Platinum problems

With all the serious unknowns, minting a $1 trillion platinum coin seems an act of hubris.

At the risk of understating the obvious, the fact that we are having a discussion bordering on the serious over running the printing presses to pay our bills - i.e., minting a platinum coin of large dollar value - is troubling. And yet we are. Paul Krugman is enthusiastic in Friday's New York Times: "Mint that coin!" White House press secretary Jay Carney was even asked about minting a coin as a way to avoid negotiating a debt ceiling increase with Congress. Carney didn't rule out the possibility.

Donald Marron, head of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, seems to agree with the argument made by Bloomberg's Josh Barro and others: in the event that Congress and the president can't come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, the United States has limited options, all bad. "In this ugly group," writes Marron, "the platinum coin looks relatively shiny."

What are the options for the president in the event that a deal can't be reached with Congress?

Get access to the full article at The American.


Michael R. Strain is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

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About the Author

 

Michael R.
Strain
  • Michael R. Strain is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies labor economics, public finance, and applied microeconomics. His research has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and in the policy journals Tax Notes and National Affairs. Dr. Strain also writes frequently for popular audiences on topics including labor market policy, jobs, minimum wages, federal tax and budget policy, and the Affordable Care Act, among others.  His essays and op-eds have been published by National Review, The New York Times, The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, Forbes, Bloomberg View, and a variety of other outlets. He is frequently interviewed by major media outlets, and speaks often on college campuses. Before joining AEI he worked on the research team of the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program and was the manager of the New York Census Research Data Center, both at the U.S. Census Bureau.  Dr. Strain began his career in the macroeconomics research group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  He is a graduate of Marquette University, and holds an M.A. from New York University and a Ph.D. from Cornell.


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