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Opening Arguments

A Ronnie for your thoughts

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.


tim zank
Thu, 03/04/2010 - 11:03am

We'll need to put BHO in the trillion dollar bill. You know, the bill my grand-kids will be using to buy a loaf of bread.

Thu, 03/04/2010 - 11:45am

I wonder if the Representative from North Carolina knows that Grant is respected, not so much for his Presidency, but for whippng his state into submission when it decided to commit treason in order to defend the right of North Carolinians to keep owning people.

Bob G.
Thu, 03/04/2010 - 3:38pm

Good point, Doug!

Tim: Are you saying BHO deserves to have his image on "funny money"?
(just askin')


Larry Morris
Thu, 03/04/2010 - 4:25pm

No matter who's picture is on which bill, sooner or later it ain't gonna be worth much, ...

Thu, 03/04/2010 - 5:29pm

First it was Mount Rushmore, now the fifty. Look, you got an airport named after him.
You guys are aware that, by any objective measure, Reagan was a bad president. He gave us record deficits, a major recession and the Iran-Contra scandal.
He helped push the Soviet Union over the edge by spending so much on the military that the Soviets couldn't keep up. But the USSR actually fell under Bush, Sr., a better president in my opinion.
Reagan shouldn't be on anything.

Leo Morris
Thu, 03/04/2010 - 5:56pm

Littlejohn, you blasphemer, you do realize, don't you, that you are visiting the blog of someone who named his cats Dutch and Maggie?

Larry Morris
Thu, 03/04/2010 - 6:53pm

You tell him, Leo, ... tell Dutch and Maggie Bubba says "hey".

Lewis Allen
Thu, 03/04/2010 - 9:59pm

Reagan should be on no currency. Rather, his likeness should be stamped onto every weapon used in the future in any arms for hostages deals.

Thu, 03/04/2010 - 11:41pm

Go get 'em, Lewis!
This weird Reagan worship is simply beyond me.
He was not, by any measure whatsoever, a good president. I challenge anyone to tell me what he did that was useful or good. He was a Bad President.
He didn't balance the budget - quite the contrary. He wasn't an intellectual - quite the contrary. He didn't give us economic boom times - quite the contrary. Everything he did - and I say this very seriously and with considerable thought - was bad.
His popularity among Republicans seems to be based on his genial personality and good looks, and nothing more.
To be fair, some Democrats worship John Kennedy, another unimpressive president, for exactly the same reasons.
And yes, Kennedy did get both an airport and a coin. I don't think he deserved either. But I don't think Reagan deserves either, as well.
We seem to value charisma too much. The presidency is much more important than that.

Thu, 03/04/2010 - 11:47pm

By the way, I interviewed Reagan in 1980, at The Charleston (WV) Gazette. He was a nice guy, and a lot smarter than I expected.
I personally liked the guy, and he made a lot of sense on a lot of issues. This is nothing personal.
I think he got a lot of bad advice from his White House staffers - much like George W. Bush.
But personally, he seemed like a good guy. He was just a bad president, and I wish conservatives - who claim to be deficit hawks - would be willing to concede that.

tim zank
Fri, 03/05/2010 - 12:14am

Littlejohn sez: "We seem to value charisma too much. The presidency is much more important than that."

Yeah, well, wish ya woulda considered that before the last election. You morons actually elected a guy with less experience to offer than JFK.

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 12:59am

Here is the primary reason why Reagan should be honored:

The Top Ten Presidents

1. Washington

2. Lincoln

3. Franklin Roosevelt

4. Harry Truman

5. Thomas Jefferson

6. T. Roosevelt

7. A. Jackson

8. Reagan

9. W. Wilson

10. Eisenhower


Susie Q.
Fri, 03/05/2010 - 11:13am

Loved, loved, loved "A Ronnie For Your Thoughts"--we got to hear him speak in 1983 and received two letters plus a photograph of DUTCH in jodhpurs. (News to me that "jodhpurs" is spelled like that, but then the "rich are different"! ;D)