Yahoo Finance reports:
Washington has come down with a case of fiscal fever as the Obama administration proposes everything from spending freezes on domestic programs to selling off unused government property to bring the budget back in line. Now, one study argues that the government can save billions of dollars simply by making a change to the currency itself.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a formal proposal to the Treasury and Federal Reserve noting that if it eliminated the $1 bill and replaced it with the $1 coin, the country could save roughly $5.5 billion during the next 30 years. The reason, according to the agency’s report, is that dollar bills have a shorter lifespan than dollar coins because they wear much faster, which in turn requires the government to spend more to print new bills.
The GAO estimates that phasing out dollar bills in favor of coins would require a four-year transition period, during which the government invests in the new currency, but following that, the government would save an expected $522 million each year from the change.