"Need a $1 trillion coin, take a $1 trillion coin." There's a message you won't see on jars near cash registers in stores. But some pundits and lawmakers are saying that President Obama should do just that.
If Republicans in Congress threaten to let America default in the upcoming debt-ceiling and spending cut negotiations, Obama could order up a massive coin to deposit in the Federal Reserve to help cover the debt. An obscure commemorative coin law gives the Treasury Secretary the power to mint and issue platinum coins in any denomination.
It may sound like a wacky idea, but it's gaining traction with backers including Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who wrote a column called "Be Ready to Mint That Coin," in Monday's New York Times, and U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.
"Given the realities of our political situation, and in particular the mixture of ruthlessness and craziness that now characterizes House Republicans, it's just ridiculous - far more ridiculous than the notion of the coin," Krugman wrote. And which person's face should be on that coin? House Speaker John Boehner, Krugman suggests.
In response, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has introduced a bill to ban the president from minting the coins, saying the idea is "absurd and dangerous, and would be laughable if the proponents weren't so serious about it as a solution," Politico reported.
Via the New York Times and Politico and the Wall Street Journal.