Within days of each other, two announcements concerning the future of the US currency appeared in the popular press, and each avoided any mention whatsoever of the primary driver of the changes.
First was the announcement on November 26 from Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner that the U.S. Mint will begin removing pennies and nickels from circulation starting the first of the year, supposedly because they’re too expensive to make. It costs the mint nearly 5 cents to make each penny while it costs more than 16 cents to make a nickel. This is costing the mint a lot of money, an estimated $187 million last year alone.
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