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

(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.

Silver medals are lined up before being stamped at the U.S. Mint in West Point, N.Y.
Silver medals are lined up before being stamped at the U.S. Mint in West Point, N.Y.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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