The Volokh Conspiracy

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The Trillion Dollar Platinum Coin Can Be Minted "Within Hours"

Struck at the West Point mint, transported by helicopter to the New York Federal Reserve bank.

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So far, the Biden Administration has rejected the idea of the trillion dollar platinum coin. But the President could change his mind, quickly. Axios explains that the entire process of minting the coin would take a few hours.

A trillion-dollar platinum coin could be minted "within hours of the Treasury Secretary's decision to do so," Philip Diehl, former director of the United States Mint, tells Axios. . . . The U.S. Mint, which Diehl ran from 1994 to 2000, already produces a one-ounce Platinum Eagle and has no shortage of platinum blanks already in stock. Producing a trillion-dollar Eagle would require only the denomination to be changed. "This could be quickly executed on the existing plaster mold of the Platinum Eagle," says Diehl. Then an automated process would transfer the new design to a plastic resin mold. Even if Janet Yellen,the Treasury secretary, has no intention of minting such a coin, there is no reason for her not to quietly instruct the Mint director to take those steps a day or two in advance. At that point, a coin could be struck in minutes at the West Point mint. Even if it then needed to be physically deposited at the New York Fed, that's only a short helicopter ride away.

The thought of a chopper couriering a trillion dollar coin is something out of the movies.  I imagine some kind of Ocean's 11-style caper to pilfer the loot.

NEXT: A Disinvitation at MIT

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  1. Does it need to be transported? Unlikely.

    Treasury will simply borrow from the Fed using the coin as collateral. Then use the proceeds for whatever.

    The coin does not physically need to be anywhere, as long as custody is secure.

    1. Does the coin even need to physically exist?

      1. No more than a bitcoin.

        1. paper money, nickel/copper coins, bitcoin, whats the difference, really?

          1. Immutable ledgers of all the transactions

            1. But is there any demand for the immutable ledgers? Ledgerdemand is usually illusiain.

      2. Nah, they can just say they did it; At that point we'd have lost all fiscal credibility anyway, so there's be no downside to anybody finding out it hadn't actually been minted.

        1. Though come to think of it, they'd probably do a limited run so that key figures in the government could pocket one. Even after our currency collapsed, they'd have substantial numismatic value.

            1. I keep a few coins in my shoe just in case someone mugs me, that way I have coins for a phone call and bus fare.

              1. Might as well walk around with a list of fax numbers or your own carrier pigeon and quill to write a note.

        2. At that point we’d have lost all fiscal credibility anyway...

          That ship has sailed. I'm not seeing any downside to the ending the debt limit farces except that it would maybe free some congressvermin time to do a bit more damage than otherwise.

          1. The problem is that people want lots of government services, and somehow they have to be funded. The alternative is to raise tax rates to the point where we can actually pay for services, but there seems little stomach to do that either.

            1. "The alternative is to raise tax rates to the point where we can actually pay for services, but there seems little stomach to do that either."

              The feds can't raise the tax rates to 100% because they have to leave something on the table for the states. But that is exactly what they would have to do to fully fund the government at current spending levels + the current wish list of the progressive wing of the Democrat party.

              1. 91% top marginal rates under Eisenhower and the 1950s were pretty good

                1. That's a top marginal rate, To fund all current spending and the progressive's wish list without defaulting on the debt they would need a 100% tax rate across the board.

                  1. To fund all current spending and the progressive’s wish list without defaulting on the debt they would need a 100% tax rate across the board.

                    I don't think so. In 2018 individual taxpayers paid about $1.5T in individual income taxes. That's with a top rate of 39.6%. The average rate seems to be about 20%. The Tax Foundation link suggests it's less than 15% of AGI, but AGI is not taxable income.

                    Anyway, double the average rate and you're at 40%, and collecting an extra $1.5T, say. But the big scary multi-trillion dollar figures that get thrown around are over a 10-year period, so ""Oh my god, $3.5T. Zimbabwe!!" is in fact $350B a year. Not trivial, but something under 2% of GDP.

