He Should Know

Philip Diehl, director of the US Mint under Clinton and co-author of the bill to authorize striking of platinum coins, says that minting a trillion dollar coin would work to circumvent the debt ceiling.

Meanwhile, the NRCC doesn’t understand seigniorage or that the debt ceiling is about money already spent by Congress:
tweets_of_a_clown
I realize that right-wing messaging relies on pushing out lies about somewhat complex policy (e.g., death panels) but come on – doesn’t everyone know that a quarter doesn’t have 25 cents of metal in it?

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184 replies
  1. 1
    Cassidy says:

    doesn’t everyone know that a quarter doesn’t have 25 cents of metal in it?

    Conventional wisdom no longer applies. We have to assume they are dumb as stumps and go from their. This is the new baseline.

  2. 2

    Never mind paper money…

  3. 3
    Quicksand says:

    Wait a minute, I thought this was why game show and lottery checks were so big — so they could contain all that money!

    And also too, why my personal checks are so small. :-(

  4. 4
    MattR says:

    Dear NRCC,

    If the government had a spare trillion dollars worth of platinum lying around, wouldn’t they sell it on the open market to reduce our debt rather than using it on a gimiicky work around?

  5. 5
    Mike G says:

    The Stupid. It burns like an Australian wildfire.

  6. 6
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    So much stupid, so little brains!

  7. 7
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Of course they know all of this stuff. They’re betting the rubes the rank and file don’t.

  8. 8

    Also too, Dragon-King Wangchuck did the maths… the weight of $1T in platinum does NOT exceed the gross tonnage capacity of the Titanic. Something like 21,000 tons vs a capacity of 46,000.

    http://staircasetwit.blogspot......world.html

    Of course, math has a liberal bias.

  9. 9

    @Cassidy: Do the stumps not have credit cards?

  10. 10
    JCT says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I think they use them at “Gentleman’s Clubs” .

  11. 11

    @Howlin Wolfe: If you want an espresso of stupid read Friedman’s NYT column in today’s paper.

  12. 12
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    doesn’t everyone know that a quarter doesn’t have 25 cents of metal in it?

    Doesn’t everyone know that the Titanic can’t be sunk, because it’s already at the bottom of the fucking ocean?

    Oh, I forgot, it’s still 1912 in GOP-land.

  13. 13

    @Mike G:
    I am listening to Limbaugh right now so yes it does. Apparently Obama wants to get rid of the defense department completely which is why he has nominated Hagel for SecDef so that Hagel can do the important work of putting himself out of a job or something.

  14. 14
    Legalize says:

    They know the difference. They are lying about it to get their knuckle-dragging base riled up.

  15. 15
    Joshua Norton says:

    Macroeconomics has never really been a wingnut strong point.

  16. 16
    Roger Moore says:

    Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything that’s remotely true. Facts schmacts./HomerSimpson

  17. 17

    @Litlebritdifrnt: David Brooks was pushing the same meme yesterday, apparently Obama choose Hagel, so that he would an acceptable face to preside over the decline in defense, or something like that. It didn’t make much sense. I wonder whether all these conservative pundits get a memo every morning with marching orders about what to peddle.

  18. 18
    Brachiator says:

    Philip Diehl, director of the US Mint under Clinton and co-author of the bill to authorize striking of platinum coins, says that minting a trillion dollar coin would work to circumvent the debt ceiling.

    So, if Obama authorizes a platinum coin and offers to put Reagan’s face on the obverse and an assault rifle on the reverse, what could the GOP do but approve it?

    And instead of platinum, I am holding out for either dilithium crystals or gold pressed latinum.

  19. 19
    Shoot Me Now says:

    Whether they know the coin doesn’t need to contain the actual value in platinum is irrelevant.

    Look at that Titanic graphic and tell me they wouldn’t have great success using that as a visual to tell their story, not only to their rubes but to the wider not-so-bright population as a whole. Imagine Yertle the Turtle or Orange Boner shopping that around via our worthless media, as a visual that illustrates not only will the coin sink us but as a broader illustration that our debt will sink us. The Village would eat it up.

  20. 20
    Tractarian says:

    I’d actually be OK with that graphic if it said

    LIBERALS WANT OBAMA TO MINT A $1 TRILLION PLATINUM COIN TO PAY FOR HIS CONGRESS’S SPENDING

  21. 21
    NonyNony says:

    @Legalize:

    They know the difference. They are lying about it to get their knuckle-dragging base riled up.

    10 years ago this would have been obviously correct.

    Now? I dunno. The guys tweeting for the NRCC might be just that stupid.

    They live in a bubble into which reality does not enter. It might just be the case that the guys doing the tweeting for the NRCC do not really understand how our monetary system works.

    I’m positive that there are many members of Congress who have no idea and, if it were explained to them, would start writing laws to make it illegal. As obviously seigniorage is the Devil’s Work.

  22. 22
    Walker says:

    As I mentioned to today in another thread.

    I really hope that they do the Platinum coin, because the heist movies that Hollywood would make about it would be AWESOME.

  23. 23
    Cassidy says:

    Macroeconomics Knowledge and anything involving complex thoughts is not really a wingnut strong point.

    Being real.

  24. 24
    Amir Khalid says:

    A trivial point: is there as much as a trillion dollars worth of platinum on this planet?

  25. 25
    SP says:

    My favorite reply to this was, “Someone once paid me with a $100 bill but I had to get rid of it because it was so much bigger than everything else in my wallet.”

  26. 26
    Comrade Jake says:

    My guess is that the POTUS lacks the political will to go ahead and do something like this, which is really a damn shame. The stupidity of the GOP over the debt ceiling really does deserve to be countered with a gimmick like this.

  27. 27
    SP says:

    @Amir Khalid: At current market rates, don’t know, but the price fluctuates and could probably be manipulated to make it so.

