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  • Put Reagan’s Face On the U.S. Dime

    Posted by Jonathan on June 7th, 2004 (All posts by )

    I think Lex made this suggestion a few months ago. Today I remembered the idea when a blogger (I forget who) suggested putting Reagan’s likeness on a dollar coin.

    We should put him on the dime. Reagan was the best president since at least FDR, so the honor is deserved. Dollar coins are infrequently used and have become the province of politically correct minor figures. Even the JFK half-dollar is rarely used. But the dime is ubiquitous, it’s already used for honoring a major figure, and it is what Reagan deserves.

    I predict Republicans will not have the fortitude to see a political effort to put Reagan on the dime through to its conclusion. I suspect they’ll try to take the easy way out and go for the dollar instead. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but a grass-roots campaign for the Reagan dime might help the pols do the right thing.

    UPDATE: Lex reminds me that the discussion about the dime was in response to this post at Iain Murray’s blog.

    UPDATE2: Some people want to put Reagan’s likeness on the ten-dollar bill.


    16 Responses to “Put Reagan’s Face On the U.S. Dime”

    1. Lex Says:

      There was an epic discussion of this on the Edge of England’s Sword a while ago. I commented at length. I basically agree with you. Kris Murray did not.

    2. lindenen Says:

      I’m for Mt Rushmore instead. It would piss more and more people off.

    3. Mike van Winkle Says:

      Agreed. We should get together an online website to promote the effort, with a petition and a donations.

      Would we need a design first?

    4. Jonathan Says:

      Why not both the dime and Rushmore?

    5. Mike van Winkle Says:

      I suppose an online website would be too much. Perhaps just a simple website would do.


    6. Lex Says:

      Mike, the Reagan Legacy Project is all over this already. They are Reagan-on-the-dime headquarters. No need for a new “online website”.

    7. tim Says:

      Reagan does not deserve to be on the dime. FDR is on the dime because of his belief that birth defects and childhood diseases should be eradicated – – hence, the March of Dimes. Its remarkably shortsighted to marginalize this heritage for a president like Reagan. So much for compassionate conservatism.

      I’m all for Reagan being on American dollar bills as soon as the Treasury decides to print the curreny in red ink.

    8. Jonathan Says:

      I see from your blog that you also object to putting Reagan’s face on the $10 bill. So I take it that your objection is to giving Reagan the honor rather than to the specific nature of the honor. In that case I am curious as to whether you would bestow any honor at all on Reagan, and if so, what.

      I am also curious as to whether you assign to Congressional Democrats any responsibility for the spending bills they passed during Reagan’s presidency.

    9. Dave Says:

      I also disagree with putting Reagan on the dime for the same reason as Tim. Also, the ten dollar bill would be no good either. Alexander Hamilton is on the ten dollar bill because, as our first secretary of treasury, he pretty much built the national economy, and did a good job of it, emphasizing growth and manufacturing. However, I would not object to seeing Reagan on say, the fifty dollar bill, because Grant certainly doesn’t deserve it.

    10. Lex Says:

      Wrong about Grant, Dave.

      He was second only to Lincoln in winning the Civil War, itself enough to put him on the currency.

      His presidency was marked by various scandals, but they were irrelevant to the long-term effect of his core achievements. First, he got us off of the inflated wartime currency and accepted a short but tough recession to get us back on hard money. He also successfully mediated the many disputes between the US and Britain, allowing a flood of British investment capital to come into the US. Sound money and British capital were the foundations of America’s rise to being an industrial colossus in the late 19th C. These things did not have to happen. Grant made them happen. Also, Grant tried but failed to protect the freed negros (as he’d have called them) in the South, even when it was not popular in his own party to do so.

      Grant was a great man and and under-rated president. Read Jean Edward Smith’s biography.

    11. jim Says:

      they should put reagan on half the dimes. he can face to the right unlike fdr.

      hamilton was cool, they shouldn’t replace him. it makes sense to put him on the dime because he and fdr are the big 20th century presidents, on democrat and one republican.

      is TR not on any currency? now HE should replace grant…

    12. Anonymous Says:

      put ron on the rock!

    13. David Fleck Says:

      Maybe if Reagan was on the dollar coin, people would actually use them.

    14. Dave Says:

      Good point about Grant. I admit, I have not looked into him terribly carefully. I fully agree with putting TR on currency. He was one of our great 20th century presidents who steered America into becoming a world power and set a precedent for environmentalism and progressivism. In fact, many of FDR’s New Deal policies were originally ideas from TR’s 1912 Bull Moose platform. I’m not saying that Reagan shouldn’t be on money, but there are other presidents, like TR, who have been dead a lot longer that also deserve it. It’s a shame that Teddy seems to have fallen out of favor as far as 20th century presidents go, because he was truly one of the greats.

    15. Tim Says:

      “I see from your blog that you also object to putting Reagan’s face on the $10 bill. So I take it that your objection is to giving Reagan the honor rather than to the specific nature of the honor. In that case I am curious as to whether you would bestow any honor at all on Reagan, and if so, what.”

      Reagan already has an airport named after him as well as the largest Federal building in Washington. Both are terrific honors – let’s leave well enough alone.

    16. Jonathan Says:

      I guess I don’t think it’s well enough. We have lots of monuments (including a coin) to JFK, who, though he was tragically murdered, was not an exceptional president. We have lots of monuments (including a coin) to FDR, who was an exceptional president. Reagan was an exceptional president, so why not have monuments to him on at least the same scale as for those others? But reasonable people can disagree on this issue.