The Penny's Impact: Every Cent Counts!
The penny continues to enjoy overwhelming support from a majority of Americans, and for good reason. It plays an important role in our everyday lives and in our nation's economy, and alternatives have consumer and social costs. Consumers benefit with a low denomination coin, with the penny helping keep high prices in check for millions of America's hardworking families. The penny also fuels charitable causes, allowing America's wonderful charities to raise millions of dollars.
By contrast, eliminating the penny would increase spending for many federal government programs, causing inflationary pressures, and it wouldn't save money. The U.S. Mint has said that without the penny, fixed costs associated with penny production would have to be absorbed by the remaining denominations of circulating coins.
Americans for Common Cents aims to inform and educate policymakers, consumers, and the media about the penny’s economic, cultural, and historical significance. Through coalition building, media outreach, and community partnerships, ACC attempts to ensure that accurate information about the penny is widely disseminated, and that the impact of any changes to the penny’s role in our nation’s monetary supply is adequately understood.
Support for the Penny
TWO-THIRDS OF AMERICANS WANT TO KEEP THE PENNY
An overwhelming number of Americans want to keep the penny. A 2012 poll conducted by Americans for Common Cents found over two-thirds (67%) of those surveyed favor keeping the penny in circulation.
These results confirm the strong and unwavering public support for the penny. Americans understand that eliminating the penny would lead to a rounding process and cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in higher prices.
The poll results showed that:
- Over two-thirds of adults (67%) favor keeping the penny in circulation;
- 77% were concerned that if the government implements a rounding system for cash purchases, businesses might raise prices;
- 66% of Americans oppose eliminating the penny and establishing a price rounding system.
National polling over the past two decades has consistently shown that between two-thirds and three-fourths of Americans support keeping the cent in circulation.
A Gallup Organization poll in 1990 and Opinion Research Corporation surveys conducted in 1995, 1996, 2001, and 2006 show Americans are persuaded by several factors, such as antipathy toward price rounding. And a 1992 CNN/Time survey conducted by Yankelovich found 74 percent of Americans support keeping the penny in circulation. The importance of preserving the penny goes well beyond high public acceptance and historical significance. A 2006 Coinstar National Currency Poll found that public support spiked when people became educated about the issues around the penny, such as rounding at the cash register. Public support for the penny jumped to 79% in 2006, a time when Congress was discussing penny elimination.
Thus, polls conducted by Americans for Common Cents and independent polls such as those by Coinstar, USA Today, and CNN/Time show overwhelming public support for the penny.
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