  28. 28
    Comrade Jake says:

    Obama really did put it best several years ago, when he said that it’s almost like these people take pride in being ignorant.

  29. 29
    trollhattan says:

    @Cassidy:
    Well now, Ron Paul can buy a Pinto AND a tank of gas with a silver dime, so there, hippies!

  30. 30
  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    @Brachiator:

    what could the GOP do but approve it?

    They don’t get to approve or disapprove, do they?

    @Walker:

    I really hope that they do the Platinum coin, because the heist movies that Hollywood would make about it would be AWESOME.

    Been watching Tuesdays on TCM? Caper movies all month. Rififi, Bob le Flambeur, Ocean’s Eleven. I recorded Five Against the House last night, but haven’t watched it yet.

  32. 32
    jibeaux says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: Yes, but most of the GIANT OBAMACOIN is underwater. I don’t know why that makes a difference, I just wanted to say that.

  33. 33
    patrick II says:

    As noted, the debt is about money already spent. What I don’t like about the platinum coin solution is that it is a work-around, it does not invoke any principle which can be asserted over the longer haul. It leaves the power to default still with congress — just change the platinum coin law and limit the debt ceiling once again.. That won’t happen with this congress, but it could over time.

    I prefer a strategy that asserts that congress or the United States cannot default on debt, always contingent on dire emergency, of course. Perhaps Krugrman’s moral obligation bonds, or assertion of the 14th amendment obligations. But avoiding hostage taking by a short term ploy is not an optimum solution for the longer run.

    That said, if all else fails, do it.

  34. 34
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I wonder whether all these conservative pundits get a memo every morning with marching orders about what to peddle.

    Talking points are part of the ideological juice of the Village for both liberals and conservatives.

    And Stephanie Miller sometimes reveals some insider information that is apparently known to everyone in the business, for example that a conservative radio host who also writes material for Sean Hannity (If I recall correctly).

    I also recall sometime during the Bush Administration that Michael Medved self-righteously justified an “off the record” meeting that a number of conservative radio personalities and pundits had with President Bush. They were so happy with themselves.

    Magically enough, for a while there was a certain sameness to their topics and “solutions” to some item that was then in the news.

  35. 35
    Roger Moore says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald:
    Except that he’s using the wrong measure of tonnage. Gross Register Tonnage, which he uses, is a measure of the internal volume of a ship (1 GRT = 100 cubic feet of internal volume), not of its weight carrying capacity. It’s a poor measure of the capacity of a passenger ship, since most of the internal volume isn’t available for cargo. Of course that also means that a passenger ship is a poor choice for drawing comparisons about cargo capacity, since they aren’t really designed for that in the first place.

  36. 36
    Culture of Truth says:

    Obama stole that coin from Medicare to pay for his sale of GM to the Chinese to finance his death panels which are part of his FEMA death camps which are under the umbrella of the U.N. which is controlled George Soros who owns the world’s supply of platinum.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    And instead of platinum, I am holding out for either dilithium crystals or gold pressed latinum.

    Unfortunately, the Treasury lacks statutory authority to mint coins out of either of those materials. A gross oversight, I know.

  38. 38
    Culture of Truth says:

    Could Obama mint a coin so big even couldn’t lift it?

  39. 39
    Chyron HR says:

    Meanwhile, the NRCC doesn’t understand seigniorage

    Seigniorage, n. – What a Republican feels when an automated phone line instructs him that, “para Espanol, press el numero dos.”

  40. 40
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Walker:
    I have the perfect ending for The Trillion Dollar Coin Job:
    Thief #1: Okay, now we got the coin. So how do we divvy up the loot?
    Thief #2: Um… (Scratches head.)
    Thief #1: Oh, shit

  41. 41
    Keith says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’m sure there is, but most of it is much deeper in the earth than we can really go (the heavier elements get more common the deeper you go). Lots of platinum (and gold) in the mantle.

  42. 42
    Culture of Truth says:

    How did Bush pay for the Iraq war again?

  43. 43
    Jay C says:

    well, 21,000 tons of platinum is only 672,000,000 ounces: anyone out there know how to compute how big a 21,000-ton coin would actually be, given the weight of platinum (presumably at 1000 fine)??

  44. 44
    butler says:

    So is the appropriate answer to this NRCC idiocy a photoshop of a giant iceberg with the words “Supply Side Economics” written on it?

  45. 45
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    It wouldn’t sink the Titanic if it were shaped like a hull and displaced less water than its weight and was then towed by the Titanic as some platinum sister ship that had casinos and Sammy Hagar on every floor.

  46. 46
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Diehl’s email is long but it doesn’t really address any of the concerns. Most of it discusses the efficacy of the coin idea and how it would affect the economy. For the discussion among liberals, this is a waste of breath; I don’t think anyone argues that it would be anything other than macroeconomically identical to Treasury bonds and thus pretty much harmless.

    The question is whether or not the coin is legal. Here Diehl simply argues by assertion. He points to the same single sentence in the law that everyone else has. He never even addresses the other parts of the law. The argument against is not just that we can divine the legislative intent that this was strictly for commemorative coins; it’s also that there are other parts of the law, in both that statute and in others, that make the intention clear. THere is also the part that the Tea Party cranks may not be so wrong on the necessary size of the coin; the platinum coin authority refers specifically to *bullion* coins, which generally means that the value of the coin reflects the value of the material it contains.

    But this is all beside the point. As entertaining as the $1 trillion coin idea is, it’s a stupid gimmick. Politically, it’s a loser. If we’re going to ignore the debt ceiling, just sack up and do it based upon it being legally impossible to fulfill all of Congress’ mandates. Declare that ignoring the debt ceiling is less disruptive than ignoring Congressionally approved appropriations. That’s a much better winning argument than a gimmick.

  47. 47
    jp7505a says:

    tHEY don’t much understand history either. Titanic went down by the bow. But this is a party that could not make water run down hill, so what can we expect.

