By replacing the $1 bill with a coin worth the same amount, the federal government would save more than $5.5 billion over the next 30 years, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. On a per-year basis, this amounts to roughly $184 million in savings. This is because the life of a coin produced by the government is about four times longer than that of a bill as a result of the former’s durability.
However, implementing such a plan would actually cost the federal government a net loss in the first four years, the report said. That includes the cost of increasing coin production during the transition, but this is still lower than an estimate from a similar study conducted in 2000.
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And while the U.S. Mint produces a $1 coin already, the American public has not adopted it more broadly in part because of the continued manufacturing of the $1 bill, the report said. By taking more of the latter out of circulation over a period of a few years, consumers would be more willing to accept and use the new currency. Similar measures were made in both the United Kingdom and Canada and officials there believe eliminating the bill is vital to the process.
This move may end up being adopted because Republican lawmakers have recently targeted rampant government spending as a major point of contention at the federal level.