                    1. Anyway, double the average rate and you’re at 40%, and collecting an extra $1.5T, say.

                      Drop in the bucket. The 2022 proposed budget projects another $15 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years, and that's already based on downright comical assumptions about revenue growth (nearly doubling over the period).

                      So there's your extra $1.5T -- and that's just to tread water, and on top of whatever tax increases are baked into those rosy revenue projections. Now start loading in the wish list.

                      Oh, and all this requires squeezing your eyes shut and pretending that your high-end income base is just going to sit there and cheerfully pay 2-2.5x what they were paying. We've seen that movie before.

                2. This would be rational, if you were talking about effective tax rates rather than nominal. Following comes from Piketty, in case you think an anti-capitalist Frenchman would sugarcoat those policies:

                  Thanks to the many more and strong exemptions, deductions, and other accounting trick in that time period, the effective income tax rate on the richest 1% of earners back then was actually only 17%. Even if you added in state, property, estate, etc, taxes it only came out to 42%.

                  What is it today? 22% and 37%.

                  1. The truth is, you can't push the effective rate any higher, or else people just stop bothering to earn income subject to the tax, and your revenue falls again. Laffer came in for a lot of insults, but his fundamental observation was unquestionably true: There IS a rate that maximizes revenue, and it's well short of 100%.

              2. Matthew, I would find that argument far more persuasive if we somehow hadn't managed to find trillions for that idiotic war in Afghanistan (which was brought to us by Bush Fils, not the progressive wing of the Democrat party). Seriously, we can find trillions to spend twenty years on a losing land war in Central Asia, but we can't fund bridges, schools, and a social safety net? Tell me another.

                1. Blame Obama for spending Trillions....

                  He needed to look tough.

                  1. You're now blaming Obama for getting us into Afghanistan?

                    1. He spent more than any other President in Afghanistan....if you're complaining about spending, look at the big spender

                    2. Armchair Lawyer, most of the time when I've fact checked you, I've found you to be wrong on the facts. I didn't bother doing so on this one, but a word to the wise: Everyone here has access to google so you might want to fact check yourself before you post.

                      That said, since I didn't actually check this one, suppose you are right and Obama did spend more on the Afghan war than any other president. Not wanting to lose a war we were already in when he took office is not quite the same as getting us into it in the first place.

                    3. Oh lord....

                      Start with an ad hominem, rather than bothering to check the facts...

                      Then start with saying we spent too much in Afghanistan, but change to "we needed to spend that much money because we needed to win the war"...

                      I mean, seriously...do you hear yourself?

                    4. It's not ad hominem to say that most of the time you turn out to be wrong on the facts.

                2. C'mon K_2,
                  The Afghanistan incursion was supported across the board. for at least several years. Even Iraq received widespread support across the parties for at least a few years.
                  Can we fund broader social safety net and a fast paced renewal of infrastructure before bridges collapse and the grid is plagued by crashes? Yes. Will that require a tax on the working class? Yes.
                  Why aren't we doing it? Insufficient Cojones.

          2. That ship has sailed.

            Looked at interest rates lately?

      3. "Seigniorage" : profit made by a government by issuing currency, especially the difference between the face value of coins and their production costs.

        Production costs of money are typically well below face value (in a fiat money system, not under the gold or silver standard, where you could redeem your money for gold or silver).

        Technically, they don't need to mint anything, they can brand a single electron the trillion dollar electron and deposit it at the Fed. Welcome to fiat money!

        That said, there are probably statutory limitations on coinage, i.e. what they can mint. Congress has the power to coin money and delegated it to the Treasury (we can debate the constitutionality of that delegation). In terms of metals, lots of rare earths are more valuable than platinum (for example Rhodium). However, I am think Congress specified gold, silver, and platinum.

        So while the coin need not physically exist, Congress has imposed some restrictions which Treasury needs to follow.

        1. The reason that the trillion dollar coins are canonically platinum is that Congress has to approve all other minting of money, but there's a clause allowing Treasury to mint platinum "commemorative coins" of any denomination from time to time.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillion-dollar_coin

          -dk

          1. "but there’s a clause allowing Treasury to mint platinum “commemorative coins” of any denomination from time to time."

