Any bright ideas on how to pay off the U.S. national debt? Sure, here's one: pawn Mount Rushmore. A petition submitted to the White House's official website calls for the mountain in Keystone, S.D., to be pawned off to the Federal Reserve if the Treasury is unable to cover the interest on the national debt when the debt ceiling is breached.
The petition is a response to the government's decision not to mint a $1 trillion coin to help pay off the national debt. Is pawning a historic monument a crazy idea? Maybe. But plenty of people on social media seem to interested in it. On Twitter, #pawnthemountain has been generating traffic -- and that's after #mintthecoin became a thing to push the $1 trillion coin idea forward.
The petition, created Jan. 14, states: "Now that #MintTheCoin is dead, our best option is clearly to sell Mount Rushmore to the Fed, and buy it back later once our cash flow problem is solved." Backers of the petition are aiming for 25,000 signatures by Feb. 13, but as of Tuesday morning, it only had 17.
So would pawning Mount Rushmore be a money fix for the government? Well, Mount Rushmore is one of six national parks in South Dakota that drew in $167,834,000 in tourism dollars in 2010, according to the National Park Service. Mount Rushmore features the faces of four former presidents, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt, carved into the mountainside. It took took from 1927 to 1941 to complete the project.
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