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Paul Sassone: Shouldn’t those pennies be worth more?

<p>Paul Sassone</p>

Paul Sassone

Hey, good news for those of you planning to retire (or who just can’t find work).

Turns out that dumping those pennies into empty coffee cans was a smart investment, one that could keep you from dining on Kibbles and Bits when Congress gets its wish and stops bothering with Social Security.

The recently released annual report from the U. S. Mint stated that it costs the government 1.83 cents to manufacture each penny. The cost includes materials, production and distribution.

So, since it costs more than a penny to make a penny, the federal government in 2013 lost $55 million in profitability.

This is not as band as it seems. In 2012, the government lost $58 million, because it cost 2.41 cents to make a penny.

It occurred to me that perhaps you and I can come out ahead on this if we can find someone who will give us $1.83 cents for each of our pennies.

I called my bank and asked how much the bank would give me for each of my pennies. I was hoping for the full value — $1.83 cents.

There was a pause at the other end. Finally, the lady said, “Um, a penny.’’

I received a similar reply at the convenience store.

So, I guess we need to hang on to those pennies for a while, or be satisfied paying retail for everything.

This whole penny business is pretty ironic for me.

My father used to save Indian Head pennies. Had an entire cigar box full of them in his underwear drawer. Or, he had them until I found them. Then I embarked on a kid debauch — candy at Kronister’s, comic books and Cokes at George’s, ice cream at Anderson’s, army men at the dime store. Whatever kid delights the neighborhood possessed, I bought with stolen Indian Head pennies.

Of course, I was caught and punished.

But some things in life we do are so rotten that we deserve to be punished over and over again, at least in guilt-ridden memory.

I saw on the Internet that one 1904 Indian Head penny is worth more than $2,000.

I’m glad.

I deserve to be punished more.

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