            Do these commemorative coins count as legal tender? My guess would be no, which would make the $1T coin minted under that provision worthless from a government budget perspective.

            1. Yes they do. All commemorative coins are legal tender. Most are worth more than the face value, so you don't usually spend them.

  2. The relevant question is not 'can they' but 'should they'.

    The answer is unambiguously 'no'.

    1. Why not? It would end the "debt limit" farce. And spending wouldn't be any less constrained by appropriations than it is now.

      1. Ah, IOW you're eager for more gov't spending, and unhappy with anything that gets in your way

        Thank you for playing

        1. Let's start by cutting all the Federal spending in the Red states.

      2. Treasury should maintain the coin strategy as an option -- one of those "extraordinary measures" we always hear about when debt ceiling limits are imminent. No need to publicize it.

  3. Trillion dollars won't even cover the pending infrastructure bill.

    Be bold, do a 1 quadrillion one.

    1. Correct, go big or go home.

      This is not as dumb as ppl think. Once they unleash the trillion dollar coin inflation expectations get unhinged, so they may as well get their shots in early.

      1. Yeah, I'm thinking they'd run off a whole series, each a thousand times the face value of the one before, so that they'd have them on hand after the Mint staff had gone looking for work someplace that would pay in potatoes.

        1. Argentina 1987-1990. When the Austral was replaced it was at 50,000 to 1.
          If they can do it, we can as well. We are being governed by humanity majors graduated from the best universities, who can do just about anything.

      2. Inflation may get unhinged by a $1T coin, but inflation will get even more unhinged if USA defaults on the debt.

        1. Again with the assumption that continuing to spend more and more is just an unquestionable fact, so we either borrow more, or default.

          We could cut spending. Admittedly, it's not a popular option, but it's a real option.

    2. 1 Quadrillion? Lame. 1 Googol is the obvious answer. 10^100. Such a nice, round, number. The kind of number you'd want to bring home to the family and have supper with.

      1. "Alphabet Inc, through its wholly owned subsidiaries the Federal Reserve Bank and U.S. Treasury, issued the world first Google coin, using the proceeds to pay off the national debt and infect IRS spyware on every computer. "

      2. "1 Googol"

        Should last until the end of the decade.

        1. "Challenge accepted"
          -Progressives, probably

  4. You know, I flipped through the law.

    Perhaps I missed it. But they're pretty specific about the denominations and qualities of the coins.

    Where can they issue a "$1 Trillion" coin? Unless they're talking about Numismatic items, which aren't real coins for circulation....

    1. You underestimate the creativity of the CDC. The law allows them to take all steps necessary for public health, including authorizing the Treasury to mint coins.

      Of course I am kidding, but only a little. Like most things, by the time the Supreme Court sorts out any ambiguity and makes a decision on the merits, the damage is done.

    2. 31 U.S. Code § 5112 - Denominations, specifications, and design of coins

      "(k) The Secretary may mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time."

      It's the only metal where Congress didn't bother specifying the face values permitted, that's why the trillion deutschmarkdollar coin would have to be platinum.

      1. Note that it specifies "bullion" and "proof" coins. Bullion coins are denominated in the weight of metal, they can't have arbitrary face values. Proof coins are numismatic, and not normally intended for circulation. So I think the legal basis for a trillion dollar coin that doesn't weigh thousands of tons is kind of dubious.

        But, that's kind of the point: Minting this coin is when our currency jumps the shark, isn't it?

        1. Dubious... but if the Treasury has a choice between two clear illegal acts (violating the debt ceiling or not spending money) weighed against a merely dubious/ambiguous act, then by law i think the Treasury has to pick the dubious one and argue about it later.

          1. Violating the debt ceiling is unconstitutional, not spending money merely contrary to statute. There's an order of precedence here, you know, there isn't actually any ambiguity about which they're obligated to do.

            1. "not spending money merely contrary to statute."