  48. 48
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Amir Khalid: First, Lancelot and Sir Bedevere and I get out of the rabbit…

  49. 49
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    My guess is that the POTUS lacks the political will to go ahead and do something like this, which is really a damn shame.

    You can’t say that here.

  50. 50
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    How did Bush pay for the Iraq war again?

    Even more curious, why aren’t we hearing this question from the Democrats and Obama over and over and over again during this ridiculous “debate?”

  51. 51
    Raven says:

    Look who’s up from their nappy poo.

  52. 52
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    You can’t say that here.

    No, I can actually. You can’t say that here… because you’re an ASSHOLE.

  53. 53
    Heliopause says:

    Could somebody start a thread not about the legality of “The Coin” but the actual probability that Obama would resort to it? Really, I get that all the bloggy bigbrains are weighing in and most saying its legal, but what are the real-world odds of it happening given Obama’s history, temperament, the likely political and policy consequences, etc.?

  54. 54
    The Other Chuck says:

    Hey repubicans: image macros are catchy when you make them pithy. Not when you repeat your entire screed in the caption. See, it might have been at least slightly funny and showed you actually lived in this century if you had used the Boromir imagemacro and captioned it “One does not simply mint a trillion dollar coin”.

    Just another way the right wing simply Does Not Get Humor. And they say us liberals are preachy. Oh well, projection as always.

  55. 55
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Raven:

    Still fixated on me, I see.

  56. 56
    Culture of Truth says:

    In the heist movie one of the crooks has to drop the coin at a laundromat.

  57. 57
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Culture of Truth: Wow. That’s some summing up of the conspiracy. Good job.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    doesn’t everyone know that a quarter doesn’t have 25 cents of metal in it?

    No, because their tiny pea brains can’t grasp that money is a concept, not a physical thing. It’s a store of value, an economic lubricant that allows for the exchange of goods and services.

    Of course, not one of these fucking dickheads has ever cracked open The Wealth of Nations, so why the fuck is anyone ever surprised that they worship the utter idiot that is Ron Paul?

  59. 59
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    because you’re an ASSHOLE.

    And you’re a gaping, perforated, pustulant, oozing taint.

    Now, back to why Obama has no spine…

  60. 60
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Even the supposedly smart people at my government contractor job think its Obama that makes the bills and that he’s the one getting us into debt. Virtually no one outside of us blog readers know that the president is required by law to spend the money.

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Declare that ignoring the debt ceiling is less disruptive than ignoring Congressionally approved appropriations.

    Except among people who really really want to see the coin.

  61. 61
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Simply auctioning off the Red States would solve all of our problems.

  62. 62

    Aaaaand here comes Hannity “Obama is gonna take your guuuuuuuuns”

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Walker:

    Simpsons have done it. They gave a billion dollar bill to Monty Burns, and he tried to buy Cuba with it, or something.

  64. 64
    NCSteve says:

    @Brachiator: Unfortunately, our liberal Congress refuses to make gold-pressed latinum legal tender and won’t authorize the striking of bricks, bars, strips, or even slips for the collector’s market. Fiat money issuing currency debasing bastards.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Hannity’s face SCREAMS to be hit squarely with a Louisville Slugger.

  66. 66
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: If only. The problem is that nobody would buy the Red States, because they cost the rest of us money.

  67. 67
    jibeaux says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): It would be cool, but they have to put it on a boat now.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NCSteve:

    “What? There’s no latinum in these bars! They’re only worthless gold!”

  69. 69
    dollared says:

    @Heliopause: Just to prove to you all that I am a cockeyed optimist,I think Obama might just use the coin.

    The scenario would be to let the whole thing spin in the wind until the day that Social Security checks stop coming. Market down 500 points, etc.

    And Obama is playing it cool, offering full tax reform that raises the Social Security cap, cuts rates slightly and eliminates deductions aggressively, and raises $200B/year in new taxes, phased in over 5 years.

    He watches the wingnuts go crazy, then saves the country with the coin. (and of course offers the deal of eliminate-the-coin-and-eliminate-the-debt-ceiling).

    This is consistent with his rope-a-dope style. And it would accomplish his stated goals.

    But would he?

  70. 70

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    You know that is what baffles me, according to Limbaugh and Hannity and the rest of the “Conservative entertainment complex” all of the debt of the last four years has been because of Obama’s spending, while completely and utterly ignoring the fact that Congress has the fucking check book.

  71. 71
    ellie says:

    Too stupid to live.

  72. 72

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Ha Ha funny you should say that he was just talking about outlawing baseball bats (and steak knives and hammers) :)

  73. 73
    MTiffany71 says:

    Looks like the specie and ‘fiat money’ idiots really are firmly in control of the Repugnant Party.

  74. 74
    Chyron HR says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Now that we’ve established that Obama is solely responsible for things that happened during the Bush administration, I think we need to start exploring his culpability for Iran-Contra.

  75. 75
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    A trivial point: is there as much as a trillion dollars worth of platinum on this planet?

    Probably not. A quick search on the intertrons suggests that all the platinum ever mined would fit in a cube 25 feet on a side. Doing the math suggests that would be only about 10,000 tons, which works out to about half a trillion dollars worth at the current spot price of about $1600/troy ounce.

  76. 76
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @The Other Chuck: This is very much the “If I spent $100 every day since the birth of Jesus, I still would be stupid” type of argument: It’s a visual aid that looks like it means something, and lots of baggers will point at it and go “see, see, I was right” but doesn’t actually prove anything.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @dollared: Crack kills.

  79. 79
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @dollared:

    But would he?

    No, damn it! He’s going to slap us in the face, kick us to the curb, then throw us under a bus.

    Pay more attention.

  80. 80
    Cassidy says:

    @Raven: Everytime it leaves, I get my hopes up and hope it walked into oncoming traffic. I am forever an optimist.

