Hurry, Mint That Platinum Coin
Paul Krugman: It's kind of a joke, but so is the current predicament
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2013 1:21 PM CST
Silver medals are lined up before being stamped at the U.S. Mint in West Point, N.Y.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(Newser) – Despite facing plenty of blowback from wags, wonks, and politicos over the past week—such as Ezra Klein in the Washington Post—Paul Krugman is continuing his push for the $1 trillion platinum coin option to bypass the looming debt ceiling debate. (Here's a summary of how it works). It's a "vile absurdity" that Congress has forced this fight in the first place, so "using an accounting trick to negate it is entirely appropriate," writes Krugman in the New York Times.

If the debt limit is not raised, the president would either have to borrow money against the wishes of Congress or refuse to spend money Congress told him to spend, Krugman writes. Either way, he would be breaking the law. What's worse, defaulting on the nation's debt would be "disastrous" for the economy and markets. Rather than buckle to Republicans trying to hold the economy hostage, the $1 trillion platinum coin would be both legal and effective. It's "better to look slightly silly than to let a financial and Constitutional crisis explode," writes Krugman. Read the full column here. Or read Stephen Carter's take on why it's a terrible idea here.

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Jan 14, 2013 5:04 PM CST
And theyll probly mint the coin in India or Lybia where most of those types coins are minted. This country is one big fat joke and a half.
Jan 13, 2013 12:53 PM CST
This idea is absurd. Has anyone noticed how much food prices have gone up? How about gas? The stock market (despite lackluster economic performance)? What about gold? The Canadian Dollar? What about how the price of each of these has followed nearly identical growth patterns since Quantitative Easing was instituted? Quantitative Easing (aka printing money) has slowly inflated the price on many products we use on a daily basis. Meanwhile, wages have shrunk with the quantity of demand for products like an TV or other products on the CPI that Bernanke is so keen on citing as the reason his printing money does not cause inflation (I don't know how that man thinks he's above basic economic laws). So you want to print even more money, a trillion dollars at a time? And this is supposed to stimulate the economy? Yeah, we'd delay the inevitable debt ceiling standoff for some time, but only so it hits us again down the road with an inflated price tag. And meanwhile, lower-income earners can buy less and less of necessities... even if (and this is a large IF) unemployment decreased. You'd have more workers working for less real wealth, while the bulk of the new currency is given to wealthy foreign investors; and I promise they won't be sending it back in a hurry to a country that deflates the value of their loans when put in a crunch. Leave it to a Nobel-winning Socialist to find a way to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. There's a reason for the limits on every other type of material for currency (I don't know how platinum slipped by, but just because it legally slipped by does not make it a good idea). There's also a reason why everyone, even supporters of this idea, call it "whacky" or "crazy." We need to seriously talk about cutting defense spending and entitlements, the only areas where significant cuts will do any damage to the deficit. Sure the economy will take a hit, but we must understand that that portion of economy is artificially supported anyways. And yes, there could be social backlash, severe justified social backlash, but it will be much smaller in magnitude if we go through such a readjustment now than just putting it off and continuing to feed the beast. But no politician wants to endure any type of backlash that might damage their career so until we start holding them responsible for this mess, we keep looking to every other alternative except the logical one to save a nation. That is, if the nation is worth saving at this point...
Jan 13, 2013 12:19 AM CST
If I am thinking is someone else and someone else until it is done.....A 007 Movie! Steal the One Trillion Dollar Coin. Hold it for ransom. Hold it for the sake of having it. What a coin for my coin collection.