With the copper being taken out of the American penny, would you like to offer us a silver half dollar for our thoughts? Thank you. The half dollar we have in mind is a proposed commemorative coin for next year's 250th birthday of George Washington. The idea, already ratified by the House of Representatives, is to sell the coin for more than its silver content is worth and use the profits to pay off debts of the federal government.
Didn't Washington virtually ask for something like this when he declared in his farewell address that "towards the payment of debts there must be Revenue"?Very sound.
But the father of his country also sagely told his offspring to "cherish public credit" and "one method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible." This, you might say, is the other side of the coin. And Congress is trying this way, too -- isn't it? (Though you don't hear much about legislators refusing their official pay as Washington did in his first inaugural address.)
Now you get one more thought for your half dollar, which is more than we paid the friend who inspired it. If thrifty Washington threw a silver dollar across the Potomac, would he throw a half dollar half way across? Or twice across? Or simply all the way to the bank?