Let Me See if I’ve Got This, Guys

We had a solution to a problem. It’s a somewhat silly-sounding solution, but it was a solution. It made the problem go away. It made the problem disappear. It accomplished what needs to be done which is to ix-nay on the oblem-pray.

The people who would propose and then carry out said silly-sounding solution would face exactly zero consequences, since this would be all on Barack Me Amadeus, and last I checked he wasn’t up for an election in any way in the near future*. We all learned from Bush II that, despite everybody hating you, you still get to hang in the White House for a second term. It’s not like your polls drop into the 40s and they boot Air Force One. You get to wear the windbreaker no matter how many people think you suck, which is kind of the point of second terms these days.

So that’s the sitch. And we’re not going to do it.


I mean it, has anyone proposed a better reason at this point for this epic shrug at a potential solution to our most pressing national problem than “because?”

Because it’s silly? Because it’s bad precedent (okay, but so was going to war based on bullshit and WHOOPS LOTS OF DEAD PEOPLE)? Because the Sunday shows and columnists would howl? Because talk radio would make jokes? Because EVERYBODY would make jokes?

(Everybody except all the poor old people who would not be starving and dead of preventable diseases due to budget cuts, that is. Maybe even them too.)

SO WHAT THOUGH? A platinum coin is stupid. It kills exactly nobody, though, and you can’t say the same about the kind of punitive budget cuts that are going to ensue if Republicans get to hold the economy hostage again. So what’s the most important thing? The process? It’s LEGAL. Jesus, we’ve done more horrible things that weren’t, in the name of more disgusting goals.

I talk about this kind of thing in my day job(s) all the time, the prizing of a process over a solution, and almost everyone looks at me like I’ve suggested shooting kittens to get ahead. “WE HAVE TO SOLVE THIS HORRIBLE PROBLEM!!11!” Well, here is a solution. “THAT SOLUTION IS STUPID OMG THE SKY IS FALLING!!11!” Look, you didn’t say the solution had to be pretty, you said it had to exist. Here it is. You have other criteria, give them to me, but don’t tell me the thing I came up with that does what you want isn’t the right thing because according to your own parameters, it is. We have to pay our bills. This coin would do that.

It’s not that the ends justify the means. It’s that the means aren’t the objective, and when things are bad enough, as they are right the fuck now for huge swaths of the country, that’s a critical distinction and it’s one we’ve now decided not to make, because.


*As an aside, I would like some Democrat to propose rescinding the 2-term limit just for Barack, simply because of the head-explody-ness that would ensue. For fun. This is the kind of fun I have in the winter when the beaches are closed.

12 thoughts on “Let Me See if I’ve Got This, Guys

  1. A-
    I’m scoring this as another example of negotiating against yourself before the negotiations begin. He vetoed the 14th Amendment solution, too, so that means he has zero alternatives.
    Any caving now means he wanted it to happen, so I hope Granny likes Friskies.

  2. We don’t need the coin to be worth the value on its face at all. We could make a penny that says “TRILLION DOLLARS” and as long as it’s legal tender it works.

  3. Though having said that, this makes it clear that if anyone in charge wanted these problems to go away, they’d just make it so.
    So obviously this is the way they want things made.

  4. The Fed doesn’t get a choice about accepting currency that is, by statute, legal tender.
    Legally and economically the $1T coin solves a problem. But using the debt-limit issue to beat the living shit out of GOP solves a much bigger problem.
    It takes zero time to implement the $1T coin option, and public statements that “we’re not going to do it” aren’t binding, so FIRST we’ll see how much beating Boner&Co can take before they cave.

  5. This is rich. The pro-torture, pro-assassination Obama regime says that minting a coin is immoral and beyond the pale.
    Can they take back that Peace Prize now?

  6. For two years the Republican congresscritters have been pissing and moaning that the POTUS has to do their job for them because eff you, that’s why. Congress bought a shitload of stuff and now they do not want to pay for it just like every effing deadbeat dad including the deadbeat dads in congress.
    While I am as annoyed as anyone that the POTUS gave up this rather charming bargaining tool I really do not think there is any bargaining to do.
    They either do their effing job by paying the bills they run up or he can adjourn their asses. Then things would get very interesting.

  7. I get the point that Platinum is rare and expensive. But as the treasury doesn’t print bills for the higher denominations any more (why move around physical million dollar bills with the possibility of loss and theft when you can just do a bank to bank wire transfer) why would we even have to make the coins?
    And if the problem is the need to have a physical piece of metal were the value of the raw metal is as much as the coin, there are all sorts of rare metals that can be made in reactors. Extremely expensive to produce, but as the reactors are running anyway, would be a good project for a doctoral student.
    Of course, unfortunately they would have to find a metal to make that doesn’t rapidly decay.
    Even worse, though is that in making a Platinum coin, you’re dealing with Glen Beck fans who think the price of the metal in their minted coins is as much as the value of the coin – instead of the small fraction of value, not realizing that you’re paying for collecting coins and not for the metal.

  8. The way the statute was written, it would have to be coin made of platinum, but could have any denomination. Treasury mints it, deposits it to the Fed, debt ceiling is that much farther away.
    But the real story seems to be that the Fed has stated that it would refuse to accept that deposit. Which is a potential constitutional crisis in itself.
    Forget fiat currency, this is just fiat rule.

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