WASHINGTON — Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is urging the administration and Congress to increase circulation of the dollar coin and phase out the use of the dollar bill.CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.Thirteen years ago, Congress passed the U.S. Coin Act of 1997, giving the U.S. Treasury the authority to get dollar coins into circulation. The advantages of using a dollar coin are substantial, CAGW says. According to an April 7, 2000 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, replacing the dollar bill with a coin would save taxpayers $522.2 million per year. The savings would likely be even higher today, the group adds.In addition to the cost savings, CAGW points out other factors that favor a dollar coin. Each dollar coin has a lifespan of 30 years or more, compared to a lifespan of only 21 months for the dollar bill. Mass transit agencies have also found that processing dollar coins costs 83% less than processing dollar bills, CAGW says.The Federal Reserve and the U.S. Mint are required by law to remove barriers to dollar-coin circulation, CAGW says. However, the Federal Reserve issues the United States’ paper currency and doesn’t like the competition from the dollar coin, which is issued by the Mint, CAGW claims. CAGW also claims that the Fed’s leaders have instituted regulations and red tape that restrict access to dollar coins for banks, businesses and individual Americans.The elimination of the dollar bill has been among CAGW’s targets for spending cuts and is included in its “Prime Cuts” database, a compendium of 763 waste-cutting recommendations that it says would save taxpayers $350 billion in the first year and $2.2 trillion over five years.For more information on CAGW, click here.