Monday, July 14, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

National Treasure 3: Barack's Magical $1 Trillion Platinum Coin

National Treasure 3: Barack's Magical $1 Trillion Platinum Coin

But what if Nicolas Cage finds this with the secret map printed on the back of the Declaration of Independence?

[BEGIN EXCERPT]Enter the platinum coin. There’s a legal loophole allowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins in any denomination the secretary chooses. Yes, it was intended to allow commemorative collector’s items — but that’s not what the letter of the law says. And by minting a $1 trillion coin, then depositing it at the Fed, the Treasury could acquire enough cash to sidestep the debt ceiling — while doing no economic harm at all.

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.[END EXCERPT]

This, from a Nobel Prize winning economist (Krugman, who else?).

As much as I'd enjoy the in-your-faceness of the $1 trillion Obama commemorative* platinum coin, not to mention the potential for a great heist movie down the road, I don't think this idea would work. For one thing, there's the Supreme Court -- the folks who gave us George W. Bush, remember?. And the chattering class of pundits, not to mention the broader commentsphere, would be just unbearable if the White House pulled a stunt like this.

No, the only real solutions are a) a series of incremental debt hostage crises, some of which will end better than others b) a complete collapse of the Tea Party, which would be good except for the complete collapse of the American economy that comes with it. I would totally vote for b)...in a parallel universe where not a single person I care about needed to get or hold onto a job.

* Not really.

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Will Bunch
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