A DAY LATE….Straight from the “Missing the Point” file comes this brilliant plan from the United States Mint:

In an effort to wean Americans off the dollar bill and onto dollar coins, the U.S. Mint announced today plans for a series of metal dollars with images of every U.S. president.

The mint hopes the presidents will succeed where Susan B. Anthony and then Sacagawea failed. Each year starting in 2007, it will release four presidential coins, beginning next year with George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

I can hardly wait for 2012, which will feature the dynamic quartet of Chester Alan Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, and then a reprise of Grover Cleveland. Good times!

Needless to say, this will do nothing to get people to use dollar coins. As with the state quarters, it may encourage people to collect dollar coins, but not to use them. I think I can say with some confidence that the only thing likely to accomplish that is to get rid of the dollar bill once and for all.

Still, there’s a bright side: the “Name Everything After Reagan” crowd will finally get their hero on a coin, even if they do have to wait another decade for it to happen. On the downside, Richard Nixon will also get a coin. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

UPDATE: Michael O’Hare has much more on this subject.