Apparently, the Federal government went from denying they could just print more money to get around the debt ceiling to just accepting the outside possibility that the Treasury Department could use an oft-ignored provision buried deep in their job duties to mint a $1 trillion coin to handle all of our debt woes.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., told Capital New York that the “out of the ordinary” idea could actually work.
“I’m being absolutely serious,” he said. “It sounds silly, but it’s absolutely legal.”
Folks like Nadler point to a tiny section in the U.S. code that allows the Treasury secretary to “mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins” of a size and denomination of “the secretary’s discretion.” This is mainly for commemorative coins, but the idea that the provision could be exploited as an ace-up-the-sleeve for the administration was first explored during the 2011 debt ceiling fight. Now, it’s back.
At least 4,500 hundred people, who also probably wear Pajama Jeans, think this is a good enough idea that they signed a petition begging the White House to do it on the White House’s own petition page. And despite the looming threat of massive inflation inherent in just printing money we don’t have actual money to use to back up and the abject barrel-scraping sadness of a nation forced to emulate the financial policy of Chuck E. Cheese in order to address its growing debt crisis, Paul Krugman thinks its so crazy it just might work. Because, obviously, Paul Krugman has never seen an episode of Who’s The Boss.
The proposed solution to thede factodefault and the almost nonsensical rate of inflation that would take place if just such a sketchy plan were allowed to take effect? Avoiding any and all consequences by allowing Barack Obama to buy back the debt incurred with the coin witheven more debt as soon as Congress explicitly approves an increase in the debt ceiling.
Thankfully, Jay Carney thinks it’s a ridiculous idea.