Now This Would Have Been a Nice Federal Budget Cut

I have nothing against Abraham Lincoln — quite admire him, in fact — but I do think the penny has long, long, long outlived its usefulness.

I have said this time and again and, having been woefully ineffective in bringing about its end, vowed to shut up about it.

But now comes word that, in honor of Lincoln’s birthday, the U.S. Mint has just released the first of four special commemorative pennies, each representing a different phase in Lincoln’s life.

Sure, this was a shovel-ready project before shovel-ready was cool, but honestly, is the penny what we need to be spending our dollars on?

TAGS: ,

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

 

COMMENTS: 50

View All Comments »
  1. Mike says:

    “but honestly, is the penny what we need to be spending our dollars on?”

    Must be one of those rhetorical questions which I specialize in.

    Answer: No

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  2. Michelle says:

    I’ve heard the U.S. Mint made a pretty profit from printing the state quarters in the last decade. Millions paid 25 cents per quarter for coins that end up in a collector’s box and out of circulation.

    Maybe this is a similar attempt to raise some money on the penny.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. Stuart says:

    “I’ve heard the U.S. Mint made a pretty profit from printing the state quarters in the last decade.”

    The problem is that it costs a little over 7 cents to make a quarter. So there is a decent mark up there.

    However, the Penny costs about a penny to make. At least they won’t be loosing money. Depending on how much the GOV pays for its copper.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  4. Will says:

    I didn’t know the Zinc Industry needed a bailout.

    Maybe we should pay them in pennies.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. Ian says:

    The mint loses money printing pennies. Though they could make money on special issue pennies.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. Ian says:

    @2: It won’t work, though. The raw materials that go into a penny are worth pretty close to $0.01. Add in the manufacturing and it costs more to make a penny than we get from the people who sit on them. The more collectible it is, the worse the problem gets.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  7. gospazha says:

    No, this isn’t what we need to be spending our dollars on. Or, more correctly, this isn’t what government needs to be wasting stolen funds on.

    In 2006, it costs 1.23 cents to produce a single penny (I wonder what it costs now), and that penny is worth more in raw materials alone than its face value. So the penny is a waste in both its new AND old design.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. Kevin H says:

    @2 except a penny costs more than a penny to produce, so they’ll spend 1.5 cents to take 1 cent out of circulation….

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0