              I disagree. Whether the President has impoundment power (power to not spend money) is an interesting question. Lots of Presidents have asserted the power but the Supreme Court decided the line item veto was unconstitutional. Without impoundment power, Congress said spend money, so the Executive has to do it.

              In any case, the debt ceiling is also written into statute so the Treasury could just ignore that too and keep issuing debt.

              1. Nope

                The debt limit is a statue that says "we can't accumulate more debt than this". The spending statues haven't repealed the debt limit, so they all say "subject to the debt limit, spend this"

                Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House. If the debt limit needs to be raised, they can raise it

                Now, why is it, i wonder, that you lefties aren't calling on the Democrats to do that?

                1. "The debt limit is a statue that says “we can’t accumulate more debt than this”."

                  That's got it precisely backwards. Constitutionally, only Congress can authorize federal borrowing, the debt ceiling is pre-authorizing debt up to a certain point, essentially it's a line of credit Congress issues so that they don't have to authorize each specific instance of borrowing.

                  Literally, the 'debt limit' is a statute saying that the federal government CAN borrow. Not forbidding it, as though there were some general authority to borrow that Congress was placing a limit on.

                  1. again, the choice is not A or B. There are multiple ways to raise revenue for spending, such as asset sales or seigniorage. The debt limit only forecloses one of those (borrowing).

                    1. "There are multiple ways to raise revenue for spending, such as asset sales or seigniorage."

                      Okay, since the US dollar is no longer backed by gold and the US federal government is sitting on a large stockpile of gold bullion, why don't they start liquidating some of that first?

                  2. "Literally, the ‘debt limit’ is a statute saying that the federal government CAN borrow. "

                    No, it is a statute saying that the federal government can borrow only up to a certain amount."

                    Which means the Feds can't borrow more than that, even if people are willing to lend them the money.

                    Since there are many avenues for the Feds to borrow more, the practival effect of hte debt limit is to limit how much money the Feds can borrow

                    Which is what I said

                    1. Ask the bank to repeal your line of credit, and see if you are suddenly able to borrow unlimited amounts.

                  3. That’s got it precisely backwards. Constitutionally, only Congress can authorize federal borrowing, the debt ceiling is pre-authorizing debt up to a certain point, essentially it’s a line of credit Congress issues so that they don’t have to authorize each specific instance of borrowing.

                    Literally, the ‘debt limit’ is a statute saying that the federal government CAN borrow. Not forbidding it, as though there were some general authority to borrow that Congress was placing a limit on.

                    No; as always, you are often wrong but never in doubt. Congress does not need to pass a special law to authorize borrowing additional money. It just needs to authorize more spending than there is revenue. If the debt ceiling law were repealed, the federal government could borrow money without limit (subject to the laws of economic reality, of course.)

                2. There's a separation of powers issue here a mile wide- if Biden is told to spend a trillion dollars subject to the debt limit, and can't because of the debt limit, does he get to pick and choose what gets spent?

                  (And incidentally, all of the lefties are calling on Dems to do that. The real lefties are saying to abolish the filibuster and abolish the debt limit, and the center-lefties are saying for Republicans to just keep their mouths shut and let Democrats put up the votes to raise the debt limit without getting rid of the filibuster or using reconciliation. No lefties are telling Democrats not to raise the debt limit).

                  1. So, we're in agreement that the Democrats can use reconciliation to raise the debt limit?

                    Which is to say, they can do it without a single GOP vote?

                    Then get cracking, and stop whining

                3. The debt ceiling prohibits most borrowing after debt reaches a set level. It doesn't prevent the debt from growing further, since there are ways to accrue debt other than by borrowing.

                4. Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House. If the debt limit needs to be raised, they can raise it

                  Apparently you are unfamiliar with the filibuster.

            2. Violating the debt ceiling is unconstitutional,

              Um, no.

