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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned in a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday that the federal government will run out of money to pay its bills as soon as Dec. 15 if the debt ceiling is not suspended or raised.

One idea to ensure the government does not default, even if the debt ceiling is not raised, is to mint a trillion-dollar coin. Yellen has called this a gimmick, but some economists insist it’s a legitimate finance trick that can be used to stave off a default. 

Axios Re:Cap host Felix Salmon is joined by former U.S. Mint Director Philip Diehl to discuss the idea behind the trillion-dollar coin and whether it’s remotely likely to be minted in the next month.

Go deeper

Most things at The Dollar Tree will now cost $1.25

A Dollar Tree store in Bowie, Maryland. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Dollar Tree will raise prices from $1 to $1.25 on most of its products by the end of April, the company announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Dollar Tree, which has sold products at $1 for 35 years, was among the last of the major U.S. dollar store chains to retain its $1 price. The change is a reflection of the pressure on low-cost retailers amid rising inflation, CNN notes.

Axios Visuals Deep Dive: Pandemic eating

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A food revolution began pre-pandemic and COVID has only accelerated that. See how America's food industry is transforming, from farm to your table.

Abrams’ campaign manager rules out 2024 run if she wins governor's race

Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

In her first major interview since the official announcement, Stacey Abrams' campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo quashed speculation that the Georgia Democrat would interrupt a theoretical gubernatorial term to run for president in 2024.

Why it matters: Abrams' name has come up repeatedly as a top 2024 Democratic contender given President Joe Biden's age and Vice President Kamala Harris's low favorability rating.