  81. 81
    LGRooney says:

    Not much of an ask, really, given the current state of the Titanic. I wonder, though, whether it could sink the USS Ronald Reagan!

  82. 82
    David Hunt says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    You win the internet today. Let all activity cease as it is now pointless.

  83. 83
    LGRooney says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s interesting. I remember reading once that all the gold ever mined could fit into an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Of course, pure gold.

  84. 84
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    How did Bush pay for the Iraq war again?

    With your social security trust fund. But I’m sure we’ll recover that investment in the future.

  85. 85
    Jay C says:

    @Roger Moore:

    So we would have to mint TWO coins???

  86. 86
    Ash Can says:

    I don’t know about the platinum bit, but there’s more than enough stoopid in those two tweets to sink an entire fucking fleet of Titanics.

  87. 87
    Cassidy says:

    @Ash Can: If only we could get them all to take a cruise together.

  88. 88
    Brendan in NC says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’d prefer that he, and all his ilk, be buttstroked to the ground by one of their precious Bushmaster AR-15s…

  89. 89
    Roger Moore says:

    @LGRooney:
    I doubt it would sink the Reagan, though you’d probably have to unload its air wing and all its combat stores to get that much cargo capacity.

  90. 90
    Culture of Truth says:

    I hope Obama has the political will not to do this.

  91. 91
    Raven says:

    @Cassidy: 5×5

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    As noted, the debt is about money already spent.

    I knew this sentence reminded me of something.

    You give me your money,
    You only give me you funny paper,
    And in the middle of negotiation
    You break down…
    All the money’s gone,
    Nowhere to go,
    But oh that magic feeling,
    Nowhere to go

    One sweet dream, of a platinum coin might come true, someday

  93. 93
  94. 94

    The graphic DOES, however, provide a visual metaphor for the effect Obama is having on the S.S. Conservative.

  95. 95
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Roger Moore: Yeah, but as soon as the Treasury starts trying to buy all of that platinum to put into the coin, it’s going to drive the spot price through the roof.

  96. 96
    Anoniminous says:

    @Chyron HR:

    And the spineless bastard let British Columbia slip away. 54-40 or WOLVERINES!

  97. 97
    Culture of Truth says:

    I have it on good authority that amount of gold needed to pay for the outrageous Republican House pay raise would sink the Bismark

  98. 98

    @Roger Moore:

    Man, am I ever glad I can blame it on D-K W.

    I should have learned not to trust a frickin Canadian by now….

  99. 99
    👽 Martin says:

    doesn’t everyone know that a quarter doesn’t have 25 cents of metal in it

    They’re aiming for the Ron Paul goldbugs. “Full faith and credit” is just another conspiracy. They somehow believe that the commodities market is a better insurer of value, so yes, they really do want 25 cents of metal in it.

  100. 100

    The defense spending authorization proposed by John Boehner will CRACK THE EARTH IN TWO!

  101. 101
    David Hunt says:

    @Walker:

    I’d like to see that type of Heist movie because I’d love to see someone to come up with a way to actually profit from stealing a $1 trillion coin. It’s actually U.S. money but it’s infinitely worse than marked or sequentially numbered bills. It’s not like you can deposit it in a bank account anywhere.

    The best I can come up with is a loopy collector that would be willing to pay to have it in his secret collection. Kinda like the black market that exists for stolen masterworks like the Mona Lisa.

  102. 102
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I’d be satisfied with not having to pay too much to get them to leave

  103. 103
    Culture of Truth says:

    Kinda like the black market that exists for stolen masterworks like the Mona Lisa

    Indeed, but how do I know this is *real* trillion dollar coin?

  104. 104
    Culture of Truth says:

    @David Hunt: Inevitably, at the end of the movie, there’s a lingering shot of the actual trillion dollar coin being passed unknowingly from person to person around world, or lying at the bottom of one of those toy bins at the supermarket…

  105. 105
    r€nato says:

    @patrick II: that’s a good point. My objection to this idea is that – despite what the Great Powder Blue Satan says – it is NOT clearly legal to do this. The only thing that is ‘clear’ is that, to a layman, the law as it is written would *seem* to allow this.

    However, nobody has tried to use this law in such a way as this before. Such a move by Obama would certainly be litigated and nobody could say with certainty one way or the other how the court rulings would go. In the meantime, any debt issued on the basis of SecTreas minting a $1T platinum coin could be fairly said to be of doubtful validity. The Republicans would certainly claim that any such T-bills would not be, to them, valid.

    This move could potentially create a much bigger crisis than the debt limit crisis. It’s really not a very good idea at the end of the day and nobody should be surprised that it’s not being considered by the Obama WH.

  106. 106
    Joel says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: Somehow, I was wondering how the King of Bhutan was involved in this and noticed that the poster’s name was such. Moving on.

  107. 107
    Raven says:

    @r€nato: Fuck em if they can’t take a joke.

  108. 108
    Pococurante says:

    Love his photoshop – I’d pay for a silver dollar-sized version.

  109. 109
    burnspbesq says:

    OT: I am pleased to report that neither Barry Bonds nor Roger Clemens was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

  110. 110
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jay C: That mass of platimum (density 21.45 g/cm^3) would compose a cube roughly 32 feet to a side.

  111. 111
    Jay C says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Well, by a rough estimate, the “real” trillion-dollar coin would be about 15-16 feet in diameter, about 2 feet thick, and weigh over twenty tons. Hard to fake….

  112. 112
    👽 Martin says:

    @David Hunt:

    The best I can come up with is a loopy collector that would be willing to pay to have it in his secret collection. Kinda like the black market that exists for stolen masterworks like the Mona Lisa.

    Oceans 14 (remake of 12) – it’s a challenge to determine who is the best thief.

    Or evil Chinese billionaire who wants it to undermine the global economy by revealing the presence of the coin and illustrating that the last trillion dollars in US treasuries can’t be repaid. Plus, given that it’s US legal tender, he plans on taking it to the post office and buying a trillion dollars in stamps, further destroying the US economy.

