VERIFY: Could the U.S. Treasury print a $1 trillion coin to avoid the debt ceiling crisis?

Forget raising the debt ceiling. Some on social media argue that the Executive Branch can avoid this crisis through a $ 1 trillion coin. Let ‘s Verify. Example video title will go here for this television WASHINGTON — As Democrats and Republicans face off over the debt ceiling deadline, some on sociable media are calling on President Biden to take drastic action to resolve the crisis on his own. According to respective social media posts, the Treasury can mint a $ 1 trillion coin made out of platinum, in orderliness to cover past spend and avoid need to raise the debt limit.

But is this true ? Let ‘s Verify.


Can the Treasury merely mint a platinum coin worth $ 1 trillion, to avoid a debt ceiling crisis ?



Yes. Due to an apart police passed in the 1990s, the Treasury is allowed to mint platinum coins of any denomination. During the former debt ceiling crisis of 2011, the idea gained far-flung attention and even some back from politicians and economists.


The theme of creating a $ 1 trillion platinum coin to avoid the debt ceiling, has been tossed around for more than a ten. Facing another deadline, the out-of-the-box idea is spinal column. On sociable media, people have started using # MintTheCoin, to call on the Treasury to take this drastic action. It ‘s received the support of some economists, such as Paul Krug, who wrote an op-ed on the subject. It besides prompted the Internet memes and posts, as people imagined what a $ 1 trillion coin might look like.

The Verify team reached out to versatile fiscal and policy experts, to break down whether this farfetched estimate is actually possible. The team besides looked through the U.S. code. Title 31 of the U.S. Code outlines why this massive $ 1 trillion coin would be potential. section K reads as follows :

“ The Secretary may mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary ’ s free will, may prescribe from time to clock time. ” This department of the code opens the door for the Secretary to mint a new platinum coin to cover past outgo and to avoid want to go into far debt. “ They can in principle batch a platinum coin and assign some huge rate to it, ” said Dean Baker from the Center For Economic and Policy Research. “ So they could say hera ‘s a new platinum coin – it ‘s worth a trillion dollars – and then they could sell it to the FED, and say give us a trillion dollars that do n’t count as debt. ” David Wessel from the Brookings Institution said that this is a “ catch, ” a “ illusion, ” and a “ beguilement ” from real solutions. “ I think it would make us look like a Banana Republic, ” he said. The obscure line of the U.S. Code has its origins in a law proposed in the 1990s, “ The Commemorative Coin Authorization and Reform Act of 1995. ” This bill was finally incorporated into an appropriations law in 1997. This poster was sponsored by erstwhile Rep. Michael Castle from Delaware, who besides previously served as the governor in that express. He said the bill was meant to help collectors get ahold of new platinum coins, and make the federal government a little money as a resultant role. “ The bed line is that they were entirely for the purpose of being relatively low cost, ” he said. “ So individuals could be able to collect them. ” Castle said he decidedly does not support the estimate of minting a platinum coin to solve the debt ceiling crisis. “ I have already condemned this, ” he said. As some lawmakers economists start to float the idea once again, most remain vocally against such a act.

“ It will be a message to the markets, ” said Thomas Kahn from American University. “ That we are wholly out of restraint. That Congress can not deal with these problems. ” Janet Yellen, the Secretary of the Treasury, called the travel a “ device, ” and said she did not support minting a $ 1 trillion coin.

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