The Canadian government’s recent decision to drop the one-cent coin and gradually remove it from circulation in order to save money prompted many Americans to ask “Wait, why don’t we do that?” and brought attention back to an ongoing PR campaign run by an advocacy group calling itself Americans for Common Cents (ha ha).
The campaign, launched in 2006, urged Americans to swear loyalty to Abraham Lincoln and implore their lawmakers to “Save the Penny” from impending doom despite the fact that each penny costs two cents to produce(!)–and quite a few end up in garbage cans, drains and fountains around the country. When the Canucks first floated the idea of putting the penny down last April, the ACA placed op-eds in major papers defending our least valuable coin.
Of course, every successful advocacy campaign needs a celebrity spokesman, which is why the group somehow convinced the great Kevin Federline to endorse it back in ’06. (And we bet they paid him in pennies, too.)
The American “penny debate” is nothing new–during his 2008 presidential campaign, a certain junior senator named Barack Obama said he wouldn’t mind saying goodbye to Honest Abe’s favorite coin, joking that “I need to find out who is lobbying to keep the penny.” Well, as the always-on-point Stephen Colbert reminded us this week, the whole advocacy campaign is really a part of the all-powerful zinc industry’s dastardly scheme to retain its influence among the heavy metals.
Glad we cleared that up–but we’re still waiting to hear from Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny. Get on it, boys!