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$1 trillion coin? Unlikely, says White House (+video)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the president does not see an alternative to raising the debt limit. In a press conference on Wednesday, Carney indicated that a $1 trillion coin is not an alternative under review by the White House. 

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The White House on Wednesday sees little profit in the notion of minting $1 trillion platinum coin as an escape hatch to avoid a debt default if Congress balks at raising the U.S. debt limit.

With another standoff with Congress over raising the debt ceiling looming as early as mid-February, a petition on the White House website asks the administration to create a single platinum coin worth $1 trillion to avoid a stalemate over lifting the borrowing cap. The petition has garnered more than 7,100 signatures.

An asset of that value would place the United States well within its $16.4 trillion borrowing limits, the argument goes.

Pressed to rule out the idea, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday passed the buck.

"I would refer you to Treasury for the specifics of this question," Carney told reporters. "I can tell you that the president does not believe that there is a backup plan or a Plan B or an off-ramp."

Carney would only say the president doesn't believe there are alternatives to raising the debt limit.

Congress' refusal in 2011 to raise the debt ceiling unless the White House agreed to large spending cuts brought the United States close to the brink of a debt default and dealt the weak recovery a setback.

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