    Hey, it’s better than a lot of plots that actually become movies.

  113. 113
    David Hunt says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    A real problem for the rich assholes who are willing to pay millions for the privilege of being the only person who can look a copy of Van Goth’s Sunflowers or whatever. The Robin Hoodish heist show, Leverage even mentioned a con based on this concept called the Mona Lisa Variant. If it isn’t a real con, it should be.

    1) Steal an old masterpiece
    2) Forge five copies of that masterpiece.
    3) Sell the copies to various rich assholes who want to be only people in the world to look at great art.
    4) Profit!!!!

    Bonus Step 5) You don’t sell the original but keep it instead.

  114. 114
    Culture of Truth says:

    OT: AIG will not be joining in that lawsuit

  115. 115
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Jay C: The police are scouring the premises looking for the coin… and as the camera pans up, and up, it turns out… they’re standing right on it!!! ZOMG!

    roll credits

  116. 116
    catclub says:

    @burnspbesq: Always nice when moral scolds are in charge. Why should the best player in the history of the game be in such a hall? It is not as though he is famous for being the best player the game has seen.

  117. 117
    jwb says:

    @dollared: The one thing I’m absolutely certain about is that Obama will do anything to prevent a default to bond holders. So if it comes to that point, he’ll mint the coin or find some other way to avoid it. That was the point, I think, of Carney’s equivocation about the coin today. On the other hand, Obama wants to give the GOP a chance to misbehave on the debt ceiling, since it is a political loser for them, so he doesn’t really have a good reason to take it out of play yet.

  118. 118
    SatanicPanic says:

    @burnspbesq: I don’t like either guy, but it’s still stupid that Bonds didn’t get in.

  119. 119
    Woodrowfan says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: More like 1897. Cuba Libre!

  120. 120
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I wonder whether all these conservative pundits get a memo every morning with marching orders about what to peddle.

    @schrodinger’s cat: They do. The “chain email”. Limbuagh just reads them all nice and purty for those listeners of his that don’t do internet.

    I would give a lot of money to find out where those emails originate from.

    I do know this: Hillary Clinton drew nothing but laughter back in 1994 when she declared that there was a “vast right-wing conspiracy”, including from me. I was so wrong about that. She knew, probably one of the first ones ever who did know. Sorry, Mrs. Clinton. I should have listened.

  121. 121
    Culture of Truth says:

    Here’s another plot twist. One of the crooks hides the coin where he always knows where it is but only he can get it – his cat’s collar. The cat loves him but bites and scratches everyone else. Of course he dies, and all the other bumbling crooks have to catch the cat to get the coin.

    Naturally at the end the cat is adopted into a loving but clueless family.

  122. 122
    Rommie says:

    I think the threat of the coin is doing more good than making it would. The twisted fee-fees it has already caused shows they take it as a serious counter, and they are already throwing the poo at it to shut it down.

    If the POTUS has “don’t MAKE ME mint that coin!” in hand, he can do something else more to his liking with greater force.

  123. 123
    Keith G says:

    Another thread pointing to an event that that is not going to happen.

    Who are the rubes?

  124. 124
    Jay C says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Or evil Chinese billionaire who wants it to undermine the global economy by revealing the presence of the coin and illustrating that the last trillion dollars in US treasuries can’t be repaid. Plus, given that it’s US legal tender, he plans on taking it to the post office and buying a trillion dollars in stamps, further destroying the US economy.

    Yes, but I’m sure President Obama will foil that Fiendish Plan by having the Postal Service print up some sheets of ten-billion-dollar stamps, and give him 100 of those instead…

  125. 125
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Culture of Truth: wasn’t that a Disney movie with Fred MacMurry?

  126. 126
    Peter says:

    @David Hunt: It was also used in the old Doctor Who serial City of Death. Except the villain in that one actually got DaVinci to paint six more. Timey-Wimey.

  127. 127

    @Culture of Truth: Or, a wealthy nuclear industrialist is entrusted with taking the platinum coin to a safe place. He is so rich that he would never steal the coin! He promptly steals the coin and hides it in a painting of himself holding a coin. Later, a bumbling nuclear employee turns into an informant for the FBI and infiltrates the house where the coin is hidden. The employee gets a sudden case of stockholm syndrome and helps the industrialist and his manservant to escape in a private plane with the coin. They land in Cuba and are immediately dispossessed by Fidel Castro of the coin and have to build their own raft to float back to Miami.

    Fin.

  128. 128
    Roger Moore says:

    @David Hunt:

    Bonus Step 5) You don’t sell the original but keep it instead.

    Why not sell it to one of the collectors (through a third party broker so he doesn’t know your identity) and then turn him in for a massive reward?

  129. 129
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Woodrowfan: was it? time for a remake then

  130. 130
    Unsympathetic says:

    The coin shouldn’t be for just a trillion, it should be for the amount the CBO determines the Iraq and Afghanistan wars cost.

    With GWB’s face on the front.

    So when it’s presented to Teh Wingnutz, it’s “Paying for the wars already fought but not yet paid for.”

  131. 131
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Take the coin and super glue it to the floor of a local restaurant. Stand back and watch people try to pick it up. Wait and see how long it takes anyone to realize what coin it is and then watch the insanity that ensues.

    Hey, it’s as good as any other supervillain plot.

  132. 132

    I’ve got an idea, Obama should hold a press conference and prioritize the bills that he will and won’t pay.

    As of tomorrow we will no longer make any payments to defense contractors until the debt ceiling is raised

    The republicans would fold like a cheap suit rather than face the wrath of their favored constituents.

  133. 133
    MikeJ says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    As of tomorrow we will no longer make any payments to defense contractors until the debt ceiling is raised

    And gay marriage and weed loving dark blue state Washington screams for impeachment and votes to make John Boehner god king for life, because Boeing.

