White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday seemed both amused and annoyed with NBC News’ Chuck Todd for repeatedly asking about the movement to have the U.S. Treasury mint a $1 trillion-dollar platinum coin.
Yes, economists and lawmakers are actually debating whether the White House should avoid another debt ceiling fight by having Treasury legally mint a $1 trillion-dollar coin to be deposited into the Federal Reserve as payment towards our debt.
“I know your position hasn’t changed on the 14th amendment,” said Todd, referring to the president's promise not go around Congress to raise the debt ceiling, “but do you have a position on this trillion dollar coin business?”
The “option here is for congress to do its job and pay its bills, bills that have already been racked up,” Carney responded.
“Do you believe you have this power to -- ”
“There is no ‘Plan B,’” Carney said. “There is no backup plan. It is congress’s responsibility to pay the bills of the United States,” adding that “there is no alternative to Congress raising the debt ceiling.”
Todd accused Carney of being “a little evasive in [his] answer.”
“Are you trying to leave room or not,” the NBC News reporter persisted.
“There is no substitute for congress extending the borrowing authority of the United States,” Carney said.
However, although Carney repeatedly said that there was “no substitute” for Congress actually doing its job, he never actually said that the $1 trillion coin idea was off the table:
Meanwhile, over at Business Insider, Joe Wiesenthal, the patron saint of the #MintTheCoin movement, is ecstatic with Todd’s questions and Carney’s non-committal answers:
It's pretty clear. Today was the #MintTheCoin breakthrough day. businessinsider.com/mint-the-coin-…
— Joseph Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) January 10, 2013
"There's no question," he writes. "Today was a major game-changer for the movement to circumvent the debt ceiling by minting a platinum coin, a strategy that would take advantage of an arcane area of the law relating to coinage."
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(H/T: Mediaite). Featured image courtesy Getty Images.