by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Nobel committee wouldn’t even have to issue a new one; it could just revoke the one it awarded to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in 2008. In January Stewart spoofed the idea of the trillion-dollar platinum coin, which had been floated as a way of getting around the ceiling on the national debt. The debt-ceiling crisis will reemerge soon, as will this silly proposal–the notion that the Treasury can mint such a coin and then turn it in to the Federal Reserve for cash to keep the government going.
Money out of thin air! Why wasn’t this thought of before? As Stewart asked, why not a $20 trillion coin? You can watch his hilarious take at http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-january-10-2013/the-trillion-dollar-coin.
You’d think the coin nostrum was invented as a joke by Saturday Night Live or The Daily Show, but people like Krugman take it oh-so-seriously. After all, as Krugman said, “Money is a social contrivance,” something to be played with for our own good by our betters in Washington. Krugman is so self-serious that he lashed out at Jon Stewart, calling him lazy and accusing him and his staff of a “lack of professionalism.”
Stewart understood the issue all right: It is idiotic and destructive. Stewart noted that “we need to take the U.S. dollar seriously again.” Amen to that!