Fire Up The Mint
And hand out the smelling salts. It’s time to mint The Coin.
So why not?
It’s easy to make sententious remarks to the effect that we shouldn’t look for gimmicks, we should sit down like serious people and deal with our problems realistically. That may sound reasonable — if you’ve been living in a cave for the past four years.Given the realities of our political situation, and in particular the mixture of ruthlessness and craziness that now characterizes House Republicans, it’s just ridiculous — far more ridiculous than the notion of the coin.
So if the 14th amendment solution — simply declaring that the debt ceiling is unconstitutional — isn’t workable, go with the coin.
This still leaves the question of whose face goes on the coin — but that’s easy: John Boehner. Because without him and his colleagues, this wouldn’t be necessary.
Here’s my own rough design for our very first Trillion Dollar coin.
Now mint the damn thing.
And if you’re tempted to deny this diagnosis, I have to ask, what would it take to convince you? The other side of this debate has been predicting runaway inflation for more than four years, as the monetary base has tripled. The same people predicted soaring interest rates from government borrowing. Meanwhile, the liquidity-trap people like me predicted what would actually happen: low inflation and low rates. This has to be the most decisive real-world test of opposing theories ever.
So minting the coin would be undignified, but so what? At the same time, it would be economically harmless — and would both avoid catastrophic economic developments and help head off government by blackmail.
What we all hope, of course, is that the prospect of the coin or some equivalent strategy will simply take the debt ceiling off the table. But if not, mint the darn coin.
This seems pretty simple to me. If the GOP is willing to destroy our nation to maintain power, then the President should do whatever is within his legal authority to thwart them. The coin is a quick fix that is harmless and legal. Mint it and then go to court over the 14th amendment to end the debt ceiling charade once and for all.
And in the interest of public service, this is how coins are made: