection has been dealt with a number of times. Using a coin to fund current obligations is not the same as using a coin to pay off existing federal debt. There’s no slippery slope these are entirely different economic operations, doing one does not suggest doing the other.

  138. 138
    Todd Dugdale says:

    @chopper: “but come on, why stop at a trillion? why not make it 15 trillion and erase the entire national debt?”

    Because the coin is not really worth a trillion dollars. The coin is debt. The purpose of the coin is not to pay off any debt. The purpose is to allow the President to add to the debt.

    The Constitution allows the President to mint coins (or at least is silent on the question of platinum coins), which are debt, since our currency is a fiat currency. That is the point of the entire exercise: to be able to add to the nation’s debt in order to pay for spending that Congress has already approved.

    The end result is that the use of the coin would go the SCOTUS, which is equivalent to Obama declaring the debt limit unconstitutional. If Obama loses that fight, it’s “game over” anyway – for the entire world economy. The dollar backs the world economy, so failure to increase the debt limit would mean the end of selling Treasury bonds. That leaves a whole lot of dollars out there stashed away that essentially lose value every day. It doesn’t make the dollar an attractive reserve currency, in that case. And that means that we actually have to back up our currency with assets like every country in the world.

    And that would be Very Bad for the U.S.

  139. 139
    chopper says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    well then still, why stop at a trillion? there’s plenty to fund in this country. let’s give the VA a real budget. let’s fund every school in the joint. fund medicaid. etc etc.

    if we’re going to use a wacky scheme to get around the debt ceiling, let’s go for the gusto. how big can we make this fucking thing? 5 trillion fixes a lot of schools.

  140. 140
    👽 Martin says:

    @chopper:

    so minting and cashing 10 trillion dollar coins would wreck everything, but minting one will have no negative effect.

    Well, you have to step back and assess why we’re talking about this in the first place.

    Congress passed and Obama signed a budget that says we will get x revenue from all of these various taxes and spend y on all of these different programs. Now, the actual numbers vary a bit, but generally we get pretty close to that number. So, Obama is legally obligated to meet that budget, but he cant because Congress says he can’t borrow money in order to meet that budget. That’s why the debt limit is stupid – it should be built into the budget – you can borrow up to this line in order to meet the budget, if you need to borrow more, then we need to talk. But it really exists so that the President can’t just go off and borrow a bunch of money and use it to, say, fund the Sandinistas. So, it does have a legitimate purpose that Democrats should support.

    So, the legitimate problem to be solved is that Obama can’t meet the budget he’s required to meet. The ‘coin’ trick is solely proposed to solve that problem – so that he can borrow to meet the budget, not to exceed it or do other things. Going past that point moves from ‘solving a problem’ to ‘executive abuse of power’. There’s no question that Congress is responsible for the budget, and this is actually intended to respect that fact – to declare that the budget is the clearest illustration of Congress intention, not the debt limit.

  141. 141
    Todd Dugdale says:

    @chopper: “if we’re going to use a wacky scheme to get around the debt ceiling, let’s go for the gusto. how big can we make this fucking thing? 5 trillion fixes a lot of schools.”

    Well, the House has to authorise any spending.

    Sure, get the House to pass a bill that spends five trillion on that stuff. Let’s see how that works.

    In theory, yes, Obama could deposit five trillion in platinum coins. But he couldn’t spend it without Congress’ approval.

    In the current situation, Congress has already approved the spending. Simultaneously, it says that it won’t authorise the spending. Thus, the coin would represent the debt needed to cover the spending that Congress has required the President to undertake.

    Are you caught up now?

  142. 142
    Ted & Hellen says:

    It’s not Obama’s nature, he won’t be comfortable with it, it will be last-minute and ugly,

    Jaysus.

    Cause, you know, after all this time, Obama is still a delicate flower, shocked, shocked I tell you that the Republicans are just so…so…MEAN.

    eyeroll for the ages…

  143. 143
    chopper says:

    @👽 Martin:

    But it really exists so that the President can’t just go off and borrow a bunch of money and use it to, say, fund the Sandinistas.

    despite the fact that the treasury has the job of issuing treasury debt, it is still constitutionally congress’s right. i don’t think the treasury could even constitutionally issue debt that wasn’t authorized by congress.

    which is why the whole debt ceiling is a stupid idea in the first place. no president can issue his own treasury bills to pay for his own shit to go around congress.

    again, i’m not saying the magic coin is illegal. it looks technically legal, and it could be done. but fuck me if it isn’t silly.