    Massachusetts has a similar but smaller love for Raytheon, but they have more smaller firms.

  134. 134
    PaulW says:

    Dear Republicans:
    the Platinum Trillion Coin could be the size of a dime and still be valued at $1,000,000,000,000.

    Signed:
    Clever smartass people.

  135. 135
    gogol's wife says:

    The only thing I’ll say for the platinum-coin idea is that it makes for funny BJ threads.

  136. 136
    Cluttered Mind says:

    This point has likely already been made earlier in the thread, but It’s not OBAMA’S spending. The GOP controlled Congress is spending this money while simultaneously ensuring that the check will bounce, at which point they plan to blame Obama for it. It’s ridiculous from start to finish and combating it with another ridiculous idea is not a bad way to go.

  137. 137
    PaulW says:

    …by the way, isn’t Scrooge McDuck’s Number One Dime worth more than just a dime?

  138. 138
    Culture of Truth says:

    Obama address to the nation:
    [ Sitting at the Oval Office desk, on which is a pile of checks.]
    “My fellow Americans”
    [ pulls out big shiny coin ]
    “This is not a trillion dollar coin. Since Congress won’t raise the amount we can borrow, I am going to flip this coin to decide which of America’s bills to pay.”
    [ flips coin ]
    “It’s tails. Sorry…” [ reads check ] “Mildred Aames, looks like you’re not getting Social Security this month. [Puts check big “NOT PAY” bin.] “Let’s try another one.”

  139. 139
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @Walker:

    I really hope that they do the Platinum coin, because the heist movies that Hollywood would make about it would be AWESOME.

    And they’d end the same way – with the government saying “meh”. The reason why the coin doesn’t affect the economy is because it doesn’t circulate’ but it’s not going to circulate anyway because the crooks wouldn’t be able to spend it.

    At best, it would be an underground illegal piece of art like a stolen painting, worth a few million at most.

  140. 140
    patroclus says:

    @gogol’s wife: This.

    Frankly, I think the trillion dollar platinum coin idea is a silly Republican-like smartass way of avoiding regular order, but I am forced to admit that it does make for hilarious BJ threads.

  141. 141
    Chyron HR says:

    @David Hunt:

    The Robin Hoodish heist show, Leverage

    Sorry, didn’t you hear? Obama got rid of Leverage in the fiscal cliff deal.

  142. 142
    Brachiator says:

    @PaulW:

    …by the way, isn’t Scrooge McDuck’s Number One Dime worth more than just a dime?

    Only to Scrooge McDuck.

    Scrooge still has the dime and keeps it on a pillow under glass because it is very special to him. Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and Gladstone Gander among many others think it is really a lucky charm, but Scrooge himself maintains it has only sentimental value.

    Until recently, Scrooge was often Number 1 in the Forbes Fictional Character Wealthy List. Richie Rich and Tony Stark were mere pikers by comparison.

  143. 143
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @r€nato:

    Such a move by Obama would certainly be litigated

    Really? And who exactly would have standing to do so?

  144. 144

    @Culture of Truth: Does this movie star John Cole and Tunch? In which case, Tunch eats the coin to later barf it as hairball.

  145. 145

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Has anyone tried to infiltrate this punditubbie chain email list, by pretending to be a fake conservative punditubbie.

  146. 146
    MaximusNYC says:

    And this is why the platinum coin option won’t work: not because it’s illegal, but because the idea will meet a firestorm of ignorance and deliberate misinformation.

    Face it: Most people — including totebaggers — really don’t understand how the monetary system, the federal debt, the federal budget, or the economy in general actually work.

  147. 147
    Tone in DC says:

    @PaulW:

    Oh, AYUH.

  148. 148
    lethargytartare says:

    @catclub:

    Always nice when moral scolds are in charge. Why should the best player in the history of the game be in such a hall? It is not as though he is famous for being the best player the game has seen.

    When did they kick Cap Anson out of the hall?

  149. 149
    David Hunt says:

    @Peter:

    I know about that even though I’ve only seen bits of it. I was actually thinking about it during the Leverage episode. Also, I know that the several of the Leverage writers were Whovians. I’ve seen them use throwaway cover IDs named Tom Baker, Sarah Jane Smith, Detective Tennant, Office Baker, etc.

  150. 150
    r€nato says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans: IANAL. Just sayin’.

    When Congress believes that the executive branch has infringed upon its powers, who has standing? Congress itself?

    I find it difficult to believe that nobody would have standing to file such a suit. But yes, I cannot answer your question.

  151. 151
    David Hunt says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Why not sell it to one of the collectors (through a third party broker so he doesn’t know your identity) and then turn him in for a massive reward?

    For a serious answer, it’s a very small world and if you ratted out a collector, the community would eventually know and (at best) you could never operate there again. Also, keep in mind that the people who can buy stolen masterpieces are very rich and powerful and have already demonstrated a willingness to break laws and spend vast amounts of money the sole purpose of satisfying their egos. You do not want them out to settle a score with you.

    The idea of the con is that you can get away with selling multiple copies of the same painting because being the only person in world who can look at it is a big piece of the appeal, so it won’t get out to the other marks that there are other copies out their. However, if you turn in the guy who has the real painting, word gets out and suddenly all the marks know they’ve been had. See previous paragraph.

    No, you’re far better off keeping the original or selling it off with the copies.

  152. 152
    PaulW says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Wasn’t this a minor plot point in that 1996 movie Empire Records?

  153. 153
    Lojasmo says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Interestingly, he did say that and not one fuck was given until you decided to chime in.

  154. 154
    👽 Martin says:

    @Culture of Truth: The hitch there is that impoundment (which is the President refusing to spend as Congress has deemed) is covered by a set of laws. The president needs to submit a report on what spending won’t happen and Congress needs to approve that. It’s basically a legislative veto. According to the Supreme Court, legislative vetos are unconstitutional, but Congress does them anyway. McConnells debt limit proposal is a legislative veto – also unconstitutional.

