It turns out that it's not possible for the government to print a $100 bill.
At least, it's not possible if you follow the logic of Republican opponents of the $1 trillion coin.
Earlier today, the Republican National Congressional Committee tweeted out
This might sound like they're just joking around. But they're not. This was just a humorous version of something the NRCC chairman said yesterday.
"[T]he last thing we need for Treasury to mint a new coin made out of platinum that would weigh, by the way, Neil, 44 million pounds if it was tied to the value of platinum like gold has to be tied. I mean -- it would sink the Titanic," Congressman Greg Walden said.
Well, sure. But there'd be no reason to actually mint a coin with $1 trillion of platinum in it. Because you'd have to spend $1 trillion to get the materials. And if the government had an extra $1 trillion lying around, it wouldn't need the coin.
The whole idea is to generate revenue for the government based on the difference between what it costs you to make the coin and the face value assigned to it.
This isn't a very strange thing to do. After all, a $100 bill doesn't have $100 of ink, cotton and flax in it. If it did it would need to be made of something like an entire bale of cotton and 150 pounds of flax seed, according to American Civics Exchange. (Of course, this fluctuates because the cost of the underlying commodities fluctuate.)
If a trillion coin isn't possible, those bills in your wallet must be imaginary also. Feel free to send them my way if you think they can't be worth what the value the government has assigned to them.
Follow me on Twitter @Carney