Paulson Wants to Toss Pennies

Costs outweigh value of small change, but government has no plans to cash out
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 29, 2008 4:15 PM CST
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson appears before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008, to discuss the state of the economy. Paulson said in a radio interview...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Henry Paulson sees little point in pennies and would stop their production if he could, the AP reports. “The penny is worth less than any other currency,” the Treasury Secretary said today in a radio interview. But a sea change in change isn't imminent: Paulson says he has bigger challenges to tackle in the last year of the administration.

The penny isn’t going anywhere, but the Treasury has asked Congress about changing the coin's metallic makeup. The coin's production costs total $134 million for every $80 million in pennies, CBS News reports. "It's unsustainable," said the head of the US Mint. "You can't sustain losses on pennies and nickels and expect to be a viable organization that benefits the American people." (Read more Henry Paulson stories.)