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Cumberland County company offers '$1 trillion' coin

By - Last modified: February 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM
American Mint's coin is a 'representation of what the $1 trillion trial coin might look like' if Congress were to issue one. Photo/Submitted
American Mint's coin is a 'representation of what the $1 trillion trial coin might look like' if Congress were to issue one. Photo/Submitted

Looking for the perfect gift for the “deficit dove” in your life? A Mechanicsburg-area company has the answer: a $1 trillion platinum coin.

American Mint is issuing a platinum-plated "proof" coin that "features a representation of what the $1 trillion trial coin might look like if Congress were to issue it to avoid the debt ceiling."

The company's website lists the coin at $9.95, discounted from a "regular" price of $79.95.

The coin "is a great way to commemorate this challenging moment in history," company President Kevin Sacher said in a statement.

A call to Sacher this morning seeking further comment was not immediately returned.

The $1 trillion coin idea came to prominence several months ago, during the battle between the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans over the debt ceiling.

Republicans wanted major spending concessions in exchange for raising the ceiling. Commentators saw the $1 trillion coin as a potential loophole for the White House.

A section of the law governing the Treasury Department gives the Treasury Secretary authority to issue "platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins" of any denomination.

"Mint the coin" proponents argued that the Treasury Department could create a $1 trillion platinum coin, deposit it with the Federal Reserve, and write checks against it without technically having raised the ceiling.

The alternative, they argued, was allowing Congressional Republicans to use the nation's good credit as a hostage in debt negotiations. Regardless of one's views on the debt, it would be highly damaging if the government failed to pay expenses that Congress had duly authorized it to incur, they argued.

In mid-January, the Treasury and Federal Reserve both disavowed the $1 trillion coin proposal. At the end of January, Congress passed legislation suspending the debt ceiling for three months.

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@cpbj.com

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