Obama Open to Getting Rid of the Penny

Feb 14, 2013 6:15pm
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Pitch the penny? President Obama says it may be time to get rid of the one cent coin.

The coins cost more to mint than they are worth and are increasingly used less and less, leading many economists to ask why the U.S. hasn’t gotten rid of them entirely.

“I don’t know,” Obama said when asked about it today.

“It’s one of those things where I think people get attached emotionally to the way things have been,” he said on a Google+ hangout. “We remember our piggy banks and counting out all the pennies and then taking them in and getting a dollar bill or a couple of dollars from it and maybe that’s the reason people haven’t gotten around to it.”

Obama went on to suggest the penny is a “good metaphor” for some of the larger problems facing lawmakers as they seek to reduce the deficit.

“This is not going to be a huge savings for government. But anytime we’re spending more money on something that people don’t actually use, that’s an example of something we should probably change,” he said. “One of the things that you see chronically in government is it’s very hard to get rid of things that don’t work so that we can then invest in the things that do.”

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