          2. Bzzt, thank you for playing.

            The debt limit trumps spending measures. So not spending extra money until the debt limit is raised is following the law

            The fact that you lefties hate the law is irrelevant

            1. to reiterate, bzzt. no. again, there are multiple ways to raise revenue for spending, such as asset sales or seigniorage. The debt limit only forecloses one of those (borrowing).

        2. Our currency jumps the shark, Brett, when we don't pay our bills.

          All this goddamn hysteria about Weimar and Venewzuela and whatnot is completely detached from any sort of reality.

          You people have no fucking idea what you're talking about.

          1. Our currency also jumps the shark when we deficit finance and print money to close the gap.

            1. Bullshit. Get an education.

              Looked at interest rates lately?

              People are paying the US government to hold their money.

        3. The day we mint the coin, or the day we default on the debt because Mitch McConnell refuses to raise the debt ceiling (or because someone else stops us from raising it), which ever of those two days comes first, THAT is when our currency collapses.

          1. Those aren't the only two possibilities. The government could simply stop spending money on other things. Furlough all federal employees, for instance.

    3. Unless they’re talking about Numismatic items, which aren’t real coins for circulation…

      The $100 platinum coin is already legal tender. In what sense is it not "a real coin"?

      As to authorization, you seem to have missed 31 U.S.C. 5112(k).

  5. If I got my hands on that coin, I'd take it to my local lottery office, buy all the tickets, win the jackpot, then return the coin to the government, with a little interest included for borrowing it. 'Cause I'm not a bad guy.

  6. And that would be worth ... (gets out calculator) ... exactly $2.99 on the open market. Think I'm kidding? Think again.

    https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B08HKMG71C/reasonmagazinea-20/

  7. The desperation oozing from the democrat party these days is something to behold. When you have to put forth bizarre gimmicks like the trillion dollar coin, or "we are only going to fund this entitlement for 3 years and dare republicans to repeal it in order to make the cost seem smaller, or "this $5T plan actually costs zero" then you know it's a lost cause and they have given up on legislating.

    1. Just think—had Hillary won in 2016 Democrats never take back the House and we never get out of Afghanistan…and Trump’s tax cuts make reconciliation possible!! So basically Republicans got justices Kavanaugh and ACB and Gorsuch and Democrats get everything on their wishlist!

    2. we are only going to fund this entitlement for 3 years....

      You do realize that this is exactly what Bush did with his tax cuts, which you seem to imagine didn't increase the debt at all?

  8. Does Cuba still have the trillion dollar bill Mr. Burns gave Castro? We should ask for it back. (The Simpsons, Season 9, Episode 20)

  9. This White, male, movement conservative blog's unhinged, myopic focus on this 'trillion dollar coin' issue indicates the state of right-wing legal academia.

    1. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      Waste of brain cells warning
      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      For any one reading the above, Kookland is performing his weird trick of "footnoting" his assertions with a music video.

      I didn't follow it, but hovering over it shows "youtube". So there's no need to click on it.

      Then there's his rando insults.

      In contrast, saying that he's a useless brainless twat is fully justified by his tiresomely repetitive posts.

      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

      1. I encourage you to try to enjoy the songs, Gandydancer.

        It could make your bitter, disaffected journey toward replacement more tolerable.

  10. This is formalistic cargo-culting.

    We're not getting out of this with one weird trick. The GOP should stop filibustering this, FFS.

    1. Right, because the trillion dollar coin won't save us, we should just totally give up and let Democrats do whatever they want.

      1. That's a false choice, and you know it.

        1. What are you offering for the GOP votes?

          1. Not wrecking the country. Sometimes things are just good, Bob.

            1. So, why did Pelosi and Schumer and Obama vote against increasing the debt limit so many times in the past?

              1. Because their vote didn't matter.

                Here, the GOP is filibustering, and it does matter.

                Find some less disingenuous talking points, you tool.

                1. The GOP vote doesn't matter. Democrats can raise the debt limit on their own.

                  They choose not to.

