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How Would These Political 'Elites' Spend a $1 Trillion Coin? Here's Our List


Policymakers and economist all over the country are currently engaged in a giant “what if” conversation involving a $1 trillion-dollar platinum coin.

The idea is that rather than have another fight over the debt ceiling (and a possible default), the U.S. Treasury Department should use a legal loophole (31 USC § 5112) to mint a $1 trillion-dollar coin to be deposited into the Federal Reserve as payment towards our debt.

Now while this plan sounds absurd, it is very much legal. The Treasury actually has the power to do this.

However, the fact that it's legal doesn’t take away from the fact that it's, well, pretty ridiculous. I mean, can you imagine the press conference where President Obama introduces the world to the $1 trillion-dollar coin solution?


Anyway, it’s legal, it’s being debated, and it’s all rather silly. So in the spirit of this silliness, we got to thinking: How would the people in and around the Obama White House (i.e. the so-called political "elite") spend a $1 trillion coin?

We really have no idea. So we made it all up:

Anna Wintour: 30 Million Louis Vuitton Handbags

(Courtesy fora.mtv.ca & Pixar)

Also known as that character from “The Incredibles,” this infamously unpleasant fashion mogul was a major bundler for President Obama's 2012 presidential campaign.

With a $1 trillion-dollar coin, Wintour could buy 30,303,030 of those $33,000 Louis Vuitton Crocodile Old Flap Speedy bags she likes so much (assuming she hasn't already moved on to bigger and greater game).

Jon Corzine: 27.7 billion Steak Dinners

Courtesy Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg News

Former New Jersey Sen. Jon Corzine oversaw the collapse of MF Global and was at the helm when it was discovered that approximately $1 billion in customer money had gone missing.

Interestingly enough, on the eve of MF Global’s demise, Corzine, a major Obama bundler, was seen at a steak dinner at New York’s Helmsley Park Lane Hotel with a group of bankers and traders.

Now although one attendee says that there was “no sense at all that there was impending doom,” something must have bothererd Corzine because he left the restaurant before the main course arrived.

However, now that it’s fairly certain no charges will be brought against MF Global executives, Corzine can probably breathe easy now. In fact, he can finally have that steak dinner!

Jon Corzine, chairman and chief executive officer of MF Global Holdings Ltd., at a New York Philharmonic dinner in September. On Oct. 24, Corzine excused himself before the main course was served at a steak dinner at New York’s Helmsley Park Lane Hotel, saying he had to prepare for an earnings call the next day. (Amanda Gordon/ Bloomberg).

With a $1 trillion-dollar coin, Corzine could buy himself 27,777,777,777 $36 New York strip steak dinners at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel Park Room restaurant.

Actually, now that we think about it, he’d probably get to about 10 before losing  the rest of the money (yes, we know it’s a coin).

President Obama: 445.2 Billion Golf Balls


It’s no secret that President Obama enjoys golfing. Indeed, with 112 rounds under his belt since his 2008 inauguration, it’s high time he invests in a healthy supply of golf balls.

At $26.95 per 12-pack, the president could use a $1 trillion-dollar coin to purchase 37,105,751,391 packs. That's 445,269,016,692 Titleist Velocity Double Digit Golf Balls.

He would never have to leave the links. Ever.

Rep. John Boehner: 2.4 Trillion Cigarettes

Getty Images.

It's true: House Speaker John Boehner loves his smokes. Not only have we seen his habit first-hand, but there is also footage of him doing it:

Courtesy CNN

Yes, the Speaker really enjoys his cigarettes. You might, too, if you had his job.

At $8.27 per pack in Washington, the speaker could use a $1 trillion-dollar coin to purchase 120,918,984,280 packs of Marlboro Reds (contains 20 filtered cigarettes). That’s 2,418,379,685,600 cigarettes, which, now that we think about it, should make the next budget fight much more bearable for the Speaker.

Paul Krugman: 33.2 Billion Cat Scratching Posts

New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman has come out in favor of the coin idea, arguing that it’s preferable to a default.

“So minting the coin would be undignified, but so what?” he writes. “At the same time, it would be economically harmless -- and would both avoid catastrophic economic developments and help head off government by blackmail.”

And while most everyone is aware of Krugman's unwavering devotion to John Maynard Keynes, a lot of people don't know about his fondness for cats:

Apparently, he’s a cat man.

With the power of a $1 trillion-dollar coin and all the wisdom that comes with being a demand-side economist, Krugman could use his freshly-minted goodness to buy 33,233,632,436 PETCO cat scratching posts.

He can either distribute the posts equally among 33.2 billion cats or he can give them all to one really fat cat. His choice.

Sen. Mitch McConnell: 50 Billion Bottles of Bourbon

Getty Images

Seeing as how he was raised in Louisville, Ky., we’re going to assume that Sen. Mitch McConnell has the same predisposition toward whiskey shared by all natural born citizens of the Bluegrass State.

True, he was born in Alabama, but we're pretty sure Sen. McConnell enjoys Kentucky's most important export. Also, some might say bourbon is the best explanation for why he signed off on that “fiscal cliff” deal (but that's unconfirmed).

Look at it. It's beautiful.

Anyway, with a $1 trillion-dollar coin, Sen. McConnell could buy 50,000,000,000 bottles of Wild Turkey Bourbon 101, almost enough to flood the nation’s capitol (9.9 billion gallons).

Sen. Harry Reid: 1.4 Billion Ringside Tickets at Madison Square Garden

This is a tough one. With his good looks and charm what more does he need?

Seriously, though, you know what Sen. Reid likes? Boxing. In fact, at one point in his life, he used to be an amateur boxer:

He even still occasionally weighs in on the big ticket matches. That being said, we think he’d really enjoy ringside tickets to the World Championship Boxing Tripleheader at Madison Square Garden.

At 675.00 per person, a $1 trillion coin would buy Sen. Reid 1,479,289,940 tickets, which, of course, is more than the venue can sit. But who cares? We’re talking about a $1 trillion coin here!

So there you have it. Share your own in the comments.


Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured images courtesy Getty Images.

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