The Constitution and Your Pennies

US Penny image

US Penny image

This post is part of a 2012 monthly series of posts on the topic of the U.S. Constitution.

It’s tax time for those of us in the United States.  Do you know which Article of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the right to collect taxes?

The answer is Article I.  To be specific, Section 8 of Article I states that “Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises…” as well as to pay debts for the common defense and general welfare of our country.

Since the reality of paying taxes is a heavy one for so many, I’d like to raise some light-hearted questions about, in Article I Section 8 terms, “the current Coin of the United States.”

What is your favorite U.S. coin?  Does holding a penny, nickel, quarter or dime make you most happy?  Or, do you pay (pun intended) more attention to your debit and credit cards and think the usage of coins has become somewhat antiquated?  In this age of e-commerce, how much loose change do you keep in your pockets or purse these days?

When it comes to coinage, I remember being taught the value of coins as a kid and playing with a coin-sorting machine similar to the Money Miser Coin Sorter, currently being offered on Amazon.  I also recall being given a Susan B. Anthony silver dollar by my parents back in 1979 (Susan B. Anthony was the first non-fictitious woman shown on circulating U.S. coinage).

Over the years, I’ve heard countless people speak using idioms that include the word, “penny,” such as, “That costs a pretty penny” and “A penny saved is a penny earned.”  What about you?  Can you recall any other idioms containing the names of coins?  I’d give a penny for your thoughts. 🙂

And, back to the heavier subject of taxes, remember that our Constitution requires that taxes be collected and the words of one of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, who wrote, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

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