Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

MONEY: Time to get rid of the penny

Letter by Robert Bennett, Steilacoom on March 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm | No Comments »
March 27, 2013 9:27 am

Have you ever walked down the street and seen a penny on the ground? Do you stop and pick it up? Most people would not unless they were an avid penny collector.

The penny has quickly become a worthless coin in our economy. According to the 2011 annual report from U.S. Mint, the penny costs 2.4 cents per coin. Therefore, it costs 1.4 cents more to produce than the penny is worth!

The U.S. Mint spent $120 million to produce less than $50 million of circulating pennies in 2011. This sounds like more government-wasted taxpayer money.

Even with zinc as the base metal, the penny is still too expensive to produce. So what’s the point of the penny? It’s bulky, almost worthless and a burden to retailers and banks.

For those who think it would be un-American to retire the penny, The Department of Defense eliminated the penny from overseas military bases 30 years ago because it was too costly to ship and handle.

Here’s an idea. Let’s retire the penny and provide it a shrine in the U.S. Mint Hall of Fame. Then round up a retail purchase to the nearest nickel. Would you notice the difference? Perhaps it would be easier and more convenient. After all, who wants to go home and dump a bunch of worthless coins into the penny jar?

The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.