February 15, 2007
News flash: People still like the greenback

The new Presidential dollar coin, which is already circulating in Houston, goes nationwide this week as people from coast to coast wonder what the point is.

An AP-Ipsos poll found that three-fourths of people surveyed oppose replacing the dollar bill, featuring George Washington, with a dollar coin. People are split evenly on the idea of having both a dollar bill and a dollar coin.

A new version of the coin, paying tribute to American presidents, goes into general circulation Thursday. Even though doing away with the bill could save hundreds of millions of dollars each year in printing costs, there is no plan to scrap the bill in favor of the more durable coin.

"I really don't see any use for it," Larry Ashbaugh, a retiree from Bristolville, Ohio, said of the dollar coin. "We tried it before. It didn't fly."


People say they just prefer the traditional greenback.

"The dollar bill is lighter, takes up less space in a clutch or a man's wallet and paper money counts easier and stacks up easier than metallic coins," said Nena Wise of York, Pa.

I've pondered the existential question of why there's such a misperceived need to phase out the dollar bill, but I don't think I've seen the case stated as succinctly as Ms. Wise just did. Kudos to you, madam. This is not to say that come people won't like the idea of dollar coins. It's just that there's no need to make them agents of elimination. Far as I'm concerned, the Mint can crank out a new design for a dollar coin every few years if it amuses them. Long as they're seen as enhancements and not replacements, it's fine by me.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 15, 2007 to National news

Agreed. However, they DO need to eliminate pennies, which cost more to make than they're worth.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast on February 15, 2007 7:27 AM

Dunno. I like pound coins in the UK, which essentially serve the same purpose. Dollars are so much less valued than they used to be, it sort of makes sense to me to get rid of them.

Posted by: 'stina on February 20, 2007 3:54 PM