                  1. The Democrats now have 60 votes in the Senate? News to me.

                    1. They can do it via reconcilliation. It's specifically mentioned. They don't need 60 votes to.

            2. But your version is indistinguishable from what Brett said so it's not a choice in any meaningful manner.

          2. Bob, why should the GOP have to be bribed to do what, if they were decent human beings, they'd do anyway?

            1. Because for the last debt limit hike, the Democrats needed to be bribed.

              1. In 2019? What are you talking about? Were their secret negations only you were privy to, because I don't recall the debt ceiling being seriously on the negotiating table in 2019.

              2. Please provide specifics; that's not my recollection at all. And even if it is, you're now telling us that two wrongs make a right?

                1. If the Democrats continue to act in a "wrong" manner, don't be surprised when the GOP does.

                  Politics is a two way street.

                  1. OK, so you don't actually have any specifics to back up your claim that the Democrats had to be bribed last time around. Noted.

                    1. "so you don’t actually have any specifics"

                      It's one baseless assertion after another with him. He long ago abandoned the right to be taken seriously.

                    2. Look up the bills. You claim you don't trust me anyway. Democrats got an extra $300 Billion in spending to increase the debt limit. Health insurance options, all sorts of other things they like.

        2. Of course the trillion dollar coin won't save us. And we face decades of continuous deficits.
          Dump the debt limit and be done with it

          1. The question is why we should be upset about it.

          2. Zimbabwe denominationations here we come. You leftists are nothing but locusts.

            1. Lol. Which party had the White House and Senate for last year's $3.1 trillion deficit?

    2. "GOP should stop filibustering this"

      Dems should stop stalling and bypass the filibuster thru reconciliation, FFS

      1. The GOP are the ones obstructing this, don't write them out of the equation.

        And reconciliation takes a while - that timeline doesn't add up. Much easier for McConnell to quit threatening to wreck our economy for political benefit.

        1. lol, nice try but no one is blaming the GOP. Dems control all the levers of govt and can attach the debt limit to the reconciliation bill, requiring only 50 votes.

          Of course, if the crazy progs like AOC push too far and Manchin tears up his Dem card to caucus with the GOP and put the turtle back in charge, then you may have a point.

          1. The GOP is affirmatively filibustering the thing that prevents the country from unnecessarily breaking itself.

            Doing that, you don't get to ask the Dems to stop what they're doing and jump through hoops or else the country gets it.

            And Manchin is not going to caucus with the GOP. He would lose a GOP primary in seconds.

            1. If Democrats want to be the ones in charge, they should be in charge.

              They can raise the debt limit on their own, and should do so.

              If they want GOP help so desperately, perhaps they can give the GOP some input into the bill. But I haven't heard them offer anything...

              1. The GOP isn't just not helping, they are *sabotaging efforts*.

                Quit pretending the GOP has no agency here. The Dems want to raise the debt limit, the GOP is fighting them on it.

                1. As repeatedly noted, the Democrats can raise the debt limit completely on their own.

                  They choose not to, and choose to complain about it instead.

                  1. They have 60 votes in the Senate?

                    1. Reconciliation is 50. Can you not read?

                    2. Do you think reconciliation hasn't occurred to Chuck Schumer? Presumably he's familiar with the Senate rules. If he's not doing it, there's most likely a valid reason why it's not a good idea.

                    3. And I suspect that valid reason has something to do with Manchin and Synema.

                    4. Schumer is well aware of Reconciliation

                      He's playing you and fools like you.

                2. Indeed McConnel is playing this as the great drama queen that he is

        2. "timeline doesn’t add up."

          Oh, an expert in Senate procedure.

          Mitch says otherwise. Nobody knows procedure like him.

          GOP is in the minority, Biden is governing like they do not exist. So be it. Don't expect them to bail you out though.

          1. Bob, I would be far more sympathetic to your position if not for the fact that $7.8 trillion of the debt is Trump's. Republicans only care about deficits when a Democrat is in the White House. And Democrats at least try to raise revenue.

            1. My position is that the Dems want to govern without the GOP.

              That's fine, but then they should do so here too.

              1. Obama got rolled trying to work with the GOP. McConnell has shown he zero intention to compromise, and all intention to sabotage.

                Which you know, and approve of. Because as you have said electoral victor is all that matters; governing is for suckers.

                And the GOP is not just letting the Dems govern on their own - they're filibustering! Come up with a less clearly untrue narrative sometime.

                1. I haven't heard a single offer of compromise on the table for the debt limit hike from the Democrats. Not one.

                  1. Yeah - because you don't compromise with holding the country hostage.

                    Not everything is a political bargaining chip.

                    1. So, the Democrats won't compromise at all, won't give the GOP ANYTHING, and can raise the debt limit completely on their own, without GOP support...

                      Why would the GOP vote for it?

                    2. McConnel has said he's not interested in compromise. He's also shown that in the past, on much more substantive stuff.

                      You don't compromise with the GOP threatening to mess up the country. Or else they'll do it over and over again to secure concessions.

                    3. "McConnel has said he’s not interested in compromise."
                      "You don’t compromise with the GOP "

                      Because the Democrats haven't offered anything. Haven't offered any input on less substantial bills. Continue to ram through everything as hard to the left as they can.

                      Act in an actual bipartisan manner....Or else Govern on your own

              2. What Sarcastro said. Mitch McConnell's idea of bipartisanship is that the Democrats completely capitulate and give the GOP everything it wants. Including lots of spending with no taxes.

                1. As has been repeated, ad infinitum, the Democrats don't need to compromise with the GOP, and show no desire to. They can raise the debt limit on their own. They should do so.

                  1. They can - but the GOP Is *filibustering to prevent them from doing so.*

                    You keep not mentioning that for some reason.

                    1. Because Reconcilliation would easily get around the fillibuster.

                    2. Sorry you don't know what easily means.

                      Or how much floor time reconciliation takes.

                    3. You've had lots and lots of floor time.

                      You still have lots.

              3. WTF are you talking about?

                We are working on a budget passed in December of last year you moron.

                Are you claiming Republicans had no hand in that?

                1. AL,
                  You claim is unhinged from any reality whatsoever.
                  The debt is your debt; the debt is my debt.
                  The debt is R debt; the debt is D debt.
                  Live with it.

                2. "We are working on a budget passed in December of last year you moron."

                  You may not be aware, but the US government fiscal year runs from Oct 1st to Sep 30th.

                  That budget from last December is done. That ended September 30th. That budget was covered by the taxes and borrowing under the current debt limit.

            2. Regardless of what you blame Trump for, the debt limit INCREASE is for new spending under Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer.

              Spending Bills the Democrats are passing without any GOP input or support.

              Perhaps the NEW debt they are racking up should be approved by the Democrats... Since they're the ones voting for the bills the new debt is needed for.

              1. That's not what the debt ceiling is, you colossal idiot.

                1. Actually it is you ignorant cunt.

                  1. No, it's not for new spending. Look it up.

                2. Of course it is. The debt ceiling allows the US to borrow more money, above what it has already borrowed.

                  It needs to do that to fund the spending this year. Not the spending from last year

            3. K_2,
              "$7.8 trillion of the debt is Trump’s"
              No it isn't it belongs to all of us.

          2. Bob,
            The whole thing is a kabuki play with zero meaning. Everyone knows that in the end the debt ceiling will be lifted and that a new deficit budget is passed.
            Is there an actual practical alternative? Yes, the so-call $1T. But lets call that what it is. It is a 5% inflation of the GDP, because the coin does not change the GDP or the wealth of America by 1 cent.
            Someone here is argue that 5% is to high, actually when you account for all US assets it is a 1% or 2% inflator. But it is no different than printing new money, except that the Executive can do it on its own.

        3. Democrats can do it on their own. They want to control the government 100% without any GOP input. They can do it here too.

          1. The GOP is providing their input. They're filibustering.

            At this point, I don't think you knew that.

            1. A.L's idiocy seem to be a widespread, possibly universal, idea held by the defaulters.

              1. Are you sure it's idiocy rather than mendacity?

                1. I think he's come to a level of partisanship beyond truth. He just posts stuff he thinks he's heard. No need to read it critically when you're nor reading for truth!

