Of Trillion Dollar Coins and Fiscal Lunacy

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The idea of minting trillion-dollar platinum coins has been a lunatic nostrum of the wacked out left for about a year.  Today Brad Plumer on the wonk blog at the Washington Post looks at this scam:

Enter the platinum coins. Thanks to an odd loophole in current law, the U.S. Treasury is technically allowed to mint as many coins made of platinum as it wants and can assign them whatever value it pleases.

Under this scenario, the U.S. Mint would produce (say) a pair of trillion-dollar platinum coins. The president orders the coins to be deposited at the Federal Reserve. The Fed then moves this money into Treasury’s accounts. And just like that, Treasury suddenly has an extra $2 trillion to pay off its obligations for the next two years — without needing to issue new debt. The ceiling is no longer an issue.

“I like it,” says Joseph Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “There’s nothing that’s obviously economically problematic about it.”

Go here to read the rest.  The country is in debt sixteen trillion dollars.  By the time Obama finally leaves office we will probably be at least 20 trillion in debt.  Of course this does not take into account dozens of trillions of debt in entitlement obligations coming due over the next few decades.  We are rapidly reaching the point where it is mathematically impossible to ever pay off this debt without currency depreciation and/or hyper inflation.  This scheme is basically currency depreciation as the US currency swells by two trillion dollars in a year’s time.  If attempted I think it would lead ultimately to hyperinflation.  The left are not all loons.  Something like this will eventually be done by people who realize it is economic poison, but who are willing to do it anyway to get out of dealing with an unpayable debt.  The impact on our economy would be likely catastrophic.

 

 

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Donald R. McClarey (1546 Posts)


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