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Obama has a lot of work to do to educate the electorate - even many Dem voters - if the Trillion dollar coin becomes the popular solution to the problem.

Poll: Americans wary of $1 trillion coin proposal - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

A plurality of Americans are skeptical of a proposal to bypass the federal debt ceiling by minting a $1 trillion dollar platinum coin, according to a new poll.

According to the survey by YouGov and The Huffington Post, 38 percent of voters disapprove of such a proposal. Only 19 percent say they believe the president should authorize the minting of such a coin, while 43 percent say they are not sure about the plan.

A loophole in federal law -- originally designed to allow for the manufacture of collectable coins -- appears to give the Treasury Secretary unchecked ability to mint platinum coins of any denomination. Under the scheme, the Treasury could mint a $1 trillion coin, deposit it at the Federal Reserve and continue paying bills despite exceeding the debt ceiling, all without congressional approval.

The idea has been picking up steam, with the country expected to hit the borrowing limit in about a month. But most Americans are still unaware of the idea, according to the poll.


More than half, 55 percent, said they've heard nothing at all about it. Only 7 percent say they have heard a lot about the idea, while just over a quarter say they have heard a little about the platinum coin scenario.

The White House has thus far refused to comment on the proposal, saying simply they believe it is Congress's responsibility to raise the debt ceiling.

"The president expects that Congress will fulfill its essential responsibility to pay the bills that Congress has incurred," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday. "And remember, this is a responsibility that Congress assigned to itself in order to try to get Congress to spend less and be more focused on deficit reduction. ... Congress has the power that it assigned itself to raise the debt ceiling, and it should do so, because the alternative is obviously unacceptable."

But the YouGov poll finds that voters do not necessarily agree with the White House. Of those surveyed, 41 percent say Congress should not raise the debt ceiling, while 32 percent believe their representatives should. Yet those surveyed are also wary of default. Instead, voters favor cutting federal spending by 40 percent 6-to-1 over defaulting on debt payments.

Voters are also wary of the consequences of a default, with 57 percent saying doing so would have a major negative effect on the economy, and 15 percent saying it would have some negative effect. Eight percent believed doing so would have some sort of positive influence on the economy.

My position is not that the Trillion $ coin is a popular solution, but that it will have positive results - which ultimately will result in the President's action being vindicated in retrospect. It's about the extent to which Obama has the courage and conviction to actually lead.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot dotty communists) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 04:53:05 PM EST
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