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View Diary: Co-author of platinum coin law weighs in on trillion dollar coin (333 comments)

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  •  Aren't the 14th Amendment and the coin minting.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calgacus

    ... complimentary to each other. The coin minting is a means for the Country to do what it's got to do and therefore adds another arrow in the quiver for the administration's lawyer to argue the constitutionality of the coin minting?

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:55:49 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  My point is that it's an arrow that is unfletched. (0+ / 0-)

      It won't work politically even if it would constitutionally.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:12:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a little bit a chicken/egg thing... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calgacus

        If you think the 14th is more politically serious, then Obama can invoke it as the primary thing, and then say that in order to execute his oath of office and the mandates of the 14th, the minting is necessary, then fine. But I think Obama has to throw out both justifications, and defend each because of the consequences of default.

        No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

        by Magster on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:24:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well he's already signalled that he's going to (0+ / 0-)

          confront the house on this, and I can't see how he'll do it absent one or both of these tactics.  It's just that the 14th offers a very clean execution of his position ('The Constitution made me do it!"), whereas the coin has all the hallmarks of a sideshow and tabloid frenzy.  It's just plain stupid, politically.  I don't think anybody, including the Mint guy who Kos quotes in this diary (note that he's hardly a political expert) has fully thought through all the combinations and permutations of possible long and short term consequences of the coin trick.  Even Diehl's description of the way it would go down (coin delivered to Treasury, entry made in the books, coin returned to the Mint and melted) brings nothing so much to mind as the classic Shell Game.  

          Hell, even the term "coin trick", which will undoubtedly become the viral monicker for this gambit, has connotations that Obama's political operation should be repulsed by.

          I'm totally amazed that someone as savvy as Kos, btw, has bought into this coin business.  If there was a word for "fraught" that was a couple of orders of magnitude stronger as to the perils involved, I'd certainly be using it.

          "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

          by nailbender on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:23:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Diehl (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nailbender, Phoenix Woman

            Is probably more of a political expert than you believe he is. For all of his working life, he has worked in regulatory and legislative environments

            From his wiki entry

            When Diehl returned to Austin from Stanford, he worked for Bullock at the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts office. Later he held positions as assistant to Commissioner Dennis L. Thomas and Director of Telephone Regulation at the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC).

            In the wake of the Bell system divestiture, he oversaw a dramatic change in the regulation of telecommunications utilities. He was the PUC's liaison to the Texas Legislature during a rewrite of the state's telecommunications regulatory laws and championed the commission's opposition to AT&T's attempt to be deregulated by the legislature. The proposal was defeated and the legislature mandated a market dominance case be held to determine whether AT&T retained market power.[1] Diehl led the case against AT&T's deregulation which prevailed at the administrative trial level. The decision was unanimously confirmed by the commission and upheld on appeal in state district court.

            Diehl was responsible for adoption of the state's first programs to make telephone service more affordable for low income households: Lifeline rates and Link Up Texas. He also spearheaded creation of Texas Relay Service, the state's first program to make telecom service available to the deaf and hard-of-hearing. In 1988, Diehl joined Dallas-based International Telecharge, Inc. as Vice President of Regulatory Affair. He was responsible for state regulatory and legislative affairs and was the company's expert witness in administrative law and appeals court proceedings.

            In January 1991, Diehl was named legislative director to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen. In September 1992, the Senator promoted him to majority staff director of the Senate Finance Committee.[2] On the first day of the Clinton administration, he moved to the U.S. Treasury Department and was named Chief of Staff to Treasury Secretary Bentsen.[3] In December 1993, President Clinton announced his intent to nominate Diehl as Director of the United States Mint, and the U.S. Senate confirmed him unanimously in June 1994.[4]
            Director of the United States Mint and thereafter

            Diehl executed a dramatic turnaround of the Mint. By the time he left the agency in March 2000, the Mint had convinced Congress to exempt it from all procurement regulations and annual appropriations,[5][6] eliminated nine of ten political patronage positions,[6] and resolved its long-standing financial management weaknesses.[7][8] The Mint also reformed its troubled commemorative coin program[6] and built one of the most successful e-Business sites on the web.[6][9]

            •  Good point. But I still think the coin idea (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sharon Wraight

              sucks and that everyone who's been promoting it hasn't thought it through.  Krugman calls it a necessary gimmick if the 14th doesn't get invoked. But a gimmick nonetheless, and it will be framed as such by the GOP and the Pundit class.

              "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

              by nailbender on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:28:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The US Government (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                katiec, nailbender

                could choose to pay its obligations in one dollar coins. That is another way to get around the debt ceiling.

                Dollar bills issued by the Federal Reserve are considered "debt." However, US Notes and coins issued by the Treasury are not. But the US Congress put a limit of $350 million on the amount of US Notes that the Treasury can issue. This limit has been there since the time of Abraham Lincoln. There is no such limitation on coinage.

                However, since 1917, there exist a law, (because of the Gold Standard) that says that all US  Government spending should come from Government Revenues, or from borrowing. The borrowing, because of the need to make sure that there was enough gold on hand to cover the borrowing was limited to the debt ceiling. So the government cannot just "print money" to cover the deficit spending.

                However, profits from minting coins is considered to be Revenue.

                So spending by dollar coins, and funding the deficits by Seigniorage profit is what we are talking about. There is more seigniorage profit (1,000,000,000 X) in a Trillion dollar coin, than there is in a dollar coin (6.25X)

                That is really what Diehl is talking about.

                Thus this is a "direct funding" of Government deficits as opposed to "borrowing" from the Federal Reserve. Ever wonder why US Treasury Auctions NEVER

            •  also, Diehl is not an economist (0+ / 0-)

              A great government intrapreneur, great bureaucrat (in the best leadership sense of that word), an amazing businessman (including government-owned biz), etc. But none of his lifework involved forecasting or managing macroeconomic policy. Nothing, nada, zip.

              His email is a coup for DailyKos (and Markos), and carries some Beltway pundit weight. But at the end of the day, he's not an economist.

              •  There are plenty of economists (0+ / 0-)

                who back the idea as well.

                However, my comment was more a response to the statement

                including the Mint guy who Kos quotes in this diary (note that he's hardly a political expert)
                and note that I responded beginning with
                Diehl is probably more of a political expert than you believe he is.

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