    Bottom line, there’s no ‘out’ here which isn’t likely unconstitutional. IMO, he should just do what you say – start cutting where he wants and let the chips fall where they may, using the 14th amendment as backing to pay debt first.

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J. Michael Neal: As a hockey fan, you are familiar with the asshole move of tossing a warm coin onto the ice, right?

  156. 156
    r€nato says:

    @dollared: and that would be that, right? He directs SecTreas to mint the coin and that’s that and the Republicans mutter, ‘my plan would have worked if it weren’t for those meddling bloggers!’ and retreat quietly to the House?

    Um, no. This is the kind of mavericky thinking that got us into Iraq and got McCain to pick Palin for VP.

    This would kick off a whole new crisis, only Obama would be the bad guy and not the House GOP.

  157. 157
    Cowbelle says:

    I wonder if platinum investments are going to go up among right wingers.

  158. 158
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    Maybe we could use that trillion dollars of platinum to rebuild a new Titanic.

    Imagine how much rich wingnuts would enjoy a Carribean cruise on a platinum ship.

    Now, how do we make a diamond iceberg?

  159. 159
    Faux News says:

    @Culture of Truth: Damn! You do know that you should have your own Right Wing Talk Show right? You will make a TON of money!

  160. 160
    gocart mozart says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:
    Stop all federal money to any district with a Repubican rep.

    I was gonna suggest printing a trillion dollar bill instead but then it occurred to me that you would have to cut down half the trees in the U.S. to supply the paper for a bill that size.

  161. 161
    r€nato says:

    @Cowbelle: LOL you know that the coin dealers who advertise on AM hate radio are probably cutting new ads right now.

    I bet most of them voted for Obama. Nothing better for their business than dumb fucking righties whipped up into a frenzy of fear, loathing and anxiety.

  162. 162
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cowbelle:

    I wonder if platinum investments are going to go up among right wingers.

    No, they’re going to go long on GOOOLLLLLDDD! After all, Ron Paul and Glenn Beck have told them it’s the right investment for when the government tries to print its way out of debt causing hyperinflation.

  163. 163
    thefncrow says:

    @r€nato: 1) There’s really nothing to argue about so far as legality. The law is clear and unambiguous, which means you won’t get into a fight over legislative history and intent. The text of the law clearly allows the move we’re talking about here. The most questionable part of all this is if the act that created subsection k allowing for platinum coins to be minted was subject to non-delegation, but the only entity that would have any standing there is the Congress. Since Congress has the ability to correct the law by amending it, that would put any suit effectively into the realm of a political question, which the court would punt on.

    2) There would be no questioning of the legality of bonds because there would be no such bonds to question. The way the coin works is that the Treasury deposits the coin into the Federal Reserve, and now they have an additional $1t in their account, which the government uses to pay bills. They still can’t make bond sales, because you’re still at the debt ceiling and selling bonds would be a violation of the debt ceiling (although you could still re-issue bonds that had just matured). The “questioning of legality of bonds” issue is specific to using the 14th Amendment to ignore the debt ceiling.

  164. 164
    Thlayli says:

    @burnspbesq:

    They’ll go in next year. The BBWAA made their point by denying them the “honor” of a first-ballot election (Piazza, also too). Like anyone remembers who was first-ballot and who wasn’t.

  165. 165
    Thlayli says:

    @PaulW:

    “I don’t feel the need to explain my art to you.”

  166. 166
    SFAW says:

    @catclub:

    Why should the best player in the history of the game be in such a hall?

    Seaver’s already there. Or did you mean Rickey Henderson?

    @lethargytartare:

    Cap Anson? He couldn’t carry Nap Lajoie’s jock, never mind Honus Wagner’s.

    Next you’ll be telling us Mario Mendoza not being in Cooperstown is history’s greatest injustice.

  167. 167
    lol says:

    @Peter:

    And the “real” Mona Lisa was destroyed leaving one of the “fakes” (which has “THIS IS A FAKE” written in magic marker under the paint) to be returned to the Louvre.

  168. 168
    Roger Moore says:

    @Thlayli:
    I don’t think so. I think there’s a large fraction of the HOF voters who aren’t going to vote for any player they see as a steroid cheat, while there’s another substantial fraction that will continue voting for the best players statistically no matter what skeletons they have in their closets. That’s going to create a long-term floor and ceiling for players like Bonds and Clemens that will keep them on the ballot but out of the hall. It’s a serious problem, because there are at least 5 serious HOF candidates coming onto the ballot next year (Maddux, Glavine, Mussina, Thomas, and Kent). Together with the limit of 10 players per ballot, it’s going to create a real logjam.

  169. 169
    Fair Economist says:

    @Heliopause:

    Could somebody start a thread not about the legality of “The Coin” but the actual probability that Obama would resort to it? Really, I get that all the bloggy bigbrains are weighing in and most saying its legal, but what are the real-world odds of it happening given Obama’s history, temperament, the likely political and policy consequences, etc.?

    My take is that initially Obama won’t do it. No-Drama-Obama is not going to use a controversial loophole like this if he can help it. If the Republicans refuse to yield on the ceiling, however, we’ll get a stock market crash and thousands of businesses facing cuts will sue to have their cuts reversed, citing the 70’s case where Nixon tried to underspend and was told by the court he had to pay every penny.

    At that point Obama will decide he doesn’t want to fight thousands of lawsuits where precedent is on the other side and will go with the least remarkable platinum coin option, which is the million-dollar coin, minted only as necessary to pay current bills. The trillion dollar coin is actually just fine economically, but it goes against people’s usual understanding of money. That understanding is wrong, but Obama wants to be President, not an economics teacher.

