Created on Saturday, 23 February 2013 Written by Edwin Dougherty, Bellefontaine
I read with interest the letter of U.S. Senator Rob Portman. “No off-season in Canton this year” in the Feb. 14 issue of your paper. Senator Portman discussed the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and how Canton will celebrate the 50th year of the hall. I am a football fan, never miss a Steelers game but I believe that a U.S. Senator should have more important things to do in Washington than to write letters about the hall of fame and pass coin acts.
Senator Portman and a Democrat from West Virginia took time to introduce the Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act. Senator Portman stated that “at no cost to the taxpayer” these coins would be designed and coined in the U.S. Mint. I disagree with the senator about the no cost issue.
Senator, I believe that there is important work to be done in Washington, and we need the focus of the well-paid senators and their staff to focus on the important issues. Fyi we are still involved in a war in Afghanistan and there are budget issues that should be addressed. Yet our senator is taking valuable time to listen to ideas involving commemorative coins, then no doubt assigning staffers to work on the details, prepare the text so our senator can bloviate about this important issue, one would assume that he also had to meet with his “friend from West Virginia” and then take time on the Senate floor.
Now, who pays the senator and his staff? We do and will the expected profit from these coins reimburse the treasury for the hours it takes to create legislation to approve a coin act? I would like to see that happen. So is this no cost to the taxpayers?
One last point, it has been reported that the NFL generates $9,000,000,000 (nine billion dollars per year), that is billion with a B. It seems to me that the NFL could have taken some of their money and commissioned the independent Franklin Mint or some other privately owned mint to make these coins commemorating their hall of fame instead of the grandstanding senator and other politicians that will no doubt get involved.