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Coin with dollar sign on front
Felix Salmon, explaining why he doesn't believe the trillion dollar coin will ever be minted, outlines what he believes is the biggest problem with the idea:
It would effectively mark the demise of the three-branch system of government, by allowing the executive branch to simply steamroller the rights and privileges of the legislative branch. Yes, the legislature is behaving like a bunch of utter morons if they think that driving the US government into default is a good idea. But it’s their right to behave like a bunch of utter morons. If the executive branch failed to respect that right, it would effectively be defying the exact same authority by which the president himself governs. The result would be a governance crisis which would make the last debt-ceiling fiasco look positively benign in comparison.
So if Congress tries to tank the United States economy, the president should not pursue every legal avenue possible to prevent them from doing so ... because Congress has the right to screw over the country if they so choose? And even better, if you disagree with that notion, then you believe the country should be run by children:  
If you believe that the country is best run by grown-ups, you can’t believe in #mintthecoin, because it simply isn’t a grown-up strategy. If you believe that the House Republicans behave in crazy and illogical ways, then you can’t believe in #mintthecoin, because the threat of minting the coin doesn’t work against someone who’s crazy and illogical. And if you believe that the best way to approach the debt ceiling is to try and abolish it altogether, then you can’t believe in #mintthecoin, because the entire strategy is based on the idea of keeping the ceiling where it is, and then trying to circumvent it.
Basically, Salmon is arguing that the coin is a bad idea because it's icky and juvenile and would mark the complete failure of government as we know it. Okay, fine, as an intellectual exercise, I can see how it might be comforting to feel that way ... but if Republicans block the debt limit increase, wouldn't things already by icky and juvenile, and wouldn't government have already failed? And as long as the coin is legal (which Salmon seems to believe it is), wouldn't it be a dereliction of duty for President Obama to not pursue it unless he identified a better option?

I don't actually believe Republicans are serious about their threat to throw the country into default (see comments by McConnell, Mitch and Boehner, John), but if they do follow through on their threat, it seems pretty clear that the executive branch's top priority should be identifying mechanisms for mitigating the economic damage of Republican sabotage. Yet Salmon argues that's the wrong approach to take:

The solution to the fiscal cliff crisis was to let the House Republicans overstretch, self-destruct, and render themselves powerless: that’s how to best deal with such people. There’s exactly zero chance that the House Republicans, faced with the Coin Threat, will suddenly turn logical and decide that they’re not going to play political games around the debt ceiling after all.
Salmon is probably right that the existence of the coin option won't impact whether or not Republicans push us over the edge, but the coin isn't primarily a deterrent; it's strategy for coping with the fallout in the event Republicans attempt to force national default. But his analogy with the fiscal cliff doesn't make sense. For starters, that was a negotiation, and as a negotiation, Republicans weren't powerless. They might not have been happy about accepting tax increases, but ultimately the deal couldn't have passed without John Boehner allowing it to come up for a vote.

Unlike the tax deal and unlike the sequester, President Obama says raising the debt limit is non-negotiable. In the end, Republicans will probably accept his position, but if they don't, it would be foolish and irresponsible to not pursue every conceivable legal avenue to protect our economy and the world economy from potential harm. To borrow a tired and worn out phrase, it would be the grown-up to do.

Please sign the petition asking President Obama to mint the trillion dollar coin if Republicans attempt to force the nation into default.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:02 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've thought the coin idea was silly (39+ / 0-)

    But the more I see Republicans complain about it the less silly it becomes. They're scared shitless of it because it would take away their power to fuck people over. Anything that makes Republicans afraid can't be all bad.

    What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:06:49 AM PST

    •  It is certainly less silly (20+ / 0-)

      than taking the economy hostage every week or so, as Grover Norquist has suggested.

      If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

      by MadRuth on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:34:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Grownups don't believe (8+ / 0-)

        that trillions of dollars in tax cuts pay for themselves. Or that endless war pays for itself, either Felix

        •  Grownups also believe in paying their bills (8+ / 0-)

          Unlike Republicans, who treat bankruptcy and screwing over those who trusted you to keep your word as a normal course of affairs, Democrats and other adults know that you can't just throw temper tantrums and refuse things just because you don't wanna.  There are times I think Republicans need to be sent to their rooms without dinner, or other treatment of spoiled brats, that they obviously missed as they were being coddled as the wealthy children of the Masters of the Universe.

          •  It makes a lot more sense to just ignore the debt (0+ / 0-)

            ceiling, as per the 14th Amendment, then mint this stupid coin.  

            Fighting crazy with crazy is not 11 dimensional chess, it's insanity squared.  

            I really wish DailyKos would just forget this crap, and get on with doing something productive.

            The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

            by MadScientist on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:14:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  As someone else pointed out, that might force (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Seneca Doane

              the government to shut everything but debt payment down.  We've never gone through that situation, but all manner of government might stop while everything becomes a "collect taxes and pay obligations" focus.  

              I'd rather the Republicans figured this out, but I don't count on them being that brave.

            •  Why is the coin crazy? Jefferson thought the (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MadRuth, offgrid, ColoTim

              idea of paying a central bank interest for the right to have a national currency crazy.

              It is crazy, especially under a fiat money system.

            •  "Just ignore the debt ceiling" = breaking the law (6+ / 0-)

              "Following the debt ceiling and not paying" also = breaking the law.

              Another law says that we can mint the coin.  So mint the coin.

              Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

              "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
              -- Saul Alinsky

              by Seneca Doane on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:38:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If we're gonna mint 1 coin… (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                katiec

                …we should just go ahead and mint 17 coins and dispose of the National Debt and the Tea Party's râison d'etre in one fell swoop.

                Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

                by DemSign on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:00:27 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  My actual preference would be to mint a (0+ / 0-)

                  quadrillion dollar coin by "accident."  Wipe out the debt limit for the next century or so.  Put Rick Perry's face on the coin, then on the reverse, print the word "Oops!"

                  Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

                  "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
                  -- Saul Alinsky

                  by Seneca Doane on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 02:29:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Pay our bills -- MINT THE COINT - because (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ColoTim, jw1, MadRuth, offgrid

            this government crisis is nonsense!  

            Our government Constitution has been getting railroaded all over the place post-911 in the name of "NATIONAL SECURITY."

            Well, this time average people around the world are going to suffer immeasurably for this crisis of leadership where our representatives no longer give a rat's ass about the people who elect them!

            No, instead they are beholden to nut ideologues who finances them like the Koch brothers.  

            Chore 1:  Mint the Coin
            Chore 2:  Reverse Citizens United decision with Constitutional Amendment

            In fact call the new multi-Trillion dollar coin, "The Price of Justice," and then cite Citizens United.  On the back it should read, "We Shall Overcome!"

            Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

            by Einsteinia on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:27:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Roosevelt didn't have to get Congress to use (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TealTerror, artmartin, jw1

      its Constitutional authority to add justices to the SCOTUS.

      He just had to make it clear that he had the votes to do so and was seriously considering it.

      "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

      by JesseCW on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:44:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought of the perfect face for the coin! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glaze, Dancing Frog, Fair Economist

      Let's put Ronald Reagan on it - completely appropriate that the father of the National Debt be on the coin that epitomizes it.  Also, the Republicans would have a far harder time ridiculing a coin that has their patron saint's face on it.

      Plus it's the only denomination I'd ever support putting that mass murderer's face on.

      Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

      by sleipner on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:06:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The GOP will never go over the fiscal bluff (0+ / 0-)

      And everyone knows it.  They have three leverage points, the debt ceiling, the sequester and the continuing resolution on government operations.  But they have no strategy; they are all over the map with different ideas.  They are much more likely to bring about a government shutdown because that is what they know, it's been done before, and it is where they actually have to take a vote on current spending.

      That will be a problem, but not as bad as not raising the debt limit.