  170. 170
    magurakurin says:

    What sucks about the usual suspects here and elsewhere is their inconsistency…or their consistency in just finding ways to call Obama weak.

    Mint the coin! Sign the petition! Tell Obama to be gutsy!

    But the trillion dollar coin isn’t the gutsy call. It’s a weasely work around by any reckoning. As stated well above by a couple of posters, it still leaves the basic problem intact,which is the debt ceiling itself. In fact, it goes a long way to validating the debt ceiling and since the coin loophole is easily closed, it makes the next go around even more difficult.

    The gutsy move is what they are doing. No option to Congress raising the debt ceiling. Minting the coin is blinking. Minting the coin is turning the wheel in a game of chicken.

    And if it comes to it, then the real gutsy move is to stand in front of the camera and just tell the American people we are not going to default and so I have told the Treasury to issue bonds in defiance of Congress because Congress is wrong. Let the court settle it once and for all.

    But instead we hear, “mint the coin, mint the coin.” It’s fucking stupid. I’m all like “Tell Congress to pound sand, pound sand.” That’s what I see as gutsy. And it looks to me like that’s what they are going to do.

  171. 171
    General Stuck says:

    There will be no heroic measures or coin tricks to solve this latest playing chicken with the republic by the republicans. When it soaks in that Obama and dems are not going to negotiate, they will cave with some kind of half ass covering excuse.

    To continue with the stall would bring increasing pressure down on capital hill wingnut heads like they have never had before, and from those that have been traditional allies in the business and finance world. But until that happens, I suspect they will take us to the edge, and maybe a few steps beyond, and Obama will start playing liberal God and pay who he likes, with enough left over to make interest payments on our debts.

    It is a testament to the complete and total cornering of the congressional wingnuts running on the fumes of energy from the tea party, running headlong into the abyss, with Obama sometimes directing traffic to get out of their way. They have nothing else but to sate the 27 percenter lunatics with brinksmanship until adult wingnuts in the plutocrat seats, call the game. Their only economic plan is to destroy the New Deal.

    Obama rarely draws clear lines of not negotiating or debating anything. This one is in presidential red ink. This is a political problem, and one that is fundamental to the world views of the parties. And trickery will not solve, but only postpone the last hurrah of the conservative movement as it has been.

    There is no way out for them, but to save maybe a little face with fighting to the last man bullshit. Everything the republicans are wanting and doing right now is highly unpopular with the general public. So to the endgame we go. The only problem is, when you take it to the edge for the sake of some kind of wingnut posterity, sometimes you accidentally fall off and take the hostages with you.

  172. 172
    Maude says:

    @magurakurin:
    A tweet said that minting the coin doesn’t have much currency at the WH.
    Obama won’t do it. He’d end up being a joke around the world.

  173. 173
    Maude says:

    @General Stuck:
    I read that some businesses have started to talk to the Republicans in Congress. Bet they aren’t whispering sweet nothings in their ears.

  174. 174
    AA+ Bonds says:

    How did Obama do all that spending with Republicans in control of the pursestrings?

  175. 175
    Laertes says:

    How sure are we that a luxury liner displacing 53,000 tons can’t take on 20,000 tons of freight without sinking? Liberty ships displaced 15,000 tons and could carry 10,000 tons of freight. Maybe if you knocked out a few bulkheads (and we all know what a fat lot of good those things turned out to be anyway) she could do it just fine. She’d ride low, maybe, but I bet the old girl could have done it.

  176. 176
    TR says:

    Why can’t Democrats make this issue clear?

    Republicans are acting like a bunch of people who went out to a fancy restaurant, ordered a huge, expensive meal, and then gobbled it all down.

    And then, as soon as the waiter drops the check, the Republicans decide that they have a chronic problem with overeating. Rather than vow to do better the next time they go out, they decide the solution is to run out on the bill for the meal they already ate.

    And then they set fire to the restaurant.

  177. 177
    Catsy says:

    Okay, so, this is what I don’t get about this whole nonsense. Why does the coin have to be platinum at all? It’s fiat currency–what does its composition have to do with anything?

    It just seems like it gives the wingnuts just another angle to lie about and get people worked up about. Ooooh, platinum! That must be expensive! All that platinum! Grr, Obama!

    Morans.

  178. 178
    Laertes says:

    @Catsy:

    The coin has to be platinum because the law that permits the mint to strike a coin of any value they like applies only to platinum coins.

    (And, of course, that law doesn’t require that the coin contain metal equal to its face value. It could be the size of a dime for all that’d matter.)

  179. 179
    Yutsano says:

    @Catsy: It’s a quirk of the law. The Treasury can mint a coin of any denomination but it has to be platinum.

  180. 180
    Ruckus says:

    @Cassidy:
    And see the light of day outside of mom’s basement?

    Perish the thought.

  181. 181
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Catsy:

    And it doesn’t have to be all platinum either. It just has to be a “platinum” coin, i.e., plated or whatever.

  182. 182
    AA+ Bonds says:

    It still won’t happen so it’s just a dumb thing to talk about for fun because it reveals capitalism as a farce and is one of those hysterical gasps for psychic air in our system of oppression and surplus repression

    A magic coin! It’s a trillion dollars! Take lots of photos! etc.

  183. 183
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @TR:

    Why can’t Democrats make this issue clear?
    Republicans are acting like a bunch of people who went out to a fancy restaurant, ordered a huge, expensive meal, and then gobbled it all down.
    And then, as soon as the waiter drops the check, the Republicans decide that they have a chronic problem with overeating. Rather than vow to do better the next time they go out, they decide the solution is to run out on the bill for the meal they already ate.
    And then they set fire to the restaurant.

    How do we get you hired as Obama’s speech writer?

  184. 184
    Darkrose says:

    @David Hunt: Canonically, Hardison is supposed to be a huge Whovian. In “The Bank Shot Job”, he’s complaining about not being able to find a wi-fi connection robust enough to torrent the new episode.

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