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Treasury Halts Wasteful Presidential Coin Program

Staff Reports
Taxpayers — and Crane & Co. — can sigh in relief that the unwanted and unloved dollar coin is kaput.

The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday announced it has suspended the program.

Sen. Scott Brown, who with Sen. John Kerry pushed a bill earlier this year to end the program, said the move will save taxpayers at least $50 million.

"For decades, special interests have pushed the wasteful dollar-coin program on the American people," he said. "They readily admitted that Americans would only use dollar coins if the popular dollar bill was eliminated — a move that would have wiped out hundreds of Massachusetts jobs. I introduced legislation to stop the coin charade and President Obama's actions today will accomplish that goal."

More than a $1.4 billion in coins have been piling up in vaults, costing millions in storage for hard money Americans won't use. Banks have been returning some 40 percent of unused coins to the Federal Reserve. The program was to run through at least 2014 and honor every deceased president (they're only up to James Garfield); a limited number of coins will be produced for collectors.

Neal S. Wolin, deputy secretary of the Treasury, posted this on the Treasury page on Tuesday:

"One area where there's an additional opportunity to cut taxpayer costs is reducing the current surplus inventory of $1 coins. That's why we're announcing today that — effective immediately — the United States Mint is suspending the production of new Presidential $1 Coins for circulation."

That's good news for Crane in Dalton, the only maker of U.S. currency paper.
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