The US recently avoided going over the fiscal cliff (technically we did go over it, but only for a short amount of time), so now we look forward to the next Congressional battle that will make us all wretch in horror: The Debt Ceiling. The only way to save the country from Congress may be to print a $1 trillion platinum coin.
Back in 2011, the debt ceiling debacle engineered by the GOP resulted in the US credit rating being lowered and nearly derailed Barack Obama's re-election bid. We're fast approaching time for the debt ceiling to be raised again and Republicans are planning on holding out again to try to get concessions for President Obama. This is ridiculously silly because the debt ceiling is a stupid law that if not raised simple stops the US from being able to pay off its bills.
Not raising the debt ceiling causes the US to default on its debt, accrue more debt faster, and risks cratering the entire economy. We just crawled out of the Great Recession, defaulting risks throwing us right back in.
So Republicans are essentially asking for concessions from President Obama in order to not shoot America in the face.
One way to avoid this whole mess and not even need to raise the debt ceiling is for the Treasury to print a $1 trillion platinum coin. It's currently illegal for the Treasury department to simply print money to solve economic woes, however the loophole there is that the Treasury has the right to print platinum coins of any denomination it chooses.
The thinking here is that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to print a platinum coin worth one trillion dollars, then take that coin and deposit it in the Federal Reserve allowing the US to pay its bills without needing to raise the debt ceiling. (See Business Insider video below)
Is it a silly idea? Yes, but it is far far less silly to risk default and wrecking the US economy for no real reason. We all hate Congress, why leave it to them, when this is so much simpler and realistic than Congress functioning rationally?
Added Bonus: This would spawn thousands of spy films and TV shows for years to come. Isn't a trillion dollar platinum coin the perfect MacGuffin for a supervillain to try to steal?
Bloggy smart people of all stripes have been loving this idea. It has birthed a White House Petition (it's less than 5,000 signatures away from the White House having to take notice) and its own hashtag (#MintTheCoin).
For more info, check out this video from Business Insider: