A North Carolina congressman has announced new legislation that would put the smiling face of Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill, booting aside Ulysses S. Grant in favor of what Patrick McHenry calls “a modern-day statesman whose presidency transformed our nation’s political and economic thinking.” McHenry also points out that Reagan is much more popular than Grant in opinion polls! Democracy in action!
This is the third time that a legislator has tried to put Reagan’s face on currency, and each incident has seen a bit of inflation; in 2004 people tried to bump FDR aside and get him on the dime, and in 2008 Grover Norquist made noise about getting him on the tenner. Both those campaigns failed, but given that the 100th anniversary of old Ronnie’s birthday is about 11 months from now, we can probably expect a big push for this honor. Priorities!
For his part, McHenry’s local Republican opponent said that while he was as much a fan of Reagan as the next guy looking to get GOP votes, he thought that McHenry should maybe focus on the important things, like the economy and, well, the economy. Of course, if things keep going the way they have been, a $50 bill will be a rare artifact anyway, and so most of us won’t have to think about the silly legislative maneuvering designed to canonize Reagan! I mean, when was the last time you saw a Benjamin anyway?