Dollar Coin To Be Discontinued

The U.S. Mint will stop producing the dollar coins to help cut government waste, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden announced Tuesday.

During a meeting, Biden said the commemorative coin program has been a failure.

"Right now, the law requires us to make dollar coins featuring every deceased president of the United States," quoted Biden as saying. "They make hundreds of millions of these coins every year, 40 percent of them end up being returned to the Federal Reserve because nobody wants them. And here's the worst part: They're still making coins of presidents from the 1800s, meaning the United States Mint is about halfway through its planned production.

"And as it will shock you all, the call for Chester A. Arthur coins is not there," Biden joked.

He said an estimated $1.4 billion in dollar coins are "literally just sitting around unused" in Federal Reserve vaults.

UPI said the Mint was scheduled to issue $1.6 billion more through 2016.

"Nobody wants these coins," the vice president said, pointing out that suspending production would save about $50 million annually.

During the meeting, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced other cost-saving plans such as moving Americans to electronic payment systems, expanded e-filing of tax returns and pushing insurance companies to track abuse of painkillers more closely to reduce emergency room visits for overdoses, UPI reported.

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