Kill the Penny! (And 5 Other Ways to Fix America's Money)

<b class="credit">AP, David Zalubowski</b>
AP, David Zalubowski

This week, officials from advocacy group Citizens Against Government Waste came to Capitol Hill to argue for a radical change in our currency: They want to kill the dollar bill and replace it with a dollar coin.

Their reasoning is simple. Coins last a lot longer in circulation -- 30 years on average. Bills tend to fall apart and need to replaced after around four. Making the switch, they say, would save us a nice chunk of change -- close to $14 billion over the next 30 years. The government has tried to introduce dollar coins in the past with little success, despite the fact that coins of similar value are used in nations around the world. The difference? Those countries got rid of the equivalent bills. So it's clear that we need to eliminate the dollar bill altogether if we're going to get Americans to change their ways.

But why stop with killing of the dollar bill? From pennies to dollars to credit cards, there are plenty of ways that American money could be improved. Here are a few ideas that have been kicking around.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

Originally published