                  Everything is partisan ammo to him, including defaulting on our debt.

                  1. Sarcastro, on the few occasions I've taken the necessary five minutes to go on Google and fact check Armchair Lawyer, I consistently find him to be wrong on the facts. He is apparently unaware that every statement he makes is subject to independent checking.

                    1. And yet, you never post any evidence of this.

                2. Mendacity by McConnell and a few others.

                  Utter stupidity by many, including all the commenters here screaming about Zimbabwe or Weimar or whatever.

                  It's one of the most amazing displays of mass hysteria I've seen here, and I've been commenting here a long time.

                3. K_2,
                  For the Armchair, the two are not mutually exclusive

            2. The Democrats need only hike the debt limit by reconcilliation. They can do so. They don't want the optics.

    3. Democrats can pass the debt limit hike on their own. They should do so.

      1. The GOP can stop filibustering the debt limit increase on their own. They should do so.

        1. You know, the filibuster is bullshit.

          Let it come to a vote, and let all GOP Senators vote against it. What is McConnell afraid of?

          1. That's the main way I see out of it at this point.

        2. The Democrats need only pass it by reconcilliation. With 50 votes.

  11. The current price of platinum is $964.91/ounce. I can't imagine an Ocean's 11 style heist to pilfer something worth so little when the thieves involved could steal more money for less effort by mugging random people.

    1. This is where I realize I truly don't understand currency not pegged to something real. I intuitively think that minting a (lets go big say 200 oz) platinum $1 trillion coin would immediately re-set the price of platinum to $5B / oz, making the catalytic converter under my car worth something like $1.2B (based on 7oz of platinum in the average catalytic converter).

      I know it doesn't somehow work like this, but I don't understand it.

      1. Err 7g of platinum in a catalytic converter...

        1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that, unless you're driving a diesel, your catalytic converter probably uses palladium, not platinum.

      2. This coin would not be backed by assets anymore than any Ben Franklin is

  12. Huge news! Thanks, Josh!

  13. If the coin is stolen, all the government needs to due is declare the coin no longer legal tender and counterfeit. Then create a new, different coin.

    1. Counterfeit?

      This sounds like the urban legend that some legislature declared pi=3.1415,

    2. Who would steal it? You couldn't do anything with it.

      You might as well go around spending money stamped "This currency stolen from First National Bank."

  14. The coin is a joke.

    All that has to happen is the same thing that happened during quantitative easing, when the fed created money out of thin air. A button was pressed.

    1. Yes but QE dollars doesn't go to TREASURY

  15. Sounds like an episode of the Simpsons...

    But why stop at only a trillion? Make it 100-trillion, that's gotta be like a thousand times more gooder! We could pay off the National Debt and give everyone a basic income of like a million dollars!

    1. Because $100T would grossly exceed the GDP and would amount to the US devaluing its cash against the Euro or GBP

  16. The whole exercise is politics all the way down.

    "Both sides" agree the debt ceiling can and should be raised. The only question is the mechanism, and that only matters for mid term campaigning.

    The only thing that truly can't and shouldn't be done is the break the illusion of finite spending. So long as we all pretend that we don't have the money printer on autopilot, then inflation stays at bay, and we slowly use mild inflation to indirectly tax the middle and lower classes whose wages aren't inflation proof.

  17. Make the coin, take it to the store, buy a stick of gum, ask for change.

  18. If putting a bit of dented metal in a certain box (we must, at all costs prevent it from either not reaching that box or ending up in another box) proves essential to the collective understanding of an ordered society, your troubles might run a bit deeper than the Congress not being able to make a decision.

    Mr. D.

  19. I have a 0.1 oz platinum novelty coin. Would my bank suspect anything if I overstamped it with a more modest denomination, eg $1 million, and deposited it to my account?

    1. Depends. Do you have your own army, which will seriously mess them up if they refuse the deposit?

      Because that's why people would take the $1T coin, not because they thought it was worth anything.

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