So the government wants to give dollar coins one more try. I’m sure this will meet with the same success the last two tries had. This time they are going to release four new ones a year, each featuring an ex-president, starting with George Washington. (Sound familiar, think quarters). I have to agree with Kevin Drum on this one:
Needless to say, this will do nothing to get people to use dollar coins. As with the state quarters, it may encourage people to collect dollar coins, but not to use them. I think I can say with some confidence that the only thing likely to accomplish that is to get rid of the dollar bill once and for all.I hate coins. I don’t like them in my pocket (the only place most men have to carry them) because they are noisy and heavy and they fall out of my pocket. The weight factor must also annoy women who already have enough crap in their purses without the added weight of a lot of coins. So, collect away but don’t but don’t expect the paper Washingtons to become any less popular.
Update: Oh goody, there’s a conspiracy theory attached to this as well:
[I]t wasn't the mint's idea at all -- it came from congress. But why would congress pass a law like that? Well, I have some familiarity with this topic and my understanding is that, in essence, the idea was being pushed by mining interests hoping to sell the government some more of their metal. They hired some lobbyists, the North Dakota delegation and Ben Nighthorse Campbell put up an ultimately successful fight to secure the long-term future of the Sacagewa Dollar, and ta-da! your presidential commemorative coins will be here shortly. Similarly, it's the zinc (or something) lobby that keeps the penny in existence. Only in America.