Is the penny the latest target for the federal chopping block?

Is the penny the latest target for the federal chopping block?

Has the current White House administration targeted the lowly penny as the next round on the federal chopping block? In a recent statement from the President, it seems there has been talk of his being in favor for getting rid of the lowly penny.

Citing the fact that the penny is not as widely used as it has been in the past, the President was also heard to state that while getting rid of the penny would not be an overly large government savings, that by spending more on making something that is seldom used was in a way an unnecessary expense.

Proponents of getting rid of the copper coin say that there is good reason to get rid of it besides the lack of use.  The U. S. Mint reported two years ago that each time they made a penny; it cost approximately 2.5 cents each.  As it turns out, the metals used in making pennies are more valuable melted down.  If this is true, why don’t all the penny hoarders melt them down and sell the metal?  Well, up to five years and jail and maximum $10,000 fine might make one not take that step. The U.S. Mint in recent years has paid about 1.1 cents for the metal that goes into each penny. Supposedly it costs the U.S. Mint 0.6 cents in administrative expenses for each penny. That only leaves 0.4 cents to actually purchase the metals.  At those prices, it is hard to see where making pennies would be profitable. Last year the President asked the Mint to find a way to reduce the millions of dollars spent each year to produce the penny, but so far nothing has worked out. Pennies are heavy to handle when being made and packaged for shipping. They are also time consuming to count. They are also not cost-effective to ship due to their extremely heavy weight.

One does have to admit that the days of the penny’s usefulness may have come to an end. Long gone are the days of penny candy and penny vending machines.  Although the penny does hold a place in American history and is more likely to be saved in a coin bank than any other coin, do we really still need to keep it around.

Penny lovers need not rush out to collect even more of these copper coins, for now the penny is safe from getting the axe.

Email address: Mark (at)

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