My friend James McCusker, tongue planted firmly in cheek, suggests that rather than just one trillion-dollar platinum coin as a solution to our debt-deficit-fiscal mess, we mint one worth $50,000 for each of us. That’s roughly 315 million shiny tokens. Poof! Our debt problem goes away. How do you plan to spend your share?
I suspect that McCusker, an economist, educator and consultant as well as articulate newspaper columnist, would agree with Pimco’s Mohamed El-Erian, who writes today at Fortune that the fact this laughable non-starter is being discussed so widely “speaks loudly to the mess Congress has gotten itself (and the country) in.”
El-Erian opines that if the “unthinkable” becomes the only way out of the debt-deficit-spending-limit morass, Congressional approval ratings would fall even further, “raising uncomfortable questions about the current state of our representative democracy.”
Liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate in economics, likens congressional Republicans to suicide bombers in their insistence that any increase in the debt ceiling be tied to more spending cuts. Unless enough “sane Republicans” blink and stop making destructive threats, Krugman writes, “it’s the president’s duty to do whatever it takes, no matter how offbeat or silly it may sound… Mint that coin!”