Fox News aired a misleading graphic on Thursday that claimed a $1 trillion platinum coin would weigh nearly 18,000 tons, or about as much as 89 blue whales.
“Fox News doesn’t understand seigniorage. (Or they do and are just willfully peddling bullshit),” HuffPo Politics writer Jason Linkins tweeted.
The news network apparently assumed the coin needed to be made from $1 trillion worth of platinum, which is false.
The idea of minting a $1 trillion platinum to avoid raising the federal debt ceiling went viral this week, after the proposal was endorsed by Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman. The Treasury Department can only mint certain denominations of gold, silver and copper coins, but no such regulations exist for platinum coins.
Republicans have said they plan to use the debt ceiling as leverage to demand spending cuts from Obama. The battle over the debt ceiling in 2011 ultimately lead to the so-called fiscal cliff crisis.
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