      The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

      by Mimikatz on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:06:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Silly Ideas (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think it's smart to push silly ideas to prevent the Republicans from tanking the economy.  What happened last time is everybody saw the Republicans as idiots and determined they had no place at the helm of our government.  If they resort to asinine antics that further diminish their prospects, so be it.  But I don't think we should try to trump their silliness with silliness of our own.

      •  A Law Was Passed (0+ / 0-)

        This would be happening pursuant to that law.  It's like Salmon doesn't know that that happened.  That's why his argument about degrading checks and balances is completely absurd.  No, the President can't use this precedent to do something like this in the absence of such a law.

        Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
        -- Saul Alinsky

        by Seneca Doane on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:34:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why is it a silly idea? I think it's silly that (4+ / 0-)

        our fiat currency is being hoarded by the few.

        The coin would illustrate how fiat money actually works, then maybe people would realize that the issue isn't how much money the gov. has (it has infinite money), but where that money is going -- to the top.

    •  I like the look of the T-coin more every day (0+ / 0-)

      Obama coin

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:31:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I guess (0+ / 0-)

      I'm almost alone here in thinking that the trillion dollar coin idea is a bad idea.
        In fact, going around the legislative branch is a bad idea. I think the executive branch already has waaaayyyy too much power.

      ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

      by gjohnsit on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:47:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's the legislative's branch that created the (0+ / 0-)

        law.  It's its law.

        So how is this going around the leg branch?

        •  And Congress could revoke the law (0+ / 0-)

          if Congress could get come to a consensus on important matters. But most of Congress is too angry at the Teabaggers & lunatic fringe Republicans to want to pass a law -- which Obama would then need to sign.

          I bet there are Republicans who, in their heart of hearts, are hoping he strikes the trillion-dollar coin. That would be a big target to hang around certain Congress-critters' necks & allow their peers to finally get rid of them.

    •  THE GOP COULD NEVER UNDERSTAND (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not

      Of course the GOP could never understand the principle behind the minting of coin and paper money by a government. They're too used to people who make money out of thin air, via derivatives, mortgage fraud, etc.

      Indeed, the GOP and those who have accumulated great wealth that they represent have lost sight of where their money originated. Now that a lot of their income comes from the money itself going to work for them, via interest/investments, they think that these are how money originate, and if you are too stupid or too poor to get this kind of income, then you are just a drain on them.

      They extend this logic not only to the poor but to anyone who earns or has had to earn their living by working.

      They have a big impediment in their vision, a huge blind spot. And that is because, psychologically, they cannot admit that the origin of their money was those very people whose labor allowed them or their forebears to profit.

  •  If the Obama Administration mints a $T Coin, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kvetchnrelease

    what's to stop Greece from minting a TWO TRILLION DOLLAR COIN!!!!

    Where will it End?

    Oh! The Madness.

    Hah!

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:08:25 AM PST

  •  IOW: "Yeah, its wrong for your 16 year old to.... (20+ / 0-)

    take the car for a joyride and crash it into the neighbors pool, but he has a license, so taking away his driving priviledges would be a childish response and an abdication of parental responsibility."

    What convoluted logic.

    Obama needs to tell the GOP straight up "You have until Date X to increase the debt ceiling cleanly or we're minting the Trillion Dollar coin and we're going to keep on minting the coin until you stop holding the economy of the country and the world hostage."

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:09:57 AM PST

  •  Redonkulous (9+ / 0-)

    Let's let the thugs blow up the whole world economy because it's the grown up thing to do.

  •  Although this reeks of combatting silliness (10+ / 0-)

    with even sillier ideas, this appears to be the only viable option keeping the recalcitrant and childish Republicans in the House from ruining the economy, which is not very robust at the moment.

    -9.88, -7.44 Social Security as is will be solvent until 2037, and the measures required to extend solvency beyond that are minor. -- Joe Conanson

    by wordene on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:12:00 AM PST

    •  The economy is on the precipice of ruin because (0+ / 0-)

      health care and its projected costs which congressional democrats failed to address by punting on single payer option. All of congress shares the blame.

      "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

      by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:24:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree with your premise here (8+ / 0-)

        Healthcare costs, while definitely out of control (mostly due to the for-profit players in the marketplace, but that is an argument outside the point I am trying for here), are not the main issue.  It is the out-of-control spending on the Military which is the source of the problem.  Yes, Democrats (and Obama) are to blame for not getting Single Payer in place, but the economy is hurting not because of spending but because of the austerity measures desired by the Republicans.

        -9.88, -7.44 Social Security as is will be solvent until 2037, and the measures required to extend solvency beyond that are minor. -- Joe Conanson

        by wordene on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:47:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Health Care, President Obama jumped on a run (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, charliehall2

        away train.  GOP took away as many brakes as they could, they are trying to take away all the brakes and blame the run away train on President Obama.

        Please look at heath care costs' increase for the last 40 years.

      •  Gah!!!! (4+ / 0-)

        Stop with this insanity.  You tell me now step by fucking step, vote by fucking vote, just how Obama and the Democrats could have gotten through single-payer health care with the numbers we had a the time.  Your contention is not only false but it borders on insane and completely out of touch with reality.  

        Fact:  While we had the votes in the House, we had Joe Lieberman as one of "our" Senators who showed his true colors and voted almost entirely with Republicans.  We had numerous Blue Dog Dems who barely allowed passage of the bill as it is, wanting all kinds of weakening to even consider it.  Al Francken's election was in limbo and he wasn't part of the numbers until well after the issue of single-payer had been reluctantly taken off the table.  Prior to Ted Kennedy's death, there was a short period of time where it appeared we had the supermajority to get things through but Lieberman was still in that total along with the Blue Dogs.  

        There was no punt.  IT COULDN'T HAPPEN WITH THE NUMBERS WE HAD.  THE ENTIRE BILL WOULD HAVE GONE DOWN IF IT HAD BEEN WRITTEN THAT WAY AND WE'D BE WAITING ANOTHER DECADE FOR ANOTHER SHOT AT ANY HEALTH CARE REFORM.

        Sorry for the shouting but this bullshit is getting old.

        "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

        by artmartin on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:37:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The person you're responding to blamed Congress. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kvetchnrelease

          Then you blamed Congress.

          It looks like you're fighting, but I really can't figure out why that would be the case.

          "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

          by JesseCW on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:43:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I blamed some of Congress (0+ / 0-)

            but you choose to read what you want.  Bottom line is we keep hearing this crap about how Obama and the Dems missed some opportunity which was never there.  It was close yes but it was blocked, no chance of passage, and the sane people in Washington saw that, knew it was compromise or nothing and got our foot in the door.  That they got what they did was nothing short of miraculous with the huge money assembled against them and the numbers being what they were.  Not to mention a horribly hostile media.

            "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

            by artmartin on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:14:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It was "never there" because there are (0+ / 0-)

              right wing assholes on our side of the aisle in both houses who were blocking it.

              That's just the fact.

              We had the numbers, and we didn't have the votes.

              We weren't close on Single Payer.  We were really close on a Public Option (a much different beast) and in fact we passed one in the House.  

              The President, however, had already traded it away while bargaining with the Hospital lobby over the summer.

              The argument you're making is generally known as "Panglossian".  You're arguing that the fact that the PPACA passed by only a few votes is proof enough that it was the best of all possible bills.

              That does not logically follow.  That these were all the votes we got does not mean that these were all the votes we could have gotten.

              "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

              by JesseCW on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 12:09:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Repeat after me: health care costs; health care (0+ / 0-)

          costs; health care costs. Your refrain, or whine, about not having enough Democratic Party members in congress to pass single payer doesn't address the issue that without single payor, health care costs will push us our economy over the precipice. It wasn't done then and we are paying now and well into the future for this failure. Your apology for how or why it failed doesn't diminish the f'en fact it was our best shot at getting it through and it didn't happen. Victory means you defeat the opposition. To blame the opposition for opposing your objective is a non sequitur .

