It's Come to This: Cutting Value Out of Money, Literally

Katie Pavlich

3/28/2012 12:35:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

We all know the Federal Reserve has played a big role in devaluing the dollar by continuously printing more paper money, just ask Ron Paul, but now, in order to save a few, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has called on his department to use cheaper materials to produce coins and dollars. From the WSJ:

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner outlined how his department will find savings, including $286 million in the next fiscal year, by changing the materials that go into coins, replacing paper with electronic communications and consolidating internal agencies.

“Currently, the costs of making the penny and the nickel are more than twice the face value of each of those coins,” Geithner said in his remarks.

The cost of making pennies and nickels are about twice the face value of the coins–2.4 cents for a penny and 11.2 cents for a nickel, the Treasury Department said earlier this month. Rising commodity prices have driven higher production costs. The Mint said it used 16,365 tons of copper, 2,311 tons of nickel and 11,844 tons of zinc to produce all coins in fiscal year 2011.

Changing the makeup of coins and improving the efficiency of currency production will save more than $75 million in the next fiscal year. In addition, the suspension of presidential dollar coin production, announced in December, will save another $50 million.

Ironic, to say the least.