Commentary

Celia Rivenbark: A gazillion, a trillion, whatever

January 26, 2013 

I’m a tad sad that the U.S. Buzzkill, er, Treasury has forever nixed the notion of minting a single, one-time-only “trillion dollar coin.” I was having a wonderful time envisioning somehow getting my hands on it and taking it to McDonald’s for my daily dollar tea and side salad with Newman’s dressing, which comes to $2.14.

“Sooooo, you owe me 999 billion, 999 million, 999 hundred thousand...”

Or, maybe I’d just take it to Chuck E. Cheese’s and, when they said, “This isn’t real,” I’d get to say “Let’s lose the attitude, shall we? Your ‘currency’ has a picture of a mouse with one tooth in his head. Orthodontia much?“

For a brief, magical time, the entire nation was moony-eyed over the possibility of one coin worth a trillion dollars. It was the stuff of fantasies!

Of course, I’d be terrified to actually hold that kind of money. I have lost coins that were worth a little something by putting them in laundromat dryers AND the Coinstar machine at the grocery store, so it’s not like I could be trusted. (Why, oh, why, does Coinstar spit out the pea-coat button you put in but keeps the silver dollar? They know I didn’t mean to do that.)

Yes, for a magical moment in our nation’s fretful fiscal reality, there was a serious notion that minting one coin worth one trillion dollars was so crazy, it just might work! But, no. The Treasury, unable to think outside the box, released a statement that described the coin idea as “OK, really kinda wackadoodle.” Or something like that. Once the Treasury went all negative on the idea, the Federal Reserve (motto: “You can only call us The Fed after a few drinks; we don’t know each other that well”) was forced to concur.

Basically the plan was for the Treasury to make the one coin and then march it over to the Federal Reserve to “sell it as a way around the debt ceiling.” Which, from what I have heard, is not just a normal ceiling but more like a super tacky popcorn ceiling in a trailer home.

I can say that because I have had that ceiling in that trailer and it even had glitter swirls in it!

If the trillion-dollar coin sounds as nutty as squirrel poo to you, well, you obviously aren’t a Washington insider. Members of Congress are used to this sort of thinking because they work in a building that houses fountains and rivers of chocolate and is run by a kind-eyed man who wears a red top hat and a purple suit. No. Wait. That’s Willy Wonka. Whatever. He would’ve thought the trillion dollar coin was “scrumpdiddlyumptious” I’ll just bet.

Now, with this coin business put to rest, a weary nation can turn its attention to something truly important like going online and voting for a new Monopoly board game piece. It’s time for iron to get the boot, am I right?

celiarivenbark.com

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