Letters to the Editor

Eliminate need for coins and save us a bundle

Here is one way to solve our federal budget deficit. Remember that old saying, "Don't nickel-and-dime me?" The inference was that nickels and dimes are peanuts in the big picture.

However, coinage is quite meaningful when considering all of the daily transactions in retail establishments. May I suggest that the U.S. government begin to implement a round-up strategy in which any "change" in the form of coins be converted into a tax? In that way, there will be huge savings at the retail level as coins would no longer be necessary, consumers won't have to cart around coins in their pockets and the rising value of copper and nickel will allow the government to recoup spending on these metals that can better be used in the private sector.

Inflation has made the value of a penny minuscule, as is the value of a nickel. To protect a high tax on low-cost transactions, I suggest that people buy more than one of something that sells for less than a dollar. Or the tax on any transactions under $5 could be waived.

This is an easy tax to collect, not as burdensome as some suggested tax increases, and it can add up to a bundle. Since 45 percent of people in the U.S. don't pay federal income taxes, maybe this "nickel-and-dime" tax would be fairer to us all and keep the federal government from declaring bankruptcy.

Thomas E. Nugent

Hilton Head Island