Walden targets $1 trillion platinum 'coin' idea

No way to solve deficit issue, congressman says

POSTED: 9:39 AM PST January 7, 2013 
Rep. Greg Walden
THE DALLES, Ore. -

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said Monday he will introduce legislation to stop a proposal to mint high-value platinum coins to pay the federal government’s bills.

“Some people are in denial about the need to reduce spending and balance the budget," Walden said. "This scheme to mint trillion dollar platinum coins is absurd and dangerous, and would be laughable if the proponents weren’t so serious about it as a solution. I’m introducing a bill to stop it in its tracks.”

“My wife and I have owned and operated a small business since 1986," he added. "When it came time to pay the bills, we couldn’t just mint a coin to create more money out of thin air. We sat down and figured out how to balance the books. That’s what Washington needs to do as well.

"My bill will take the coin scheme off the table by disallowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins as a way to pay down the debt. We must reduce spending and get our fiscal house in order.”

Within the last week, numerous media reports (example here) have suggested that the U.S. Mint could create trillion dollar platinum coins, which would then be deposited into the Federal Reserve to be used to pay the federal government’s bills or avoid hitting the debt ceiling.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, touted the proposal last week (story here). New York Times columnist and Princeton professor Paul Krugman suggested the idea in an article as well (click here).

Other leaders in Washington, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have urged the president to raise the debt limit unilaterally without permission from Congress.