  144. 144
    chopper says:

    @Todd Dugdale:

    a thousand pardons, i didn’t mean for you to have to come down from olympus and to speak with a commoner.

  145. 145
    paulj says:

    “Thus, the coin would represent the debt needed to cover the spending that Congress has required the President to undertake.” – Todd Dugdale

    The coin would be nothing more than an accounting trick, there is no “debt” in any meaningful sense of the word.

    Minting a faux-value coin to negate faux debt is purely for optics resulting from the mass of people that believe the government borrows that which only it can create (read the Constitution). The Chinese or the Japanese (or anybody) can’t loan us something they can’t produce.

    The “debt” comes from accounting conventions…in order to credit bank accounts in the non-government the government must debit it’s own account, which designates the government side as a liability. The private sector gets an asset…the government gets a liability.

    If you have a dollar in your hand this means the government owes you a dollar if you come to collect. The government will always be able to pay you, obviously.

    Where do the dollars the government credits to private-sector bank accounts come from?

    Answer: the same place the scorekeeper get the points from that he puts on the scoreboard when the team scores.

  146. 146
    paulj says:

    “”well then still, why stop at a trillion? there’s plenty to fund in this country. let’s give the VA a real budget. let’s fund every school in the joint. fund medicaid. etc etc.” – chopper

    We don’t need a trillion-dollar coin to fund anything, we just think we do, so we don’t fund the things we need.

    Congress can authorize any spending it wishes and we can always fund it by printing dollars.

    Every dollar in existence was printed, not borrowed from anywhere. Where would we borrow it from? Most net money in existence (in other words not credit) is in the form of bonds because there is more need for saving (accumulated financila wealth) than liquidity. Bank money (credit) can stand in for liquidity if we need more than is available.

    We started with $70 million in 1789 and “borrowed” $10 trillion from there? That’s not even possible using magical math.

  147. 147
    jon says:

    As long as it says “IN GOD WE TRUST” the GOP will accept it.

  148. 148
    General Stuck says:

    @👽 Martin:

    This is a dynamic take on the situation that I agree with. And all in all, it is about as serious a looming constitutional crisis that we have had in recent times.

    Most folks, even the politically illiterate, knows that the power of the purse is bedrock in our constitution and democracy, and it is politically stupid to circumvent the congress on any matter of funding, with coin tricks and the like. Based on a very sliver of technical legality.

    Even one where the House republicans are also clearly in conflict with provisions of our constitution, not only legally, but as a matter of common sense. That if they order something bought, whatever it is, they should provide the ability for the executive branch to borrow those money’s that have already been appropriated.

    The problem is, as you stated the general purpose of the debt ceiling is a check on the executive borrowing more money than authorized, and possibly for some dubious behaviors. The wingnuts, in their currently deranged state, believe that they are rightfully defunding a lurch toward soshulism, to justify such dangerous tactics in their own minds.

    This is the core problem, ideology run ammuck from losses at the ballot box, that also portends even greater losses at the ballot box. The coin trick will not solve that conflict from taking root in any number of other ways into the near future, while giving the public a reason to think dems are as clownish as republicans.

    I think it needs to be soberly and seriously dealt with by means of common sense to educate the public on what is happening to their country. While also acknowledging congresses plenary power of the purse. I’m not sure what that would be, being a dufus blog commenter, but it ain’t with magic coins.

  149. 149
    Roger Moore says:

    @chopper:

    well then still, why stop at a trillion? there’s plenty to fund in this country.

    Because the executive isn’t free to spend money as it sees fit. It may only spend money as authorized by Congress. They could make a $100 trillion coin, and they still wouldn’t be able to spend beyond what Congress appropriated.

  150. 150
    Recall says:

    People only think it’s silly because he hasn’t done it. If he does it and it works, it’ll be badass.

    Never mind the debt ceiling; I found some change.

