WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose replacing the dollar bill with a coin, but many change their minds when told the switch could save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, a poll commissioned by Congress finds.
Despite a three-year, $67.1-million marketing campaign by the U.S. Mint, people remain attached to their greenbacks and show little interest in filling their pockets with golden dollar coins, the General Accounting Office said Tuesday.
Although 70% of Americans have heard of the new coins, only 5% have plunked one down at a cash register and fewer than 2% have used them to operate vending machines, toll booths or for mass transit, according to the GAO-sponsored Gallup survey on how people feel about U.S. coins.
It is the second time in recent decades a dollar coin has failed to catch on; the silvery Susan B. Anthony coin was minted in 1979-81, re-released around the turn of the century, and has largely disappeared. Because the Anthony dollar was often mistaken for a quarter, Congress in 1997 required the new dollar coin to be golden in color.