abolishing the penny essay

Submitted By srganley
Words: 623
Pages: 3

November 11, 2013
Block C

Down With the Sickness

The United States government is over 17 trillion dollars in debt. Members of Congress battle back and forth over where they should cut certain funding, and where they should invest their money. The government seems to be making little ground in their quest to erase America’s debt. Every idea that is proposed has some sort of negative side that could end up hurting a small part of the population. One idea that has been thrown around is the abolishment of the penny. It would be a great place to start in minimizing America’s debt. Although it would affect the country’s economy, it is necessary that we get rid of the penny because it is a detriment to the United States economy and it is a waste of natural resources.
With the national debt reaching over 17 trillion dollars, every United States citizen would have to pay an average of 54,000 dollars to pay the debt off completely. Just for that reason, every step should be taken to ensure that this deficit is erased. Pointless spending must be stopped, and Congress has to prioritize where our money is being spent. That is why the penny must be abolished. According to USmint.gov, the penny costs 2.41 cents to produce. On top of that “the mint keeps churning out a billion pennies a month.” (Safire). This information draws the conclusion that for every penny made, the US government goes in debt another 1.41 cents. And, if every year 12 billion pennies are made, then the government loses 169,200,000 dollars a year just on producing the penny. That is a substantial amount of money that could be used for education, producing jobs, etc. Instead, they decide to spend it on keeping the penny in circulation. It would be a huge mistake for the government not to shut down the production of the penny because if they do not, the government will just fall deeper and deeper into debt. Things are already bad enough and there is no need to make the country’s position economically worse than it is already.
Not only is the penny hurting our country economically, but it is stripping our planet of valuable natural resources. In Safire’s article, “Abolish the Penny” he states that, “Two-thirds of them [pennies] immediately drop out of circulation, into piggy banks or – as The Time’s John Tierney noted five years ago – behind chair cushions or at the back of sock drawers,” So, out of the