Update 1/9/13: New, nautical-themed coin added at bottom.
America is once more on a collision course with the debt ceiling, threatening the economy’s fragile recovery with an entirely avoidable crisis of Congress’ own making. But there may be a way to avoid the whole mess: President Obama can legally mint a commemorative coin worth $1 trillion to guarantee the nation’s creditworthiness. That creates its own crisis, however — namely, who do you put on the platinum coin? Fortunately, we rounded up some options.
Since bypassing Congress to mint the coin is an inherent middle finger to Congress, most of the suggestions so far are aimed at provoking the House GOP as much as possible. To this end, Paul Krugman suggested using Speaker John Boehner’s face for the coin, “because without him and his colleagues, this wouldn’t be necessary.”
Update: The NRCC suggested on Wednesday that a $1 trillion coin was ridiculous, because it would take way too much platinum to mint.
In fact, the coin can be whatever size the treasury decides because America uses fiat money, meaning its value is not determined by the cost of the materials used to produce it. This explains why you don’t need an entire bookcase to hold your $100 bill or why the guy at the deli who sold you a coffee this morning didn’t weigh your quarters on a scale before giving it to you.
That said, the NRCC’s suggestion offers a great design for the $1 trillion coin. Since the image isn’t to scale, feel free to imagine the below coin to be whatever size you prefer.
Thanks to Jess McIntosh for the text.