  151. 151
    Todd Dugdale says:

    @chopper: “a thousand pardons, i didn’t mean for you to have to come down from olympus and to speak with a commoner.”

    Look, your entire contribution this discussion has essentially been, “Hee, hee, hee free money!”.

    People have explained that it doesn’t work that way, but you keep on giggling to yourself that it does, in fact, work that way.

    Here’s an idea: take a ten dollar bill down to the Fed and ask them for the equivalent amount of gold. When they tell you that money doesn’t work that way, you can then giggle, “Hee, hee, hee free money!”. See if they’re less patient with you than others have been here.

    This is a major Constitutional crisis that could very easily collapse the world economy. The platinum coin is perhaps the only way to avert that, and potentially resolve the debt ceiling issue permanently. Yeah, it’s stupid that it’s come down to minting a platinum coin. It’s stupid that the Republicans are willing to destroy the global economy in a pathetic attempt to make Obama look bad. It’s stupid that the House can order Obama to spend money, but then refuse to give him that money.

    The whole thing is pretty bloody stupid. If you had actually read the multiple responses explaining why your line of reasoning was pointless, you could have avoided making it more stupid.

  152. 152
    Ken says:

    @Culture of Truth: In any case, while sequester was undeniably weird, it was Congress and the President doing what they should do, make decisions about spending and taxes.

    Yes, if by “make decisions” you mean “set up a bomb in the hope that it will force us to make the unpleasant decisions we’re supposed to make before it goes off.” It’s like one of the setups in the Saw movies, except Congress is both the crazy madman and the guy with the manacle on his leg. And it still doesn’t work.

  153. 153
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Violet: Given the steady progress of 3-d printing, you can soon have one for your own town…with your face on it!

  154. 154
    Keith G says:

    If the President does anything at all dynamic at all, I doubt it will be the coin, as it smacks of too cute by half gimmickry.

    Better that he just state that current circumstances make it necessary that he must authorize the raising of the debt limit to fund the programs Congress has told him to fund. The GOP leadership then has the option finding someone with standing to bring a suit to stop the action, if they can find a court willing to intervene given the The Political Question Doctrine.

  155. 155
    Davis X. Machina says:

    …ideology run amok from losses at the ballot box.

    Look at this from their end of the telescope. What losses? The ‘winners’ didn’t win anything; can’t win anything.

    There’s an ongoing crisis of legitimacy of which this debt-ceiling crunch, and the last one, and any number of other recent events are only symptoms, that next to no one wants to talk about. Cold civil war.

    Non-trivial numbers of people — doesn’t have to be a majority, or even close, if they have their hands on some of the levers of power — simply insist that Republican government is the only legitimate government. Democratic politicians cannot legislate for America at large, because they aren’t actually Americans. Ditto a Democratic executive.

    There is no more obligation to engage with the actions of a Democratic Senate or White House than with an occupying enemy army. In fact, patriotism requires the opposite.

    The fact that the people believing this are essentially mad doesn’t solve the problem. Symptomatic treatment won’t cure the underlying disease.

    It’s sedevacantism-on-the-Potomac.

  156. 156
    Todd Dugdale says:

    @paulj: “The coin would be nothing more than an accounting trick, there is no “debt” in any meaningful sense of the word.”

    That was pretty much my point. It’s nothing of ‘value’, so it can’t be used to pay off debt. It’s like writing a trillion-dollar cheque to yourself. You can quibble over the semantic definition of “debt”, I suppose, but you are essentially supporting my point.

    “The “debt” comes from accounting conventions…in order to credit bank accounts in the non-government the government must debit it’s own account, which designates the government side as a liability. The private sector gets an asset…the government gets a liability.”

    Okay, so you really do want to semantically quibble over the definition of “debt”.

    My quote was in response to the idea that we could simply pay off the national debt by minting platinum coins. You seem to agree with me that that is unworkable. The platinum coins are not, as you seem to agree, “real” money. They are simply a place-holder.

    It’s like a casino chip. The chip itself has no ‘value’. You can exchange it for FRNs, which have no ‘value’, either. Sure, the casino could press a trillion-dollar chip, but it wouldn’t be any ‘richer’ for it unless someone was willing to buy it for a trillion FRNs. Likewise, the platinum coin doesn’t add a trillion dollars to the positive side of the ledger, unless someone out there is willing to buy it for the equivalent of one trillion in (equally worthless) currency.

  157. 157
    chopper says:

    @Todd Dugdale:

    I do admit having slept through the part of Econ where the professor went over wacky gimmicks derived from episodes of The Simpsons.

    likewise, I must have missed the class where my engineering professor explained how to build and maintain a working ‘frog exaggerator’. my life truly suffers.

    but thanks, ‘Todd from the Internet’.

  158. 158
    General Stuck says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    There’s an ongoing crisis of legitimacy of which this debt-ceiling crunch, and the last one, and any number of other recent events are only symptoms, that next to no one wants to talk about. Cold civil war.

    Absolutely, I talk about it all the time, and started to my last comment, but decided against it. I do believe it is a question of legitimacy , of who has the birthright to rule this country, and has been a cold civil war by proxy to service those means by white conservatives. Using the existing measures the founders gave us for minority rights to conduct this cold war. And bending and abusing them at will. But not quite breaking them.

    But our basic model of representative democracy is still intact, and the nutters hold one chamber of congress by 17 seats, and are 5 or 6 seats away from having a filibuster proof majority. This time with fewer blue dogs. So there is still a democratic solution at the ballot box, until the republicans breach that and the constitution, then it is politics by other means.

    So until that happens, I support smart political solutions that are framed for the voters to decide the matter, for now. I am a registered independent, but a hardcore small d democrat. Long as we have viable process for settling these matters, I think we should use them, till we can’t no mo. I don’t want to be on the side that breaches the constitution first. I want to be on the side of higher moral ground, if we end up having to shoot it out, again.

  159. 159
    chopper says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I’ve said for years, the modern conservative movement looks at Democratic governance in the same manner as a military occupation.

  160. 160
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @General Stuck: Given the practical consequences of a complete economic collapse, and the risk of one being decidedly non-zero, given the present circumstances, the chances of having to shoot it out again are also non-zero. Not large, just non-zero.

    That’s not usually the case in this country. I have other shit to worry about, is all. I don’t need this.

  161. 161
    General Stuck says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Given the practical consequences of a complete economic collapse

    I don’t think there will be a complete economic collapse, at least over this looming showdown. There can be a hypermanaged retraction of government services, with the single priority of paying our debt and interest that comes due. If it came to that. And I don’t think the wingnuts are that far gone, yet, as they have backed away from the abyss twice now in recent times. But it is still inherently dangerous what they are doing, and that means anything can happen. The voters and citizens really need to see the reality where the republicans are taking us, so to decide what to do about it. Which is about all that democracy promises that is functional.

    That’s not usually the case in this country. I have other shit to worry about, is all. I don’t need this.

    Not usually, but not the first time either. None of us needs it, but it is here anyways.

  162. 162
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Todd Dugdale: I’m probably just stupid, but I have no idea how to get any meaning out of the statement, “the coin is debt.” How can a coin “be” or “represent” debt? Debt to whom, for what?

  163. 163
    dollared says:

    @General Stuck: Wow. Moral high ground? That worked with the Bush Tax Cuts, Death Panels, the Iraq War, torture, Bush signing statements, the YellowCake/Aluminum tubes capers, the Oil and gas mineral irghts office in Denver, Assault rifles, Violence Against Women Act, etc, etc, etc.

    The coin is legal. It’s kind of clever. And the media will love it because they love a good story.

    And they love whatever makes the market go up. And they love executives who say “Fuck you – just try to stop me.”

    Obama should just do it.

  164. 164
    General Stuck says:

    @dollared:

    Okay. That’s one clown with a yea/

  165. 165
    dollared says:

    Point proven. ad hominem rather than a legally or politically reasoned response.

    The coin keeps winnning….

  166. 166
    General Stuck says:

    @dollared:

    Your comment was snarkish smartass, and it got the response it deserved.

  167. 167
    AA+ Bonds says:

    We’re freaks who like to have the wealth that’s stolen from us paraded in front of us every day by our elites so why not, TIME COIN OF THE YEAR

  168. 168
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I hope it gets made and I hope it gets stolen

  169. 169
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I hope it rolls away and falls on Batman

  170. 170
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I wonder if Jack Balkin knows how the coin thingy might just work as a counterbalance to wingnuttery? It’s too crazy for them to debunk effectively.

  171. 171
    dollared says:

    @General Stuck: No, it just underlined how the “moral high ground” strategy has been failing since Jimmy Carter. And gave recent concrete examples of how being noble has failed in our specific media environment and specific political makeup, much to the detriment of our country.

    And you want more of that. I think democrats are afraid of winning.

  172. 172
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @dollared:

    He said it himself…he’s a small ‘d’ Democrat. Let him define himself. That’s his epitaph.

  173. 173
    Recall says:

    @General Stuck: That’s a great sentiment, but nothing about the plan is unconstitutional.

  174. 174
    sapient says:

    The platinum coins are not, as you seem to agree, “real” money. They are simply a place-holder.

    Let’s not forget that money isn’t real either. It too is a “place-holder” for goods or services that the owner of the money wants to buy.

  175. 175
    paulj says:

    “Okay, so you really do want to semantically quibble over the definition of “debt”” – Todd Dugdale

    No, not quibbling over semantics…semantics has no place in a system that is 100% based on arithmetic…simple arithmetic. Systems do not move on semantics…the world (and universe) worked just fine long before language was created.

    Very few people, including most in our government or world governments understand the simple arithmetic that governs their economies…most of the economics profession is lost in a fantasy world of stuff that has no real-world meaning.

    There’s a reason economists are pretty much always wrong. They don’t know what the hell they are talking about. If the engineering profession operated like modern economists every bridge in America would have collapsed by now.

    Anyway, in my world of arithmetic, a “debt” is something one is obligated to repay.

    A dollar is a technical “debt”, just as bonds are, yet both are money and can be used to buy things. We are not obligated to repay either, nor is the government. The governmments only obligation is to pay interest, which it can always afford to do, and in any case paying the interest adds net money to the economy.

    To “repay” that so-called “debt” would remove every net dollar from the world.

    So again, using the term “debt” is horribly misleading and part of the reason we now have a money system virtually no one understands, but is based on 5th-grade level arithmetic.

    People 2000 years ago understood money better than the world does now, yet little wrt the mechanics have changed.

    A money sytem so simple that John Kenneth Galbraith said of it “the process by which money is created is “so simple it repels the mind”.

    And here we have 170+ comments worth of discussion on a subject that most have no understanding, partly because they don’t understand the language and partly because everything they know is based on someone elses thinking that is more opinion than fact.

  176. 176
    paulj says:

    “Let’s not forget that money isn’t real either. It too is a “place-holder” for goods or services that the owner of the money wants to buy.”– sapient

    Thank you for the rare (in this thread) factual statement.

    I wonder if anyone has come to the realization that, if a significant number of people understood monetary economics even slightly, the coin issue wouldn’t even be necessary?

    Anything good that happens as a result of economic decisions made by our glorious policy-makers will be completely by accident.

  177. 177
    Lurking Canadian says:

    I think I’ve finally figured out what bugs me about the $1T coin. Money is bullshit. It has value because we agree it has value, and as long as we agree, all is well, in much the same way that Wile E Coyote can keep running long after the road goes over the cliff, provided he doesn’t look down.

    The $1T coin just points out the bullshit too obviously. I have the feeling that it’d be like expecting Wile E to keep running after the Roadrunner holds up the ” Look down” sign.

  178. 178
    General Stuck says:

    @dollared:

    No, it just underlined how the “moral high ground” strategy has been failing since Jimmy Carter. And gave recent concrete examples of how being noble has failed in our specific media environment and specific political makeup, much to the detriment of our country.

    Reading comp. My comment on higher moral ground was not directed at general or retail politics, but honoring the fundamental principles of our democratic processes. Beginning with the sanctity of the one man one vote core. And those kinds of abject breaches of the constitution.

    Fixing a problem with a fine technical legality for something it was never intended for, is giving up the moral high ground, and you give the opposition a reason to point the finger back at you for using trickery and dubious means to govern. There are other ways to deal with the debt ceiling debacle, rather than a trick coin. I can’t even believe I am having to explain how stupid this idea is to otherwise smart liberals. And it is by no means certainly legal, when considering the legislative intent. Here is a good article for why it is not a good idea.

