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Uncle Sam could save billions by ditching the dollar bill

The jingle jangle in your pocket might one day get a little louder.

In the interest of fiscal responsibility, the Government Accountability Office has once again suggested that the Treasury abolish the dollar bill and permanently replace it with a coin. The GAO estimates that making the switch would save the federal government $5.5 billion over 30 years.

Sure, that's pocket change for Uncle Sam, but billions are billions.

The typical dollar bill has a lifespan of 40 months. A coin will last for decades. If abolished, the U.S. would join Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and several others who have ditched lower denominations with coins.

So what’s stopping the feds from making the change? Public opposition.

A 2006 Gallup poll found that 79 percent of people were opposed to replacing $1 notes with coins. But if told of the potential savings for the government, the opposition dropped to 64 percent.

Some valid reasons for resistance exist: Businesses would have to modify equipment and storage, vending machines would require retooling, armored trucks would need stronger suspension, counterfeiting could increase.

"Efforts to increase the circulation and public acceptance of the $1 coin have not succeeded, in part, because the $1 note has remained in circulation," the GAO report says.

Translation: Ditch the dollar bill altogether and the whining will stop.

Should the U.S. remove the dollar bill from circulation? Let us know what you think (we'll save the abolish the penny debate for another day).