Let’s Melt Down Every Penny in America For a Rittenhouse Square Sculpture

In today’s Wall Street Journal, D. Wayne Johnson says that pennies cost more to make than they’re worth—so it’s time to take all the pennies out of circulation. But what to do with all those suddenly unused pennies?

I have commissioned a top American sculptor—Elizabeth Jones, former chief engraver of the U.S. Mint—to sculpt a life-size or larger statue of David Rittenhouse, the first director of the U.S. Mint and a prominent astronomer and financial officer for Pennsylvania.

Gathering 23.7 million of those unwanted cents would furnish ample metal for a bronze statue of Rittenhouse to stand in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. The surplus metal would be sold to pay the artist, foundry expenses and other costs. The city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania would receive a bronze statue at no cost, and Rittenhouse would be honored with the metal from coins created by the Mint he founded in 1792.

After that, Johnson says, the rest of the pennies could be melted down bronze statues and bells for every town in America. And nobody would ever be able to say “penny for your thoughts” ever again. [Wall Street Journal]