Great article by Thomas A. Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste. Rep. David Schweikert is leading the fight to replace the paper $1 bill with a $1 coin instead, which will save taxpayers billions of dollars. Entrenched lobbyists in Washington are fighting back hard.
Continued use of $1 bills an egregious federal waste
Every few years, another iconic example of government waste captures the public's attention. Most Americans know about the "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska and the "Big Dig" in Boston. Others may recall the Pentagon's $436 hammer and $640 toilet seat.
But one classic example of the government's wasteful ways is not as well-known, yet it has been in everyone's pockets for 160 years.
It is the $1 bill.
The Government Accountability Office has been beating the drum for more than two decades, pointing to the billions that could be saved by transitioning to a dollar coin. In its latest of six reports released in February 2012, the GAO estimated that the government would save $4.4 billion over 30 years by making the switch.
Unfortunately, like every special interest, the $1 bill has its entrenched constituency in Washington. The paper and ink lobbies have a huge stake in the $1 bill, and it takes a lot of political courage to stand up to them and call the $1 bill corporate welfare.
Two Republican members of Arizona's congressional delegation, Rep. David Schweikert and Sen. John McCain, are standing with hardworking Arizonans to fight the status quo. Both have sponsored bipartisan bills to phase out the $1 bill and save taxpayers billions in the process.
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