          "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

          by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:58:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Holy crap (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kvetchnrelease

            Don't you think the rest of us know that?  But best shot or not, you damned well tell me how it would have happened.  Don't just throw out this bullshit that with enough sheer will all the blockades would have gone down, tell me what arms you would have specifically twisted, where you'd find the exact votes.  Because I know that push was there, that there was every effort made to get us the best damned deal they could.  You know why I know?  Because there's not a single solitary reason why you'd put your Presidency on the line like that unless that was your goal.  We had to have the foot in the door just like every other piece of landmark legislation of the past.  That's what we got.  Now let's get to work and get more and stop grossing over what should have been.

            "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

            by artmartin on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:21:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you see single payer rising up again if we (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              artmartin

              regain House in 2014? If it is true as reported that the President believes health care costs are the single redressable issue in the budget battles, then we need to coalesce support and get this done. To do otherwise, jeapordizes his legacy as he has identified health care costs as number one spending issue.

              "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

              by Kvetchnrelease on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:34:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I really think that if we (0+ / 0-)

                get the House back and reform the filibuster that yes, we will see a move towards single payer or the interim step of a public option.  An absolute supermajority in the Senate and a Democratic House would be amazing in terms of progressive reforms.

                "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

                by artmartin on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 12:26:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Well, Obama could use the 14th Amendment, (0+ / 0-)

      but for some reason chooses not to.

      If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

      by MadRuth on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:36:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A sovereign nation issuing its own coinage is (10+ / 0-)

      not a sillier idea than a Congress handing a President a budget which obliges him to spend X, then refusing to allow those demands to be funded through either borrowing or taxation.

      Issuing coinage is supposed to be one of those things that, well, Governments do.

      If 1,000 billion dollar coins sounds better, cool.

      "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

      by JesseCW on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:49:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The end rarely justifies the means. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, FG, George Hier

    "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

    by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:12:09 AM PST

    •  Except when it does. (11+ / 0-)

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:21:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Prime example of legalism trumping Constitution. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        George Hier

        Obscure statute used to circumvent the foundation of separation of powers is a legal construct as weak as the bloviation obliterating common sense.

        "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

        by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:31:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, let's let the (13+ / 0-)

          Republicans subvert democracy through economic terrorism instead.  

          Prime example of formalism in interpreting the consitiution as a suicide pact.

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:46:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Congress authorized the Treasury to mint (8+ / 0-)

          legal coinage.

          They left it up to the Treasury to decide how much to mint.

          There's not separation of powers issue here.

          "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

          by JesseCW on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:52:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Congress shall issue the currency.... I'm not so (0+ / 0-)

          sure we haven't ignored the Constitution for a long time considering how the Fed Reserve considers itself above Congress.

        •  No separation of powers issue (6+ / 0-)

          The argument that this does anything to separation of powers is the stupid argument.  A sovereign government has the power to create currency in any denomination and any form.  Congress has explicitly delegated this power for coins to the Treasury and to the Fed for computerized bookkeeping.

          Minting a $60 trillion coin and depositing it with the Fed does not grant the Executive any additional spending authority beyond current statute.  It does not grant the Executive any additional taxing authority beyond current statute.

          We have the following legal situation. Congress has passed certain spending and taxes, Congress has set a limit to the amount of bonds, and Congress has passed the means for the Treasury to create reserves.  The only possible legal conclusion is that Congress has determined that the public should not hold any more bonds and instead that it is preferable that the public have more reserves and therefore deficit spending should be handled by the creation of reserves instead of bonds.

          This is exactly what the law says.  The Executive must follow Congressional statute.  Congress has set certain spending, if the Executive were to unilaterally not do that spending that would violate Congressional statute. If the Executive were to issue bonds beyond the debt limit that would violate Congressional statute.  If the Executive were to not pay interest or redeem bonds that would violate the 14th amendment.  Minting a $60 trillion coin is legal.  Depositing that coin in the Fed to credit the Treasury's account at the Fed is legal.  Continuing to spend and collect taxes according to Congressional statute is legal.

          Felix Salmon has is backwards.  Doing anything other than minting a several trillion dollar coin would be violating Congressional statute and hence separation of powers.  Of course this presumes Congress cannot pass a debt limit increase.

          And, even keeping a large amount on the Treasury's books does nothing to Congressional authority going forward.  Congress could simply put into law that bonds should be issued in an amount equal or slightly greater than the difference between revenue and spending within a certain statutory period up to a certain limit.  It would not matter that the Treasury has the number $60 trillion in some Fed computer, it would still have to issue bonds in a an amount equivalent to the deficit until the limit is reached and then it would have to use its credit until Congress raised the limit.

          It is important to note that $60 trillion on the Treasury's Fed account does not really exist economically until it is spent.  And, can only be spent by Congressional appropriation.

          •  Very clear explaination of the issues involved (0+ / 0-)

            Thanks for that, and I totally agree with your analysis.

            The only murky part of this discussion, that I see, is how the minting of a $60T coin will affect the domestic, and worldwide, perception of the value of the dollar. I understand that the money would "not really exist economically until it is spent", but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be perceived to exist, and would therefore cause havoc in the financial markets.

            And I'm not even saying that havoc in the financial markets would necessarily be a bad thing (that's a whole other discussion), just that I haven't seen it addressed by the supporters of the TDC, or MMT in general.

          •  Congress would simply pass law negating coin. (0+ / 0-)

            If congress created enabling statute, what prevents them from revoking said statute or limiting it from this reducto absurdum?

            "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

            by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:34:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Congress…pass a law? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kvetchnrelease, llywrch

              1. Have you been asleep for the past two years? Expecting Congress to agree to anything is nuts. Sure the Jouse would pass something like that, then the bill would go die in the Senate.
              2. Even if said bill were to pass, the President would veto it.
              3. Congress could only repeal the Treasury's ability to mint coins in unspecified denominations. It cannot negate currency that has already been lawfully issued.

              Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

              by DemSign on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:55:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Executive Branch supremacy is not good for (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                George Hier

                Our nation regardless of party in control, so no I have not given up hope on congress doing the right thing without this coin leverage bs.

                "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

                by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:05:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  What could be more childish (10+ / 0-)

    than holding the economy hostage over tax policies which are demonstrably false and essentially a fantasy?

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:16:30 AM PST

  •  Establishment GOP are in love with money....the (0+ / 0-)

    Yahoos?.....not so much.....and the Yahoos aren't as strong as everyone thinks.......'To the precipice, men'

  •  The campaign by the Village (19+ / 0-)

    against the idea is quite revealing.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:21:01 AM PST

  •  The coin thing is silly (13+ / 0-)

    and makes those who "seriously" promote it look just as silly.

    Everyone (including Krugman) acknowledges that clear intent of Congress in that provision was to allow the Secretary to mint commemorative coins.  Since Courts generally will not read a statute passed by Congress in a way contrary to the clear intent Congress in passing the statute, and it's silly to say that in this law Congress gave the Secretary the authority to mint a trillion dollar coin any time he wants ( Can he mint one every day if he wants?) I have a hard time seeing any court say that the Secretary has the legal authority to do this.    

    Sure, you can argue that those who want us to "default" are being irresponsible.  But I don't think the way to do that is to promote ideas that are are (rightly, in my view) silly and gimmicky.  That just provides your opponents with ammunition to mock you.  Did you see NBC's mocking coverage of this last night, ending with the notion that Justin Beiber would be on the coin?  That's how this trillion dollar coin thing is being seen by the public at large.  

    People who want the debt celing to be outside the scope of the budget fight (which will certainly happen with respect to the sequestration and the expiration of the continuing resolution anyway, even without the debt ceiling) just ought to let this trillion dollar coin thing drop.  It makes them look -- yes -- silly.  It's hard to be convincing when you say the debt ceiling is a serious catastrophe looming over us when at the same time you discuss things like the trillion dollar coin.  

    •  I agree the platnum coin idea is a joke (6+ / 0-)

      and I would be shocked if anyone in the administration is even giving it passing consideration.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:36:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree - he would be impeached (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        George Hier, VClib

        Whether Obama actually could do this or not, he would be impeached by the House if he tried it, I'm sure.  
        He's not going to imperil his presidency on something so bizarre.  He wants to get the conversation off money and onto other issues.

        Do not go gentle into that good night. Blog, blog against the dying of the light. CathiefromCanada

        by CathiefromCanada on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:45:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Since the House is so biased against Obama, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, polecat, ColoTim, offgrid

          and they have the slight majority there, the POTUS would be impeached for farting in their general direction. if given half a chance.

          -9.88, -7.44 Social Security as is will be solvent until 2037, and the measures required to extend solvency beyond that are minor. -- Joe Conanson

          by wordene on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:51:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not really. It will make them look bad. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            George Hier

            Impeachment in this environment is not about actually removing the President. Clearly, the Senate will not let it happen. It's all about PR and positioning. If there is a reason for impeachment that can be spinned as legitimate, they might try.

            •  It the Coin was done and the economy went into (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              George Hier

              rapid and large declines in employment, GDP and value of the dollar, Republicans would be able to sustain impeachment.  Some Democrats in the Senate could even feel compelled to go along if the economy was largely damaged.

              This is all moot, as Pres Obama is not reckless.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:59:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't like the coin solution but it's not going (0+ / 0-)

                to lead to dramatic outcomes like this. After all, downgrade last year had little effect.

                •  "The Coin" is in unknown territory (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FG, VClib

                  Confidence in the dollar is based on the market expectation that (to an approximation) the US will increase the supply of dollars in line with economic growth.

                  Whether the Fed buys the Coin or buys Treasuries, the money supply is increased in the same way - the coin is effectively a non-interest bearing Treasury.  However, issuing the coin circumvents the historic mechanism the US uses to constrain monetization of government deficits - with a much looser policy - whatever the President wants rather than what the country has always used - what the House, Senate and President agree upon.

                  The uncertainty of what this means is not limited to what Pres Obama will do, but what future Presidents may do.  It is all too easy for financial markets to expect the Coin is the turning point where the US even more aggressively pays for government spending and trade deficits with a rapidly depreciating dollar.

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:35:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This is more or less why I don't like it. But (0+ / 0-)

                    issuing an extra trillion in non-interest bearing Treasuries is not a big deal. Moreover, fewer regular Treasuries can be issued to compensate. So the problem is primarily the perception of lack of fiscal discipline in the future. I doubt it's enough to lead to any sort of dramatic effect on the markets.

                    •  The doubt is significant and potentially large (0+ / 0-)

                      as the US is on a path to have rising share of GDP for government spending, with Federal Debt growing much faster then GDP, while the country has an aging population and large trade deficits.

                      Lastly, we are on track to have $20 T in federal debt in less than 4 years.  While Treasury interest rates are extremely low right now, if Treasury interest rates went back to historic norms, debt service alone could quickly to to $1 T/yr.

                      If the US has debt of 20% of GDP and annual deficits less than $100 billion, I would agree with you, however debt is near 100% of GDP and annual deficits are over $1 Trillion.

                      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                      by nextstep on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:36:12 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  They'll impeach him anyway. To quote Jerry Ford: (4+ / 0-)

          "An Impeachable Offense is whatever Congress says it is."

          It doesn't matter whether we go down this path or not.

          Obama might as well have the coin MINTED and be ready to deposit it.  And make the world KNOW that he's ready to deposit it on the stroke of midnight.

          That will keep the markets stable and put more pressure on the Republicans to pass a clean bill.  (Which they won't.)

          Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
          I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
          —Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:52:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Let them try! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          condorcet

          The Senate won't vote to convict and it will just make the Rethugs look foolish.

    •  I guess you missed this diary (13+ / 0-)

      If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

      by MadRuth on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:42:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Two points (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, condorcet

        1.  Courts do not consider him the author of the statute.  They look at the intent of Congress from legislative history  etc

        2.  This guy admits the trillion dollar coin is NOT what was intended by the law.

        •  3. Standing. Who is in a position to sue? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MadRuth, charliehall2

          Good luck contesting it.

          Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
          I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
          —Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:53:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, anyone who wants to pay the filing fee (0+ / 0-)

            That's one of the drawbacks of the US legal system: any yahoo can file a lawsuit. Whether the suit is heard depends on the justice -- & in most cases the judge would throw such a suit out with prejudice & various threats if the yahoo tried to file it again.

            Unfortunately, there are three hacks on the Supreme Court -- Scalia, Alito, & Thomas -- who would undoubtedly want to hear the case & deliver a decision that would embarrass -- if not harm -- Obama.

            Of course, what would happen in that case is that the two "moderates" on the court -- Roberts & Kennedy -- would see the forest & not the trees & find some excuse to uphold Obama's decision. And the other 4 justices either would concur, or find another reason to uphold Obama's decision, & Obama would win the match. Unfortunately, this would take many months & until then the American economy would take a solid hit; yes, the Republicans would probably lose big in 2014, but so would everyone because of that.

            My guess is that Obama (or his advisors) are very aware of this option, but are not publicly discussing it because they don't want to go there if they don't have to; it's a fall-back if the non-lunatic fringe Republicans don't blink & don't raise the debt limit. If the non-lunatic fringe Republicans know that is a possibility, they just might not blink because going into unknown territory & sharing the danger is much better than to deal with the Teabaggers & their billionaire supporters & losing.

            Well, I hope that is the unspoken plan. Obama has a disturbing habit of not exceeding expectations. :-(

        •  Many laws have unintended consequences. (6+ / 0-)

          So it goes.

          "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

          by JesseCW on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:53:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Having a Civil War was silly, too, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annetteboardman

          we did.  Lincoln subverted some key elements of our democracy in order to engage in that war.

          Shit happens, you know.

          I don't really care about the coin one way or another.  I care about the fact that this country is so fucked up that one side is talking about creating economic collapse and the other is talking about putting fucking Ronald Reagan's name on yet another American "icon".  sigh.

          •  Having a Civil War was not silly (0+ / 0-)

            after the South seceded.  

            But, the assumption that Republicans will take the debt limit hostage again is probably not warranted.  Gingrich has already pointed out the political reality that they would have to cave in the end.  Larry F'ing Kudlow on CNBC, who is the biggest Republican propagandist not employed by Fox, has been arguing against it.  The Republicans already have their orders, there's not enough crazies to make it happen, while Boehner is speaker.

            The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

            by MadScientist on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:27:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Alrighty then (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              inclusiveheart

              we don't need to mint the coin unless they do.  Personally I would rather have a better backup plan than chained CPI.

              If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

              by MadRuth on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:38:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Seriously missed the point of the analogy. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MadRuth

              The point is that unimaginable shit happens when unimaginable shit happens.

              You can't imagine the GOP doing their debt ceiling dance again.  Well, fine.  Lots of people could not imagine the South seceding either.  My poor dumb relative Buchanan spent his Presidency placating all of the parties to the point where confidence was lost and everyone was at odds.

              Personally, I never imagined that our country would come out in support of and engage in torture and secret prisons either, but that doesn't mean that that did not all happen.

              The limitations of anyone's imagination are not necessarily the reflection of what ultimately becomes reality.

              Anyway, we'll see what happens.  As far as I'm concerned, the Flying Spaghetti Monster swooping in and addressing Congress wouldn't surprise me at this point.

        •  Text of law is unambiguous... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fair Economist, MadRuth, chuck utzman

          Courts generally do not look at intent unless the text is ambiguous.  The text is unambiguous therefore no court should find it illegal.  Recall why the Lilly Ledbetter law had to be passed. The Supreme Court ruled that the text of the earlier statute was clear regarding the statute of limitations on wage discrimination cases even though that ruling subverted the intent of the law.

          If the letter of the law is unambiguous and creates unintended consequences it is Congress's job to change the letter of the law, not the courts.

          If the debt limit is not raised, the House GOP will impeach the President if he does anything other that what they want.  Which is probably government shutdown and not spending according to congressional statute.

          So far, I have not heard of any option other than minting a very large denomination platinum coin that is legal.  Anyone?  Not paying the debt obligations violates the 14th amendment.  Unilaterally, not spending according to Congressional appropriations is not legal. Unilaterally, raising taxes is not legal.

          •  Spending Less than Congress Authorizes is legal (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            Above comment said:

            Unilaterally, not spending according to Congressional appropriations is not legal.
            Spending more than Congresses authorizes is not legal, but spending less is legal.

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:51:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Probably not cut and dry either way... (0+ / 0-)

              It is a comment, so tough to get into subtleties.   Certain spending is probably effectively mandatory other less so.  If the Congress says the government will do something and it does not because no one will do it for free, then isn't the law violated?

            •  Correction from front page (0+ / 0-)

              Apparently it is cut and dry...

              Under the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974 it's illegal for the president to spend less money than congress has appropriated—the Nixon administration had this idea that it could enact unilateral spending cuts, but it can't.
              •  Under act, there is a process to reduce spending (0+ / 0-)

                http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                Title X of the law, also known as the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, specifies that the President may propose to Congress that funds be rescinded. If both the Senate and the House of Representatives have not approved a rescission proposal (by passing legislation) within 45 days of continuous session, any funds being withheld must be made available for obligation.

                The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                by nextstep on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:11:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  You are mistaken (5+ / 0-)
      Since Courts generally will not read a statute passed by Congress in a way contrary to the clear intent Congress in passing the statute,
      I don't know where you heard this, but it's wrong:
      When a statute is clear and unambiguous, the courts have said, repeatedly, that the inquiry into legislative intent ends at that point. It is only when a statute could be interpreted in more than one fashion that legislative intent must be inferred from sources other than the actual text of the statute.
      The law itself is extremely clear and unambiguous, so the courts would have no reason to look at sources other than the statute's text.

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:54:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I should also mention (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        katiec, offgrid, llywrch

        That every time I've seen a legal expert weigh in on this issue, they've always said the strategy is legal. One example:

        Of course, Congress probably didn’t have trillion-dollar coins in mind, but there’s no textual or other legal basis for importing this probable intention into the statute. What 535 people might have had in their collective “mind” just can’t control the meaning of a law this clear.

        It’s also quite clear that the minting of such a coin couldn’t be challenged; I don’t see who would have standing.

        "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

        by TealTerror on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:15:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sure it's silly sounding, but I think it is a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sneakers563

      fitting response to the "let's default" crazies in Congress.  And it is sure as heck less silly than defaulting.    Right now it reduces the negotiating power of House Republicans and distracts them from their standard hostage taking approaches.  As 2+ years shows, there is no seeking a sane middle ground with them, so we have to resort to strategies like considering the $10^12 coin.

      Finally, it doesn't matter what the courts might say on this about original intent of law.  Congressional Republicans probably wouldn't have standing in any court to even review the legality of minting of such a coin in the first place.

      •  I think a fitting response would be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        George Hier, Miggles

        to push the idea that the debt limit is a bad law because it amounts to Congress refusing to pay for expeditures that it has already approved.  "I was for funding the military before I was against it".

        The trillion dollar coin gimmick does absolutely nothing to address that.  It's just a ridiculous response that would make it look like the President and the Democrats are trying to circumvent Republicans who are trying to reign in spending, a goal the President says he supports.

        Is posting 10 "trillion dollar coin" diaries a day, and discussing it ad-nauseum really the best use of this site's energy?  Is the trillion dollar coin really the best idea we can come up with?  Is "yeah it's stupid, but so are you" really the best response we can come up with?

        To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

        by sneakers563 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:19:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes It Is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George Hier, condorcet

      We don't need to trump the silliness of the Silly Party with silliness of our own.  Let's let the voters decide whether they want to vest their government with the Silly Party or with the Responsible Party (that would be us).  We don't need to resort to clownish tactics to "prevent" the Republicans from trashing the economy.  I use scare quotes there because I think this cure might be worse than the disease.  Let them do what they think they must.  Let us behave responsibly according to the highest principles.  And let the chips fall where they may.

    •  Trillion Coin is the Left's Birtherism (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George Hier, coffeetalk, condorcet

      Pushing the Coin idea will help Democrats as much as Birtherism helped Republicans.

      Pushing these idea just makes one look like a fool.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:54:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite (0+ / 0-)

        What's happening here is that we could have a crisis over a technicality in the law, & the proposed solution is to exploit another technicality.

        It's just a lawyer's trick. They want to argue letter of the law & get their way, so why shouldn't Obama?

        From my limited experience with how judges operate in this kind of environment, they would rather have an out like this instead of enforcing a counterproductive legal detail. If the trillion-dollar coin is used as an end run to get around an obstructionist House of Representatives so everyone can get on with making a living, I doubt anyone except for the loonies will complain.

        Then again, I've been wrong & may be on this.

  •  What's to stop the Executive? (12+ / 0-)

    Well, Congress could always pass legislation removing or restricting the authority they already granted.  Not that it would not be vetoed at this point, but the idea that an Executive executing authority GRANTED HIM BY CONGRESS is somehow subverting our separation of powers is just plain stupid.  The authority still derives from the Legislative Branch.  If they wish to take it back or restrict it, it remains within their province to do so.

  •  Well We've Got the Least Likely President in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, George Hier

    200 years to go outside the box.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:33:09 AM PST

  •  The trillion dollar coin (7+ / 0-)

    Is like a hammer to beat congress over the head with, except you just let all the right wing pundits inflict it on themselves.

    The trillion dollar coin is an ingenious meme.  It has the potential to be iconic and everybody will talk about it and everybody loves coins.

    Anyway, the public can choose who to blame or what to do.  If the public wants Obama to mint the coin, then fine.  Otherwise, they want congress to do their job, right?

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:33:26 AM PST

  •  Grown-ups (9+ / 0-)

    also pay their bills.

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

    by TracieLynn on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:43:18 AM PST

  •  1,000 Billion $ coins would (5+ / 0-)

    actually have collector value and be affordable to elite investor groups.. I think the U.S. government could coin 1, 5 and 10 Billion $ coins and sell them at a profit over time. Pays the debt and in fact meets the spirit of the legislation.

    I don't think a single $1T coin makes sense at this time when Billion $ coins will do.

    •  By that logic, million dollar coins would be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fair Economist

      even more valuable.  Even more so, thousand dollar coins.  Sure it would cost some to make them, and many might sit in the vaults the way the one dollar coins do, but if people would buy them and put them into collections, it might help with the debt.  

      And Glen Beck's sponsors (you know, the bullion merchants) would make out even more like kings.

      •  Million dollar coins work (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        and have been suggested by several writers. They could be created and used in a very ordinary manner since the Federal Government often has bills of that size.

        Thousand dollar coins would be good, because they could go into general circulation, but there's not enough platinum. The coins have to be pure platinum. Million dollar coins the size of a dime would consume 50,000 troy oz. of platinum per year, which is smaller than annual variations in platinum demand. Enough thousand dollar coins would consume about 50,000,000 troy ounces, more than 10 time the annual world production. Plus, of course, were it to circulate, you'd want the coin to be big. A million dollar (or larger) could be used only for bank reserves and it's size would not be important.

    •  Absolutely not... (0+ / 0-)

      Extremely easy to use for illegal transactions.  There is a reason we don't have $1000+ bills.

      The coin(s) should be extremely large and never enter circulation.  If it ever were stolen from the Fed, it would always obviously be stolen goods, and at best might circulate on the black market at well below face value, since it can never really be exchanged for face value.

  •  Everyone in this debate should read Pratchett (7+ / 0-)

    Specifically "Making Money" where Pratchett gives one of the best illustrations of how fiat currency works that I've read.

    Once you've read that, the whole debt ceiling debate seems even more ludicrous.

    We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

    by nightsweat on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:48:02 AM PST

  •  We don't have adults whom are elected (0+ / 0-)

    in the rotten TbagGOP.

  •  Sheesh. another Villager insulated by money (5+ / 0-)

    "Let the Republicans destroy the economy. How bad could it be?"

