Time to Get Rid of Paper Dollars: GAO

Move would save government $184M a year
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2011 10:18 AM CST

(Newser) – It's time to kiss your dollar bills goodbye—or at least, it should be, as far as the Government Accountability Office is concerned. The GAO has once again called on Congress, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury to yank paper dollars out of circulation and replace them with dollar coins, Aol News reports. They estimate that the switch would save the federal government $5.5 billion over the next three decades, because greenbacks wear out every 40 months, while coins last around 30 years.

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But don't hold your breath: This is the fourth time in the last 20 years the GAO has called for a switch. Part of the problem is that the public isn't thrilled with the idea; in a 2006 survey, 64% said they opposed switching to coins even if it would save money. "Trying to change people's mentality is a difficult thing," says one member of the government's Coinage Advisory Committee, "You have to withdraw the actual dollar bills, because we already have plenty of dollar coins, and no one even knows what they are." Click for more on the debate. (Read more dollar coin stories.)

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