  179. 179
    General Stuck says:

    @Recall:

    What ‘plan’ are you talking about?

  180. 180
    mclaren says:

    The coin is silly. Yet the courts are likely not to interfere. So, if all else fails, go for it.

  181. 181
    Recall says:

    @General Stuck: The one you’re talking about.

  182. 182
    General Stuck says:

    It should be obvious that the republicans have jumped the public perception shark in doing their politics. They are locked into a quasi nihilist means to get power, and are either completely insane as in disregarding the public perception of their reckless bullshit in a democracy, or just don’t care out of some disturbed savior shit. We need to stop them, but it matters, A LOT, how/ Beginning with acting like the adult, and not as impulsive clowns like the wingnuts/

  183. 183
    General Stuck says:

    @Recall:

    I still don’t know what you mean by “plan” in that comment describing the political situation as I see it.

  184. 184
    Recall says:

    @General Stuck:

    Fixing a problem with a fine technical legality for something it was never intended for, is giving up the moral high ground, and you give the opposition a reason to point the finger back at you for using trickery and dubious means to govern. There are other ways to deal with the debt ceiling debacle, rather than a trick coin. I can’t even believe I am having to explain how stupid this idea is to otherwise smart liberals. And it is by no means certainly legal, when considering the legislative intent. Here is a good article for why it is not a good idea.

    ^^ This.

  185. 185
    General Stuck says:

    @Recall:

    Okay, but that is not the comment you first linked to. I used to work for the feds in a type of law enforcement, and when using any law for a specific purpose, we always kept in mind what the clear intent of the law was. And that intent, if not explicit in the statute, can be found in the preamble, or legislative history. It is bad business to use laws that as worded for a specific intent, using that law for an entirely different reason based on face value text, rather than the intent by those who passed it. So I don’t think it is at all clear that using the platinum coin for the purpose of circumventing a law for raising the debt ceiling, is constitutional. Especially when the clearly spoken intent is for such coins to be commemorative in nature. YMMV

  186. 186
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @General Stuck:

    I used to work for the feds in a type of law enforcement,

    Fascinating. Please expand…..

  187. 187
    General Stuck says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    Fascinating. Please expand…..

    NO

  188. 188
    General Stuck says:

    @General Stuck:

    And you are starting to look like a stalker of mine.

  189. 189
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @General Stuck:

    Curiousity…….

    You refuse to expand, which means your rank could be above Cpl, but I suspect your experience is in MP. Otherwise, what do you fear/

  190. 190
    General Stuck says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    I don’t fear anything, I just enjoy saying no to you.

  191. 191
    Recall says:

    @General Stuck: It was pretty easy to tell what you were talking about. I don’t know why you pretended that it wasn’t.

    And YMMV, but people only complain about technicalities when they lose.

  192. 192
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @General Stuck:

    You fear the word, Yes….

  193. 193
    General Stuck says:

    @Recall:

    It was pretty easy to tell what you were talking about. I don’t know why you pretended that it wasn’t.

    Not pretending anything. You linked to a comment not about the coin. Idiot.

  194. 194
    Recall says:

    @General Stuck: Fair enough, what was the plan you were arguing was unconstitutional?

  195. 195
    General Stuck says:

    @Recall:

    what was the plan you were arguing was unconstitutional?

    Oh, that plan? That was the plan where I tell you to GFY, and it is quite constitutional.

  196. 196
    👽 Martin says:

    @General Stuck: This is why I don’t think Obama should do, or wants to do a gimmick. This is a constitutional crisis. The President has been given contradictory instructions from Congress (spend all this money, but don’t borrow in order to do it).

    I think he should force the issue in the direction that makes the most sense – and either tell Congress to accept it, or petition SCOTUS to rule on it and resolve it once and for all. It’d be a feature at this point to kick it to the court and have them, presumably, come back and say “If you tell the President to spend without providing for the revenues for that spending, then you’ve granted an implicit approval to borrow. On the other hand, if the President wants to spend without your specific consent, then he needs to ask for the debt limit to rise.”

