Will We Really Get Rid of the Penny?

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getridofpennyRecently, President Obama expressed a desire to get rid of the penny. Talk of ditching the one-cent coin has been circulating for years. The chatter picked up last year when Canada announced its plan to get rid of the penny, but the talk soon died down.

President Obama stirred the debate up again by talking about getting rid of the penny in a Google+ Hangout not too long ago. NBC News reports that the President is concerned that people don’t actually use pennies anymore — and that’s a problem in light of the fact that it costs more than a penny to make a penny.

According to the NBC News report, it cost 2.41 cents to create a penny in 2012. For some, getting rid of the penny seems like one way to reduce some of the costs weighing our government down. Even though the government spent “only” $58 million to mint pennies in 2012, many cite other costs, including the economic costs and productivity costs involved in trying to make transactions work on pennies.

Even though there is some talk about how pennies are useless, getting rid of the penny has proved problematic through the years. Bills in 2001 and 2006 failed to get the support needed to eliminate the penny. Some politicians think that solution might be to stop using zinc and copper, and consider using even less expensive metals like aluminum or steel.

A major stumbling block to getting rid of the penny is the fact that there are major lobbying efforts to keep the coin. From zinc producers to Americans for Common Cents (who worry about inflation with the penny gone), there are those who want to keep the penny around.

What do you think? Should we ditch the penny?

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Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in financial topics. Her work has appeared in numerous media, online and offline. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds.

  • Hector

    Ditch it. Most people don’t pay with cash anyways and when they do, how often do they have pennies in their pocket? It won’t be missed.

  • A-Rock

    We should get rid of the penny, nickel, and quarter. That way, prices would be based on a single decimal point, and we’d only have to produce dimes and half-dollars.

  • John

    Im sorry I work in a gas station I see hundreds of customers a day who use the penny do we need to change YES! I sure would hate to do my end of day service and be short money because people cant stop the pumps at 10 bucks or 20 or what ever amount, I use probally 75 to 1.50 a day per shift worth of pennys for my customers, What the all mighty gov should do it make em with a cheaper base metal or even plastic.. But as far I am concerned its not dead yet I cant tell you how many times people with little or no money have bought gas with a few hundred pennys laying around in there car.

  • John

    I may add I belive the penny is the least of our worries as the gov continues to spend enormous amounts of bs like drones to kill average americans if need be and like the white house dinners and all the other dinners that cost millions of dollars to us tax [payers} and the vacations to say the least and lets not forget the funding for entitlement for our congress after they leave funds loads of it to ensure there taken care of while they rape the American public out of trillions of dollars the country has go to he11 in a handbag on wasteful spending while you and I foot the bill while they continue to cut benefits for the disable and ss people who work there entire lifes putting there money into those programs yet to only see them be raked over the coals with lower paying benefits and higher costs for americans. This is not what our great for fathers intending for us they would be rolling in there graves if they where alive today to see how our government acts today! as for the pennys that’s all some people have to buy goods and gas and so forth.