About that trillion-dollar platinum coin that could somehow be the answer to the idiotic, manmade debt ceiling crisis we’ll face — again — in a month?
(If you only half-completed your state quarterhood collection and still call your dad each time you fill out any tax form, check out this terrific interview on Politics Powered By Twitter with Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal for the finer economic points of the coin trick. After all, it’s his baby. Spoiler: It’s mostly trolling to point out the absurdities of a debt ceiling.)
The fun is all over now. Washington Post wonk-in-chief Ezra Klein dropped this coin-killing bombshell on Saturday:
The Treasury Department will not mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin to get around the debt ceiling. If they did, the Federal Reserve would not accept it.
That’s the bottom line of the statement that Anthony Coley, a spokesman for the Treasury Department, gave me today. ”Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit,” he said.
The inclusion of the Federal Reserve is significant. For the platinum coin idea to work, the Federal Reserve would have to treat it as a legal way for the Treasury Department to create currency. If they don’t believe it’s legal and would not credit the Treasury Department’s deposit, the platinum coin would be worthless.
Well, we guess members of Congress will just have to come together and figure this out in a professional manneHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
In fewer than 24 hours, the feds killed plans for the Death Star and the trillion-dollar coin. This is the Era of Wet Blankets.
UPDATE: The White House, after this Treasury statement, released its own statement to the Huffington Post about what happens next:
“There are only two options to deal with the debt limit: Congress can pay its bills or they can fail to act and put the nation into default,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney. “When Congressional Republicans played politics with this issue last time putting us at the edge of default, it was a blow to our economic recovery, causing our nation to be downgraded. The President and the American people won’t tolerate Congressional Republicans holding the American economy hostage again simply so they can force disastrous cuts to Medicare and other programs the middle class depend on while protecting the wealthy. Congress needs to do its job.”