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Most Americans Against Replacing Dollar Bill With Coin, Poll Says

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 10/19/11 03:24 PM ET Updated: 12/19/11 05:12 AM ET

Coins

Given the choice, Americans still prefer crisp bills to shiny coins.

A lawmaker recently introduced legislation to abandon the paper dollar bill and replace it with a dollar coin, but it looks like most Americans are happy with their currency the way it is.

A recent poll from Lincoln Park Strategies, a public opinion research firm based in Washington, D.C., finds Americans much prefer keeping the paper dollar bill over transferring over to a metal coin alternative. The poll comes after news that Arizona House Republican David Schweikert introduced of legislation to abandon the paper dollar bill altogether, replacing it with a coin.

In a rare act of bi-partisan consensus, around three quarters of Republicans, Democrats and Independents polled said they were opposed to the idea of switching to coins.

And to many, it's not just fun and games. The majority of those polled felt strongly enough about the issue they said it would influence how they voted.

The legislation that Schweikert calls the Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings, or COINS Act, is largely based on a March 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office that found the switch to a dollar coin would save around $5.5 billion over the course of 30 years,The Hill reports, roughly the lifespan of a single coin. Comparatively, a paper bill lasts only two or three years.

With the federal deficit totaling around $1.1 trillion through July, switching to a dollar-coin might provide a way those desperate in Congress to cut costs.

But if history is any indication, the dollar coin still has some hurdles to cross. The Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea and presidential dollar-coins, have been criticized as a "a total flop". Others are hesitant to support the switch with a billion dollar- coins already sitting unused in Federal Reserve banks around the country due to their lack of popularity.

For the average American, though, the resistance to dollar coins may be for simpler reasons. Of those surveyed, 77 percent said the paper dollar is more convenient, and 86 percent said it's more widely accepted, while three quarters of those polled said they don't want a dollar coin or find it unnecessary.

Still, the legislation does have some supporters, including a recently-formed group known as the Dollar Coin Alliance the Los Angeles Times reports. According to The Hill, the group along with other supporters of the COINS act contend that people will grow accustomed to the coin once there is no paper alternative.

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