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Idiocracy: It costs 2.4 cents to make a penny and 11.2 cents to make a nickel

penny_nickelOK this is just crazy and shows just how stupid we are. The cost for the US Mint to produce and distribute the penny and nickel rose to their highest levels of all time, and are now more than double the respective face values.

That’s right, it costs more than twice as much to make as the value. That is your government at work. The silly thing is it doesn’t have to as the metals in them can be changed and the government could make a profit on their production if they did not stick to the old precious metals needed to make them.

In 2011 the government lost 116.7 million dollars on the production of pennies and nickels. In the last 6 years they have lost 359.8 million dollars.


Fiscal Year Cent Unit Cost Nickel Unit Cost loss (millions)
2011 0.0241 0.1118 ($116.70)
2010 0.0179 0.0922 ($42.60)
2009 0.0162 0.0603 ($22.00)
2008 0.0142 0.0883 ($47.00)
2007 0.0167 0.0953 ($98.60)
2006 0.0121 0.0597 ($32.90)
Total     ($359.80)

There is a pending bill which would change the composition to 90% steel, but knowing our government it does not stand a chance of passage. Remember this is the same government that makes the post office do retirement funding 75 years out and then bitches that they are broke. Amazing.