    That’s almost certainly as the framers intended, so let’s get that sorted out and knock off this hostage taking bullshit. That the debt limit was always raised by unanimous consent to the level determined in the budget makes clear that even Congress saw it this way until some stupid fuckers saw an opportunity.

  197. 197
    General Stuck says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Agree

  198. 198
    Recall says:

    @General Stuck: Yeah, that’s what I told you.

  199. 199
    Corner Stone says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): He was a CI, traveling the country using the busing system. He wore out several pairs of knee pads to pay his way and informed on others around him as needed.

  200. 200
    General Stuck says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You are a very sick person corner stone. Cassidy was right about you. Aimee too, and about everyone else on this blog. Your homophobic fantasies are legion here, beginning with your stated racist longing for “black spiny jism” and all the other sick shit over the years. May god have mercy on your miserable besotted existence.

  201. 201
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: There’s no hiding from your past, President Stuck.
    Cassidy is a fascist piece of shit who never met an authoritarian circumstance he didn’t agree with. Like yourself, he has threatened physical violence against commenters here he disagrees with.
    Aimee, as you dub her, is just an emotional basket case who is incapable of rational back and forth. Because if she could have provided any rational case or data set for her vehemently argued bullshit, she would have by now.
    She’s a wreck and has nothing to offer on basically any topic at this point.
    I love pinning you to these individuals. Thank you for adopting their them as your avatars.

  202. 202
    General Stuck says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Cassidy is a fascist piece of shit who never met an authoritarian circumstance he didn’t agree with. Like yourself, he has threatened physical violence against commenters here he disagrees with.

    I have no need to invent homophobic fantasies about other people, CS. Every time you post them, it is hanging a sign out on what you yourself desire. That is always how it works. And you are too drunk and sick to realize that.

    Cassidy was Just pointing out the tiny coward you are with a big mouth on the internet. But this comment you make, makes clear what a self loathing and pained creature you are. I only have pity for you dude, making up homophobic fantasies to strangers on the internet. That is about as low as anyone can get.

  203. 203
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: Come here little Ponicorn and let Uncle Corner give you a warm spot to lie down. It’s ok now. You’re safe.

  204. 204
    General Stuck says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Come here little Ponicorn and let Uncle Corner give you a warm spot to lie down. It’s ok now. You’re safe.

    See now, that is a much better way to act in a civilized way to fellow humans. I saddle broke you, now it’s time for your Oprahfication. Put down the whisky bottle and get some rest. New class starts tomorrow morn in General Stuck’s Sunday School for the damned.

  205. 205
    mschir says:

    The suggestions that Obama resolve the Republicans’ debt ceiling hostage taking by either minting a trillion dollar coin or invoking the 14th amendments are misplaced. Doing so would undermine the primary weapon the Democrats have in this stand off: public opinion. If Obama does any of these controversial acts that will direct media and public attention (and scorn) away from the Republicans (where it belongs) and towards him and the Democrats. He is better off explaining to the America people that Congress is refusing to fund legislative commitments that they have already made and that failing to raise the debt ceiling could trigger a global financial crisis.

    As with the fiscal cliff drama, it is highly likely the public will side with the President. If the Republicans are not initially persuaded by public opinion and refuse to raise the debt ceiling after our borrowing limit is reached, the Treasury department can announce that our interest and principal payments will be prioritized. It will also make know that a wide array of government offices and services will be shut down and that social security and Medicare payments will soon be reduced or stopped. The republicans would buckle in a few days because public opinion (including from the constituents dependent on federal programs) would be ferociously against them.

    I believe this is what President Obama means when he says he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling. And I believe this approach would be much more likely to produce a political victory than would the platinum coin or 14th amendment approaches.

  206. 206
    Recall says:

    @mschir: It’s not going to change anyone’s mind about Obama. Everyone is just going to filter it through their pre-existing views of the guy. People who hate him will think it’s horrible, people who like him will think it’s awesome, and people who are paid to clutch pearls will earn their paychecks.

  207. 207
    Lex says:

    @hells littlest angel: The 14th Amendment will do it. The thumb in the eye would just be dessert after the main course. NTTAWWT.

Comments are closed.