Trouble Arises for the Platinum Coin Campaign

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 7 2013 5:45 PM

Trouble Arises for the Platinum Coin Campaign

Rep. Greg Walden, who's running the House GOP campaign operation for 2014, warns Democrats to knock it off with the "trillion dollar platinum coin to avoid the debt limit" campaign.

This scheme to mint trillion dollar platinum coins is absurd and dangerous, and would be laughable if the proponents weren’t so serious about it as a solution. I’m introducing a bill to stop it in its tracks...  My bill will take the coin scheme off the table by disallowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins as a way to pay down the debt.
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All well and good, but such a bill would need to pass Harry Reid's Senate, so this is a counter-stunt response to a piece of performance art. The larger problem with the platinum coin solution, which few Republicans seem to notice, is that Congress would get to pick the design of the coin -- the coin could be minted, but there's a question about whether it would have value.

It's always felt like the coin discussion is Democrats' way of forcing the issue of another, less oddball solution, so that it's getting this far is a sort of victory.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.