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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 23, June 4, 2006, Article 16

WHO WANTS THE CENT ABOLISHED?

Dick Johnson writes: "The leading proponent of abolishing the
cent is Representative Jim Kolbe, R-Arizona. He has introduced
legislation in the House in past sessions and plans to do so again
in coming weeks.

Despite the rising costs of the cent’s metal components – zinc and
copper – no one gives much hope for the passage of Kolbe’s bill.
It will cost the U.S. Mint more to strike billions of the lowest
denomination coins each year than their face value.

Americans, according to numerous polls, do not want the cent
eliminated. This despite the fact they cart cents home in change
and pile them up on top of the dresser, or place them in jars,
mostly without returning them to circulation and agreeing this
is somewhat of a nuisance.

Also there is a strong lobby, backed by the zinc industry, Americans
for Common Cents, which supports continued striking of the cent.
Congress, apparently, is nonplused about the cent crisis. It does
not see the $13-14 million shortfall as serious, as long as the
total seigniorage of U.S. coins is on the positive side.

Congress cannot continue to stick its head in the sand for long,
however. It will have to face up to the problem in the future.
The answer, in this writer’s opinion, is to overhaul the entire
U.S. coin structure at one time (a la the European euro), plan
ahead, and incorporate some new coinmaking technology. Even the
successful New Zealand recoinage plan took over twenty years.
America is already behind in this planning.

CNNMoney.com, which is the internet home of Fortune, Money and
other business magazines, released an article June 2, 2006,
which covered this situation in depth. It includes comments by
Congressman Kolbe, Mark Weller, head of Americans for Common
Cents, and others. It’s worth the visit:

CNNMoney.com

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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