Department of the Treasury

Eliminate penny and dollar bill – save $250 million a year

1) Have the Mint stop producing the pennies altogether. It currently costs the Mint approximately 2.5 cents to produce a 1 cent penny. Eliminating production of the penny is expected to save the American taxpayers about $75 million annually.


Pennies do not circulate, you can’t buy anything with a penny and people avoid using them. More than two-third of pennies produced by the Mint end up as trash and are not used in circulation, so I’m not sure why these coins are being manufactured. While the Mint would no longer manufacture the penny, it could remain legal tender and continue to circulate. If the Mint were to stop producing pennies today, the nation would probably not run out of pennies before the year 2040. Many countries have eliminated their lowest denomination coin to save money with no impact on the populace or inflation. American military bases overseas stopped accepting and dispensing pennies nearly 20 years ago because they were not worth the cost to transport them.


2) Have BEP discontinue printing the dollar bill. Instead use dollar coins manufactured by the Mint. According to the latest GAO report, this change would save the American taxpayers $184 million annually. And the coins have the advantage of being environmentally neutral; whereas, the notes are toxic to the environment.


Many major industrial nations have replaced their low denomination currency with coins, including Canada, the U.K. and Japan. It has been proven to be a guaranteed money saver for all nations. In addition, once the transition has occurred, the population of those nations had no problem carrying coins around. There will be some objection to carrying the dollar coins around because they are not as convenient as bills. However, based on the experience of other nations who have made the transition the objection will quickly fade.


These proposals taken together are guaranteed to save taxpayers a quarter of a billion dollars each year.



Idea No. 11473