    Then pay my mortgage, douchebag.

  •  If that's the case... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TealTerror, annetteboardman
    Yes, the legislature is behaving like a bunch of utter morons if they think that driving the US government into default is a good idea. But it’s their right to behave like a bunch of utter morons. If the executive branch failed to respect that right, it would effectively be defying the exact same authority by which the president himself governs.
    (emphases mine)

    In that case (according to the argument above) then the executive branch too has a right to behave like a moron and mint the damn coin. If the legislature fail to respect that right...

    Right?

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:48:17 AM PST

  •  Does the new coin have to be platinum? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999

    Couldn't it be any metal that is not gold or silver (the two that are legally restricted)?

  •  Grownups don't rob us into insolvency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999

    to fill their masters' pockets, and then expect the rest of the country to pay for it.  But that trillion-$ coin could set a dangerous precedent by establishing a quick-and-dirty, fast-track bailout of the financial slime who put us in this mess in the first place.  What's to Keep Wall Street and the GOP from just screwing us over, again and again?

    Proponents of gun violence own guns. Opponents of gun violence do not own guns. What part of this do you not understand?

    by Liberal Panzer on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:51:14 AM PST

  •  The optics of minting the coin would be terrible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George Hier, condorcet
    •  Compared to WHAT? Shutting down the world (6+ / 0-)

      economy?

      /sheesh.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:55:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  God forbid we come up with a strategy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        George Hier

        that's not a gimmick.

        To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

        by sneakers563 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:22:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's just that thinking in terms of a fiat (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          offgrid, polecat, chuck utzman

          currency seems gimmicky because we're told that the Fed Gov is like a household.

          It's not.

          Not unless households have money making machines.

          Fiat IS accounting "gimmicks.

          It just is only accounting.

          That's what money IS.

          •  It's not just accounting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            George Hier

            It's true that the value of fiat currency is not tied to another fixed commodity.  That does not mean, however, that it's value is not tied to anything.  If that were true, we could all be millionaires and there would be no difference in value between the dollar and any other currency.  For one, it's tied to the premise that the government issuing the currency will act to keep the supply stable, and not resort to printing money willy-nilly whenever it's convenient.

            That said, that's not why I called the trillion dollar coin a gimmick.  It's a gimmick because it does nothing to address the root problem, which is that we have two conflicting laws.  It simply sidesteps that by adding more money to the Treasury.  In the process it makes it look like the President is attempting circumvent limits on the national debt, despite the fact that he has called for limiting the debt himself.  It makes the argument about the level of government spending, rather than about Congressional irresponsibility and a law of questionable constitutionality.

            To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

            by sneakers563 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:32:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Correction?? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            katiec

            Is that what "money" is, or is that what "currency" is?

            It seems like these two terms are often used interchangably, but maybe they shouldn't be?

            I'm not an economist, but would like to see some clarity on this.

            •  Yeah, currency would be a better word, as private (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              offgrid

              banks also make money things - like credit money.

            •  I've thought about it some more: We have a (0+ / 0-)

              fiat currency.

              Money is just a measuring tool.  So, I'd say all money is accounting.

              But the word currency should probably be reserved for the reserves (free liquidity points) the Fed Gov creates out of thin air.

              Money would be all those money things in existence.

              •  Hmmm... (0+ / 0-)

                From the online Legal Dictionary:

                MONEY. Gold, silver, and some other less precious metals, in the progress of civilization and commerce, have become the common standards of value; in order to avoid the delay and inconvenience of regulating their weight and quality whenever passed, the governments of the civilized world have caused them to be manufactured in certain portions, and marked with a Stamp which attests their value; this is called money
                CURRENCY. The money which passes, at a fixed value, from hand to hand; money which is authorized by law.
                From Black's Law Dictionary:
                Money:

                A general, indefinite term for the measure and currency; the circulating medium ; cash. “Money” is a generic term, and embraces every description of coin or bank-notes recognized by common consent as a representative of value in effecting exchanges of property or payment of debts. Hopson v. Fountain. 5 Humph. (Tenn.) 140. Money is used in a specific and also in a general and more comprehensive sense. In its specific sense, it means what is coined or stamped by public authority, and has its determinate value fixed by governments. In its more comprehensive and general sense, it means wealth,- the representative of commodities of all kinds, of lands; and of everything that can be transferred In commerce. Paul v. Ball, 31 Tex. 10.
                In its strict technical sense, "money" means coined, metal, usually gold or silver, upon which the government stamp has been impressed to indicate its value. In its more popular sense, "money" means any currency, tokens, banknotes, or.other circulating medium in general use as the representative of value. Kenuedy v. Briere, 45 Tex. 305.

                Currency:

                Coined money and such bank-notes or other paper money as are authorized by law aud do in fact circulate from hand to hand as the medium of exchange. Griswold v. Hepburn, 2 Duv. (Ky.) 33; Leonard v. State, 115 Ala. SO, 22 South. 504; Insurance Co. v. Keirou, 27 111. 505; Insurance Co. v. Ivupfer, 2S 111. 332, 81 Am. Dec. 284; Lackey v. Miller, 01 N. O. 20.

                That's a little clearer.

                It would seem as though the TDC would be creating "money" but only the portion of it that would be circulated (payment of debts) would be currency.

                But if that is true, than even if the TDC were to stay whole in the Fed account, it would still add to the "money" supply.

                Am I missing something here?

      •  Non sequitur. Are u saying the optics aren't bad? (0+ / 0-)
        •  Not a non sequitur. Even if the optics are bad (0+ / 0-)

          (of which I disagree -- he's saving the nation with the tools at hand, a REQUIREMENT OF HIS JOB), the alternative is many orders of magnitude WORSE.

          You'd rather ride down the bomb?

          Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
          I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
          —Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:11:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The trillion dollar coin is a fucking stupid idea. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        George Hier, MartyA, condorcet

        I pray that the administration takes this off the table soon. If not, there is no chance in hell we make a deal that isn't a gimmick. It tells the whack job right that it doesn't matter what they do. we'll fix it. You think they'll be amenable to making a deal if a simple fix available.
        My gawd. I can't  believe this.
        I'll bet the same people who wanted us to go over the fiscal cliff want us to mint this ridiculous coin.
        Soon ... even Lindsay Lohan will be more popular than congress.

        •  Having Wars off budget is a f-ing gimmick... (0+ / 0-)

          using the Social Security trust fund to cover the debt is a f-ing gimmick.  Messing around with CPI is a f-ing gimmick.

          What's your f-ing point?

          This needs to be done.

          Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
          I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
          —Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:12:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  So, wait.. why isn't Obama's "ultimatum" (0+ / 0-)

    not considered "taking the economy hostage"?

    President Obama says raising the debt limit is non-negotiable
    Can someone clarify that for me?

    Oh, what's that?  Because you agree with him, it is not "economic terrorism"?

    •  So, then what is congress'es price? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      Who pays so that congress won't destory the dollar itself?

      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

      by yet another liberal on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:04:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It has nothing to do with whether I agree with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, llywrch

      President Obama. He has not even suggested that he would do this. It has to do with getting past the obtuse Republican obstructionism to keep from defaulting on the debt, which, by the way was mostly created by Republicans.

      When someone tells you they are lying, you should believe them.

      by shoeless on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:07:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seems like boths sides are being "obtuse" (0+ / 0-)

        and obstructionist.

        The only real solution is for both sides to deal in good faith.  President Obama is going to have to, at some point, concede to some budget cuts.  The Repubs will have to concede on the amounts of those cuts and on which programs are cut.

        •  That is a false equivalence. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shockwave

          You must be a Republican.

          When someone tells you they are lying, you should believe them.

          by shoeless on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:28:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No.. but I am concerned about the debt (0+ / 0-)

            and I am concerned that borrowing over $1 Trillion dollars per year to fund recurring programs (non-emergency) will lead to future problems.

            The Dem Senate and President Obama are simply not serious about cutting anything.   And the stupid GOP will not cut defense.

            Both sides are going to have to start cutting - soon.

            •  The path to prosperity is not austerity. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shockwave

              Just ask the Europeans. Cut defense spending drastically, because that is all waste. Use that money to rebuild our country. You can't go forward by going backward.

              When someone tells you they are lying, you should believe them.

              by shoeless on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:38:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  The Constitution says the ability of the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      offgrid, chuck utzman, Shockwave

      US government to pay its bills cannot be questioned.  The Republican threat to not pay the bills is un-Constitutional.  That's what Obama is faced with - he has no choice but to uphold his oath to follow the Constitution.  The Republicans have already chosen to ignore the oath they swore just days ago.

    •  Obama doesn't negotiate with someone who... (0+ / 0-)

      ...holds a gun to the head of the American economy.

      When the Repugs threaten to destroy the fabric of our economy they threaten the livelihood of everyone.

      So do you propose to negotiate with such people?

      To accomplish what?  You should explain.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:29:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  To "coin" a phrase: (6+ / 0-)

    Mint, baby, mint!

    Evolution IS Intelligent Design!

    by msirt on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:57:02 AM PST

  •  Here's why I think it's a terrible idea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annetteboardman, TRPChicago, MartyA

    to be pushing the idea of the magic coin: it may absolve Republicans for their genuine responsibility for creating this debt ceiling crisis.

    If Republicans believe that Obama can simply mint a coin to get out of the problem, they may be more likely to refuse to raise the debt ceiling, reasoning that they can simply point to Obama and say "he chose not to mint that coin! Default is his fault!"

    Of course, this is nonsense. The coin idea is nonsense. But it gives Republicans an excuse for getting off the hot seat. Let's not participate in anything that gives them an excuse.

    I want to see a clean debt ceiling up or down vote in both houses. No less. No excuses. Period.

    •  This is why I suspect Obama's not discussing it (0+ / 0-)

      He wants to keep the Republicans on the hot seat & back down.

      But I hope he has a plan B in case they don't blink in this game of chicken. Because those people are crazy enough not to pull over at the last minute.

  •  The problem (5+ / 0-)

    I'm not entirely on board with Mr. Salmon's conclusions, and there is a certain amount of pandering "grownup behaviors" in his discussion.  Underneath that are some valid concerns.

    1. The major short term threat from the debt ceiling expiration is its impact on treasury instruments.  (The same dynamic will play out, more slowly, with aggregate demand, but the bond markets will be a leading indicator.)  

    2. Everyone, all around, is misunderstanding the mind set of the bad guys.  To us, this is a matter of funding the government, maintaining the value of U.S. government debt (currently the world's gold standard for debt securities), and not allowing conservatives to use this as a way of filibustering the political process.  And other things as well, the point being that all of these are rational policy objectives.

    On the other side, you are dealing with people who have an apocalyptic mind set.  Crashing the world economy is, to them, a feature and not a bug.  And a work around that involves a shiny metal coin and the Federal Reserve?  The wackadoodles are going to have a field day with that.  Every dominionist militia group is going to be grabbing their AR15s and heading for the designated landing spot of Jesus' mother ship.

    3. It's going to get litigated.  It doesn't matter that Obama has a very good shot at winning.  The point is that it creates uncertainty as to the state of the US monetary system (and possibly the underlying political system as well).  This will have huge impacts.  And if they lose, it's not clear whether they'd litigate it in the streets.

    So the platinum coin has some attributes of a weaponized plutonium coin.  There's some value to threatening it; if I were Obama I wouldn't take it off the table (after all, mutually assured destruction prevented the US and Russia from going to war for 50 years) but you want to think twice before you push the button.

    •  Respectfully, I disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      offgrid, chuck utzman

      While some, or even a majority, of House Republicans might fit your #2 description, the fact that enough of them voted to raise the debt ceiling in 2011 that it managed to pass shows that there are still some rational ones in there. I think they're mainly using it as a threat in order to extract concessions on spending cuts.

      As for #3, I have yet to see an actual legal expert (as opposed to speculations by people without legal training) who's said it would be against the law. Even most of the people opposed to the idea admit it would be legal. I don't think the markets would react very much to GOP crocodile tears. And I highly doubt it would prompt any kind of revolution.

      Finally, while I agree the strategy has some risks, I think it's preferable to both a default and cutting vital programs to satisfy the Republicans.

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:09:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It isn't against the law (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fair Economist

        To the contrary, there seems to be a consensus it's legal.  And if the Republicans were willing to keep it sane, it would work as economic measure since from the standpoint of bond markets, it's just an accounting gimmick.  It's not going to create confidence in our political system, but there's not much of that anyway.

        The issue here is that the Republicans will respond by attempting a scorched earth policy against the stability of the financial system.  The same things with the antics that will follow.  For example, it's a safe bet that the R's will try to impeach Obama.  It will go nowhere and the Republicans will take a shellacking in the next election if they dare try.  But they make their decisions based on disruption value, not on the likelihood or tactial value of the intended result.  The odds are against them winning a protracted litigation, but that's not their objective.  It's a hail mary pass in terms of legal results but it will create a lot of uncertainty about the state of our currency, just as the delayed sequester kicks in.  It's not the crocodile tears that bother the markets (otherwise they would tank every time Boehner shows up in public) but the possibility of real economic terrorism by the Republicans.  If the debt ceiling goes into effect, our instruments still trade in the secondary markets (it's going to be great for the derivatives markets as

        I'm not suggesting taking it off the table.  The objective, though, should be to use it as a rather high denomination bargaining chip.  (They drop the debt ceiling and we let them get rid of the platinum coin loophole.)  

        You don't give into terrorists and hostage takers.  But you think very carefully before you send the special ops in with guns blazing.  You keep the people with the big, scary guns and body armor close at hand, and mentally you need to be prepared to use it, but the goal is to not have to use them.  The same thing applies to the platinum coin option.

        •  What could the Republicans do? (0+ / 0-)

          They could try to litigate and/or impeach Obama, but since you and I both agree there's a consensus it's legal, I don't think the markets would overreact too much. As I said, crocodile tears--everybody would know any attempts at litigation would be certain to fail. It certainly wouldn't be "real economic terrorism." The fact of the matter is that they only control one house of Congress and while they can block bills all day they can't pass anything on their own. While I would be in favor of the "trade-off" you mention between the debt ceiling and the coin option, if the GOP refuses that and continues to insist on spending cuts I don't think it would be a terribly big deal to mint the stupid coin.

          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

          by TealTerror on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:44:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  One protects the 14th amendment (0+ / 0-)

    One does not.. so which one is adult now?  

    "We need a revolution away from the plutocracy that runs Government."

    by hangingchad on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:03:01 AM PST

  •  dems were caught by surprise last time because (0+ / 0-)

    they weren't paying attention. if they had known what the talk radio gods were telling the teabagger dittoheads they'd have known the teabggers were going all the way.

    the talk radio gods are singing the same song (as a reflection of their handlers) - it's obama's fault and our grandchildren will pay if we don't stop the borrowing

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:07:09 AM PST

  •  Grown Ups Don't Talk About Holding The (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    charliehall2

    American economy hostage either.  The president should order the coin today, now, not tomorrow.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:08:03 AM PST

  •   Grown ups don't refuse to increase the debt limit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TRPChicago

    to pay for the spending they've already mandated.

  •  is the threat better than the actual minting (3+ / 0-)

    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” - Dalai Lama XIV (-9.50; -7.03)‽ Warning - some snark above‽

    by annieli on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:11:12 AM PST

  •  The coin is NOT a violation of the separation (4+ / 0-)

    and distribution of powers.  The power STILL comes from Congress.  It's just that in exercising that power they have (however unwittingly) delegated some of that to powers outside their direct control.  If Congress decides to retract that delegation of power it CAN do that also.  The only problem is that one radical party representing a minority of voters but still, due to anti-democratic shenanigans controlling a majority of one house can't do it.

    That's the way the constitution works.

    Sorry, but REAL grown-ups read all the rules.

    Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    by journeyman on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:12:15 AM PST

  •  Hard for me to take seriously the argument that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    offgrid, Fair Economist

    minting a $1 Trillion coin undermines the rights and privileges of the legislative branch of government when said legislative branch of government HAS ALREADY VOTED IN FAVOR OF SPENDING THAT MONEY LONG AGO!!  They're simply trying to block payment for something they've already approved payment on.  Which is called being a scumbag deadbeat.  So much for holy sanctity of the rights and privileges of the legislative branch of our government.

  •  Screw the GOP House. Make it a $5 trillion coin. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dancing Frog

    That way we won't hear this shit until Obama is succeeded.

    There is no hell on earth appropriate enough for those who would promote the killing of another person, in the name of a god.

    by HarryParatestis on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:13:59 AM PST

  •  So let me get this straight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    offgrid

    The President of the United States, the only nationally elected person in this country is supposed to sit helpless with his hands tightly wrapped around the constitution while a bunch of radical republicans bring down the U.S economy?

    If he brings in armed guards and dissolves the House of Representatives then we can talk about executive overreach until then it's his duty to try to find a semi-legal or extralegal end around over nihilistic Republicans.

    Abe Lincoln said it best, "The constitution is not a suicide pact".

  •  There is a petition on the WhiteHouse.gov site (0+ / 0-)

    asking the President to mint the $1 trillion coin here.  In case you're in the mood to sign more than one petition about it.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:15:20 AM PST

  •  I think the coin is a distraction. (6+ / 0-)

    The real question, for a Supreme Court to decide, is whether the constitutional requirement that the government honor its debts trumps the generic requirement that the government secure congressional approval to incur new debt.  

    As for the question of whether Congress has the right to tank the economy unless it gets its way, the answer is obviously "yes, of course."  There's no constitutional Higher Good unless it's explicitly stated, which is why the 14th Amendment route is my preferred one: it does say that honoring outstanding debts is a Higher Good.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:19:25 AM PST

  •  As far as I'm concerned... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sneakers563, TRPChicago

    ... the juvenile act is to pass two contradictory laws:  a spending plan, and a debt ceiling that doesn't let you follow the spending plan.  Everything after that is just stupid discussing stupid with stupid.

    Let us discard all this quibbling about this man or the other man, this race or that race... Let us unite as one people declaring that all men are created equal... A. Lincoln

    by ThatTallGuy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:19:58 AM PST

  •  Devaluation? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George Hier

    Isn't this just printing lots of money?  Couldn't we go the way of the Weimar Republic?  Huge devaluation of the currency?

    www.tapestryofbronze.com

    by chloris creator on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:20:12 AM PST

  •  In other news... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fair Economist, llywrch

    Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has introduced a bill to specifically ban Obama from minting the coin. No word on a plan to actually compel the President to sign the bill...

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:24:36 AM PST

  •  And when you stop and think about it (0+ / 0-)

    there really is no more important right than the right to hold the World's economy hostage in order to score idiotic political points with imbeciles who think the President is a Muslim terrorist.

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:27:07 AM PST

  •  Strategy for coping with childish Congress: ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MartyA
            IGNORE IT!
    The House GOP and some Senators are going to throw tantrums, their own philosophical hissy fits, and bluster. Maybe even threaten to leave town with the dog. Or kick the nearest adult in the shin.

    Adults can cope with these children in several ways:

    -  Give in. Not advisable. Sends the wrong lesson.

    -  Whack 'em. Oh, so tempting, but we have to be better than that.

    -  Attempt to mollify. Fine if the children are compliant, reasonable or docile. These children are none of the above. Worse, they're a noisy mob and they're messing up not only the house, but the whole neighborhood.

    -  Distraction. Find a big, shiny new toy, even an exotic one, one not seen before. Perhaps a valuable one, like a Big Coin! It will attract attention. But the new toy won't last long and then tantrums return. And worse, mature adults probably will conclude that responding to childish behavior with other childish behavior is, well, juvenile.

    -  Ignore the children and go on with the housework. Things will get testy for a while, even more annoying. But adults have work to do despite distractions. Just get on with it.

    Let's hope President Obama is the adult in the room.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:30:55 AM PST

  •  I'd use different words but Salmon is right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, condorcet

    The impact is the national and international perception that both parties are descending into irrational actions.

    Anything else is 'he did it first' or 'everyone else is doing it'.  

    Standing up for discarding rational governance in favor of wrestling with an irrational minority is failure.  President Obama and the Democratic party does not have to fail this test.

  •  the T-dollar coin is a terrible idea, because (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George Hier, MartyA, condorcet

    it sets a terrible precedent; i.e., rule by fiat and trickery
    IMHO

    Those who quote Santayana are condemned to repeat him. Me

    by Mark B on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:39:37 AM PST

  •  The Coin is irresponsible, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MartyA, condorcet

    because it lets republicans off the hook.  

    This is an issue that could finally break the GOP.  A magic coin enables them to showboat on debt and deficits without any consequences.  In that sense, it is a juvenille act.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:45:17 AM PST

  •  Terrible idea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George Hier, MartyA, condorcet

    For a few reasons.

    1. It literally puts a physical presence on the debt issues (I won't call it a crisis, but clearly borrowing 1/3rd of our budget is not ideal) - one that will be hung on Democrats and Obama for as long as possible. The Democrats have the upper hand in the debt ceiling, minting a trillion dollar coin throws it away.

    Even though Republicans would in essence be causing the situation, it would make it much easier to paint Dems as the out of control team here - they are SOOOO addicted to spending that they will just mint coins out of thin air to pay for it - is an easy meme to get out there. Much easier than "well technically all money is minted out of thin air, and since once the debt ceiling is raised we will melt the coin, it will have no long term economic impact, its not different than just selling more bonds."

    2. The much better strategy is just to make it clear what you will have to do if you don't raise the debt ceiling - start shutting down large sectors of the government to make payments align with income. The coin nonsense distracts from that - you could pin that all on Republicans - they voted to have this stuff now THEY refuse to pay and so alot of stuff is going to get shut down. Its better to focus on a strategy then go with this coin stuff.

  •  Angry Baby Huey with a Loaded Gun. (0+ / 0-)

    To me, the situation is somewhat like an angry three year old who has found a loaded pistol and is waiving it around the family den.  The answer is whatever it takes to save the baby from itself and the family from the baby.

  •  The curent Republican Congress members (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    offgrid, llywrch

    were elected NOT to govern, but to destroy the government.

    This was expressed in the words of Ronald Regan:

    "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem"
    and Grover Norquist:
    "I'm not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."
    So I ask you: In the defense of our Republic, what action is off limits?

    In a world of the blind, the one eyed man is a pariah. Ask Galileo. Ask Darwin.

    by OKParrothead on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:02:30 AM PST

  •  Ignore the ceiling (0+ / 0-)

    The better (best) option if negotiations break down is just to ignore the ceiling and keep selling bonds and paying interest and spending the money allocated already.  If the Supreme Court agrees that the ceiling is unconstitutional or legally inconsistent, then the ceiling is gone forever.  If not, nothing is lost except time, which would be a good thing if it delays sequestration.

  •  The coin would only be temporary... (0+ / 0-)

    It gets us by the debt ceiling only.

    The real battle will be the budget.  The continuing resolution expires at the end of March.

    Obamma can't spend money that congress doesn't authorize.  Period.  Minting coins doesn't get around that.  

    That is the real knife in this fight.  The debt ceiling iss just a prop.

  •  MISGUIDED (0+ / 0-)

    No Jed!! grown-ups don't destroy the economy to pass legislation,you got the cart before the horse,being a shill for the right disqualifies you,mint the dam coin or simply raise the debt ceiling & quit lying about the President spending
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

  •  American "democracy" has been a farce (0+ / 0-)

    for decades now. The government is there solely for the billionaires, and it will be maintained by Imperial Stormtroopers and Reaper drones.

    It doesn't matter a whit whether the idiot thing is minted or not.

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