Back in 2003, you may recall, our own Mark Souder got a lot of publicity in trying to get Ronald Reagan's likeness on the dime. That move kind of fell apart when Nancy Reagan said she didn't think getting rid of the FDR dime was such a hot idea. A year later, Mitch McConnell sponsored a proposal to put him on the $10 bill. That one fizzled, too, so now the ante is being upped again. Patrick McHenry, a Republican representing North Carolina in the House, wants to replace U.S. Grant with Reagan on the $50 bill. He says public opinion should factor into the decision and, as a result, Reagan is more deserving of the currency distinction than Grant. Why keep honoring a drunk from the 19th century when we could be honoring a "movern day statesman whose presidency transformed our nation's political and economic thinking?
In polls of presidential scholars, President Reagan consistently outranks President Grant," a statement from McHenry's office said. "In 2005, The Wall Street Journal conducted one such poll of bipartisan scholars which ranked President Reagan 6th and President Grant 29th."
So instead of throwing Grants around, the semi-high rollers who can't quite work their way up to the Benjamins would deal in Ronnies.
I'm as big a fan of Reagan as anybody, but it's a little strange that the president who was such a champion of fiscal restraint keeps getting suggested for larger and larger denominations. If we wanted to truly honor the spirit of Reagan, he should be put on the penny, but that would no doubt upset the Lincoln crowd. Maybe we could replace Jefferson on the $2 bill; he isn't as popular now as he used to be. Or maybe we could bring back the $10,000 bill used until the late '60s for bank transfer payments. I understand Obama's people already have dibs on the $100,000 bill.