Michael Phelps transcends swimming. He’s an Olympic icon, the Olympic icon, so we can expect him (and/or his image) to pop up in odd places in pop culture. This time he’s the potential artistic emblem of the United States’ titanic financial debt…or the artist’s idea of the savior.
In the realm of financial magic, something the U.S. could consider as an option to solve the potential debt-ceiling debaucle, there are completely legal ways to avert a government shutdown. That’s what the U.S. is facing at the end of February or the begining of March when the U.S.’s ability (and authority) to borrow more money to keep the machine running–runs out! You’ve heard about this impending doom a lot lately, The US Fiscal Cliff.
President Obama arguably has the power to raise the debt ceiling (though many disagree) and keep the government going. However, Slate reports that there’s a crazy option to solve the problem, and it is 100% legal.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner can order the United States Mint to create large-denomination platinum coins—a $1 trillion coin, say, or a bunch of $10 billion coins—and use them to finance the government.
So, it’s legal, albeit crazy, but it begs the question:
What would a $1 Trillion dollar coin look like? Whose image should grace the platinum?
Slate has smartly offered up the thought to its readers, asking them to design this coin, and they used none other than Michael Phelps riding a majestic eagle as an example.
The Phelp image was pulled from the post 4×100 freestyle relay win at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Phelps thought he had lost to France, but Jason Lezak delivered an historic anchor leg helping Phelps secure his epic 8 for 8 gold medal haul. Phelps, who thought he’d lost, made an uncharacteristic display, a roar in celebration.
If you’re not sure how to feel about Phelps’ image being used as an emblem of national debt indulgence, you can — at least — feel good about swimming’s number one ambassador being Slate’s go-to as an iconic figure.