Obama Says Costly Penny Should Go

Friday, 15 Feb 2013 01:01 PM

By Cyrus Afzali

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Like a growing number of Americans, President Barack Obama says he'd like to get rid of the penny, but doubts Congress will move anytime soon to grant him the authority to end production of the coin, according to The Hill.

While conceding that the penny has come to represent another one of Washington’s inefficiencies, President Obama said this week he doubts Congress will move quickly to discontinue its production.

Asked during an online chat Thursday why the production of pennies continues in light of costs that exceed their worth, he chalked it up to the fact that “people get attached emotionally to the way things have been.”

He added that penny production illustrates how Washington sometimes helps to institutionalize inefficiencies.

“Any time we’re spending money on something people aren’t going to use, that’s something that should change,” he said.

The president said he has asked Congress to grant him the authority to reorganize a number of federal agencies that have become inefficient, but until they take action, he lacks the ability to eliminate the penny or take additional steps to modernize other areas of government.

“The penny is something I need legislation for and, frankly, given all the big issues, we’re not able to get to it,” he said.


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