The reason the U.S. has not stopped minting the costly and seemingly unneeded penny is the same reason a lot of other things never get done — at least according to President Obama.
The New York Times reports that while printing paper currency is profitable for the federal government, making pennies is a money loser. It costs $1.43 to produce 100 pennies, according to the report, which notes that making pennies cost taxpayers almost $39 million last year.
The Times notes that Obama has come out in favor of getting rid of the penny. The report quotes him saying of the penny in 2013: “It’s one of those things where I think people get attached emotionally to the way things have been.”
The Times adds: “He also offered what is probably the best explanation for the continued production of pennies: Congress struggles to accomplish even the most obvious tasks.”
Obama was quoted in 2013 calling the penny “a good metaphor for some of the larger problems that we’ve got,” and using it to illustrate the point that the government struggles to eliminate “things that don’t work so that we can then invest in the things that do.”