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Reagan and the Fifty Dollar Bill

New -- 18 March 2005

Recently, a baker's dozen of Republican Congressmen have introduced legislation to have the image of Ronald Reagan’s face enshrined on the $50 bill, displacing that of Ulysses S. Grant. [1]

Besides being something of a blatant display of self-serving, publicity-seeking, look-at-me political hackery from these... in this case... GOP congressmen (whose names, for obvious reasons, will not be mentioned here)... there are several problems with the scheme.

On one side of the coin [pardon the pun]... even IF the poll showing Reagan as America’s sixth greatest president (and Grant a comparatively lowly ranking of 29th out of, oh say, 45?) is factually correct... then one must consider the fact that Reagan himself... being a “polite man who appreciated American history”... might readily have objected to the idea. One would have thought that this factoid would have somehow deterred his alleged supporters from proclaiming his heroic acts in this manner.

On the other side, there seems to be a bit of a partisan controversy as to the success or failure of Ulysses S. Grant’s eight years in the White House... and thus two distinct sides as to why someone such as Grant needs to be replaced with a relative newcomer to the presidency. On the one hand, Grant was instrumental in the fight that preserved the union, and “worked tirelessly” to re-unify the country. On the other, he seemed to have a distinct partiality toward drinking strong spirits to excess... and then, of course, there were all those nasty rumors concerning corruption among members of his administration. But then again, what president has not been controversial... or had less than ideal staff members?

Far more importantly, one would have suspect that any of the above reasons rather miss the point. What is needed instead... is an entirely new perspective... that is giving credit where credit is truly due.

Accordingly... and fully in the interests of bi-partisanship (itself an endangered species)... I would respectfully suggest the following:

Let us indeed use Reagan’s image... along with all of the other presidents from President Ford (or even Nixon) to the present. This could be done in much the same way the new round of collectible quarters have been honoring past presidents.

Only, in this case, let us place their images on a:

New Five Hundred Dollar Bill!

After all, it was during the administration of the Presidents from roughly 1974, that the now lowly $100 bill has seen its purchasing power plummet, such that:

$500 in 2010 has the purchasing power of roughly what $100 had in 1974.

In effect, the last several presidents, including Reagan, created the need for a $500 bill. And thus iasmuch as these Presidents can be considered to be the cause of a newly derived need for a $500 bill, they should be so recognized.

Admittedly, President Obama may miss the cut here, in that in 2009, the inflationary statistic went negative... suggesting that the dollar was worth more in 2010 than 2008. Clearly, the current President may not deserve such an honor... or at least, not yet. Sigh.

In any case, let’s get those printing presses rolling... so we can begin getting rid of those nearly useless coins and go to a fully colored paper society!

BTW, for those with a penchant toward detail, the following table speaks for itself. (It also probably lends itself to a vast amount of rationalizations and interpretations... just the sort of thing urgently needed in today’s world. On the other hand, the blame game does not detract from the obvious need for a $500 bill.)

Table of Annual Inflation Rates, Comparative Values of $500, and President

Year

President

Inflation Rate *

Value of $500.00 **
2010
Obama
$498.30

2009

Obama
-0.34
500.00
2008
Bush II

3.85

481.70

2007

Bush II

2.85

468.58
2006
Bush II
3.24
457.15

2005

Bush II
3.39
442.11
2004
Bush II

2.68

427.99
2003
Bush II
2.27
420.01
2002
Bush II
1.59
410.17
2001
Bush II
2.83
403.71
2000
Clinton
3.38
390.43
1999
Clinton
2.19
380.17
1998
Clinton
1.55
374.18
1997
Clinton
2.34
367.93
1996
Clinton
2.93
357.21
1995
Clinton
2.81
348.50
1994
Clinton
2.61
339.67
1993
Clinton
2.96
329.77
1992
Bush I
3.03
320.17
1991
Bush I
4.25
307.26
1990
Bush I
5.39
291.52
1989
Bush I
4.83
278.17
1988
Reagan
4.08
267.21
1987
Reagan
3.66
257.93
1986
Reagan
1.91
253.12
1985
Reagan
3.55
244.32
1984
Reagan
4.30
234.25
1983
Reagan
3.22
226.99
1982
Reagan
6.16
213.74
1981
Reagan
10.35
193.78
1980
Carter
13.58
170.73
1979
Carter
11.22
153.12
1978
Carter
7.62
142.30
1977
Carter
6.50
133.62
1976
Ford
5.75
126.29
1975
Ford
9.20
115.76
1974
Nixon/Ford
11.03
104.29
1973
Nixon
6.16
98.20
1972
Nixon
3.27
96.06
1971
Nixon
4.30
91.14
1970
Nixon
5.84
86.07
1969
Nixon
5.46
81.66
1968
Johnson
4.27
78.36
1967
Johnson
2.78
76.16
1966
Johnson
3.01
74.01
1965
Johnson
1.59
72.77
1964
Johnson
1.28
71.84
1963
Kennedy/Johnson
1.24
70.99
1962
Kennedy
1.20
70.21
1961
Kennedy
1.07
69.52
1960
Eisenhower
1.46
68.42


*http://inflationdata.com/inflation/Inflation_Rate/HistoricalInflation.aspx?dsInflation_currentPage=1

**http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

________________________
References

[1] The Week, March 19, 2010, page 19.

Justice         Justice, Order, and Law

Liberty

Conservative Politics

Forward to:

Declaration of Independence         Constitution for the United States of America

 

               

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