WASHINGTON -- Hank the Cat, the feisty Virginia feline who retired from politics in November after losing an unusual bid for a U.S. Senate seat, has broken two months of near-silence on political issues.
On Saturday, in a post on his campaign Facebook page, the Maine coon shared his conflicting thoughts concerning the possibility that the U.S. Treasury could mint a $1 trillion platinum coin, in an effort to avoid the ongoing debt ceiling conundrum.
"While I’m no economic expert, the often-used similar argument to ‘why doesn’t the US just print more money?’ means that the value of the currency would plummet as we would have now an extra trillion in circulation," he wrote. "[H]owever, the economic destruction we would face if we didn’t increase the ceiling would affect most all of us -- in effect, we would suffer because of the inaction of our leaders."
Hank seems more certain that the coin, if ever minted, should feature his own image -- you can see his proposed coin design above.
Alas, on Sunday, the Treasury Department announced that it would not pursue the high-value platinum coin strategy.
One question yet looms: Does Hank's Facebook post indicate the famous cat's return to politics?
We've reached out to Hank via his campaign manager, Matthew O'Leary, and will update this piece when we hear back.
Meanwhile, here's Hank's complete Facebook posting on the debt ceiling:
While it looks like Congress barely avoided the fiscal cliff issue, up next in February is the debt ceiling. If we pass the debt ceiling, which is the total amount of money the government is authorized to borrow to pay for programs, the government would default on its loans causing a great economic backslide. One of the more interesting solutions brought up recently is the implied power for the US Treasury to simply mint a $1 trillion dollar platinum coin, to place in the US Treasury to state it now has the funds to cover that many payments. While I’m no economic expert, the often-used similar argument to ‘why doesn’t the US just print more money?’ means that the value of the currency would plummet as we would have now an extra trillion in circulation - of course, with this resolution of the coin, it wouldn’t technically be in circulation, but it would still be an extra trillion minted and official. (Printing more money also means more debt to banks, but that’s another discussion.) The arguments against the government borrowing more money to pay their bills are valid - however, the economic destruction we would face if we didn’t increase the ceiling would affect most all of us - in effect, we would suffer because of the inaction of our leaders. Just as the fiscal cliff before, our leaders are refusing to work together and continue to play with many of our livelihoods - no one in Congress will wake up after the debt ceiling hits and be worried about losing their job, their health insurance, or anything else they have, that I can assure you. And, once again, I demand that if the government is unable to meet its bills due, our leaders should be held accountable, not the public.
We should look at this default for what it is: a group (the United States) refusing to honor the debts they’ve incurred because of petty bickering. It would be just as unacceptable if a spouse refused to pay a shared credit card bill to spite the other spouse - even though BOTH individuals would suffer the resulting credit hit (which of course has happened already for the same reason on August 5th 2011). We must demand more of our leaders than to hold our nation hostage for political gain.
To do my part, I humbly suggest to the United States Department of Treasury that we use the above image if they decide to mint a trillion dollar coin - alternatively, they may also contact my campaign manager and talk to him about printing up 500,000,000,000 of our $2, which we will gladly sell to them at ½ the regular cost (and proceed to donate all of the funds to various animal rescue groups, of course!)
I’m sure you can agree that in the choice between Hank currency and political brinkmanship, mine is the better alternative.