March 5, 2015

"2020 seems doable, and Jackson seems like the low-hanging fruit as Presidents on the currency goes, so I think they probably have a shot."

They = a group called Women on 20s who think there should be a woman on at least one denomination of U.S. paper money.

Jackson may be low-hanging fruit...
Jackson had strongly opposed the notion of central banking. Plus, he sought—and signed—the Indian Removal Act, which led to the expulsion of Native Americans from their homes.
But you can't beat something with nothing, so who is the woman supposed to be?
... the choices include Alice Paul, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, Rachel Carson, Rosa Parks, Barbara Jordan, Margaret Sanger, Patsy Mink, Clara Barton, Harriet Tubman, Frances Perkins, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The women were selected from a longer list of a hundred names based on their societal impact and the difficulties they faced in pursuing their goals.

It wouldn’t require a vote in Congress or Presidential approval to get a woman on the twenty-dollar bill. The Secretary of the Treasury is responsible for the designs that appear on paper notes, including the portraits. Nor do the people depicted on bills have to meet particularly stringent standards; according to U.S. law, they just have to be dead....
Okay, then. At least it won't be Hillary. But, really, if in fact, Obama's got the power to put whomever he wants on the 20, who is Obama's favorite woman? Actually, I think there's a reason the faces on the bills have remained the same for so long (since 1929). If one President fiddles with the faces, what's to stop the next one? All but Washington and Lincoln are eminently oustable. Put Rosa Parks on the $20 and the next thing you know, Reagan will have the $10. And then where will Obama go, years from now, when his face becomes legally billable?

If Obama sees the long game, and what he wants is to end up as one of the faces of U.S. currency, he should not put the woman on the 20, because if he does that, Reagan will follow on the 10, and then — even though the process of politicizing the bills will continue — he'll be stuck with the 50, which is a bottom-of-the-cash-register bill. Even as Rosa Parks didn't want to go to the back of the bus, Obama doesn't want to go to the bottom of the cash register. I think he'll see the best strategy is do nothing and leave the field clear for some future administration to honor him. He'll have the 20.

118 comments:

H said...


Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Roslyn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama.

Meade said...

Yes but because of what he'll have done to the U.S. economy — doubling the debt, unfunded entitlements, obamacare... — the 50 will become the new 20. Or 5.

LYNNDH said...

Can't he do on the $2 bill?

rhhardin said...

Sasquatch was a hit on the dollar coin.

EDH said...

The question is whose face goes on the $1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.00 note after the hyperinflation.

For all our sakes, hopefully not Janet Yellen.

rhhardin said...

A dozen of my romantic comedy DVD orders seem to have converged independently on Hebron, KY from the various surrounding states that they were shipped from.

Where they linger overdue.

Getting your face on a $20 bill would be a good romantic comedy plot.

They've about run out.

EMD said...

I'm building a campaign for the Douglass Dollar, to honor Frederick Douglass. It can be a minted $1 coin, like the Sacajawea version.

As for putting a woman on money, I'd suggest Annie Oakley, a true American.

Laslo Spatula said...

"the 50 will become the new 20. Or 5."

A woman should certainly be the face of the 69-dollar bill. Until you flip it over, that is.

I am Laslo.

MadisonMan said...

First they should get rid of the penny.

I like the idea of replacing Jackson with a Native American. How about the crying "Indian" from the pollution ads?

Meade said...

I'm pretty sure Obama's face is already on the 3 dollar bill.

Chris said...

Margaret Fucking Sanger is in the running? WTF?

Terry said...

Why a politician woman? They tend to be harridans.
Marilyn Monroe for the twenty.

Meade said...

Overheard at Meadhouse: "Oh don't put that up."

ddh said...

I think we should reserve the $3 bill for President Obama.

Jim Gust said...

I love the idea of the Reagan $10 bill.

They've wanted to replace the $1 bill with a coin for years, but the public has been rejecting the stupid PC designs for the coins. If they put Reagan on coin, they'd get rapid acceptance and could proceed to stop printing singles.

Look for that in 2017.

Terry said...

For years, I thought the squaw on the dollar coin was Elizabeth Warren. Turns out it is Sacajawea.

traditionalguy said...

Knowing this group, it will probably be Jane Fonda with a Hammer and Sycle Seal.

Andrew Jackson was a Southern white male warrior who was 100% Scots-Irish. We needed that in his day when the British Empire in Canada and the French Empire in Mexico and the Spanish Empire in Florida and Cuba still stationed military forces in North America lurking to reconquer an agricultural USA sitting on land they coveted.

They only withdew after 1865 when Lincoln single handedly firmly United a new USA with the then largest trained and equiped military force in being on earth.

ddh said...

I didn't see Meade's comment when I posted mine, so maybe we can form a consensus. Just my two cents.

MadisonMan said...

I like the idea of Annie Oakley. Pulled herself up by her bootstraps, became famous. Col. Buffalo Bill can be in the background.

SGT Ted said...

Because, vagina!

madAsHell said...

Since Clinton was the first black president, I propose that we put Obama on the new $3 bill.

Alexander said...

Now that our money's value is based solely on the 'because we said so' principle, the only sensible thing to do is put women on all the bills.

This should have been done a long time ago, but I certainly won't stand in the way of righting a wrong.

You know, the best sign that there is, in fact, a secret WASP patriarchy that has controlled this country for ever is that when the collapse happens, it's going to be a bunch of Catholics, Jews, Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and Women in all the observable places of power.

So yes, let's go ahead and scrub the white men off the petrobuck while there's still time to lob the blame on someone else.

madAsHell said...

Damn!! I came in second with the $3 dollar bill proposal.

ddh said...

I propose we name the $3 bill with Obama's face the continental. It would be worth it.

ddh said...

And we could put William Jefferson Clinton on the $2 bill because of his timing.

ddh said...

Mad as hell, Meade beat me to it; you're number three.

Meade said...

Let's just put "MadAsHell" on every bill and call it done.

Gahrie said...

If you are going to take someone off the money, I would suggest Hamilton on the $10 because he wasn't a president. (Even though he is a personal hero)

As for who to put on, I would suggest Abigail Adams.

chillblaine said...

We'll be cashless pretty soon so what's the point. Easier to track the activity of the proles.

kcom said...

"Pulled herself up by her bootstraps"

Are you implying Jacqueline Kennedy didn't pull herself up by her bootstraps?

traditionalguy said...

To acknowledge a woman with true power I nominate Monica Lewinski, and of course a seal of blue ink and holding her own cigar.

kcom said...

"Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Roslyn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama"

How about somebody who earned their place in history and wasn't just along for the ride.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

according to U.S. law, they just have to be dead....

...And then where will Obama go, years from now, when his face becomes legally billable?


What do you mean, when his face becomes legally billable? The clear intent of the law is to insure that the most important people end up on the bills. Are we really going to let those four errant words ( probably a drafting error anyway ) stand in the way of the true purpose of the law?


Gusty Winds said...

I vote a 1965-ish Ann Margret.

J. Farmer said...

I guess the lovable old bag Phyllis Schafly didn't make the cut.

Beta Rube said...

I'm for Monica Lewinsky.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
First they should get rid of the penny.

I like the idea of replacing Jackson with a Native American. How about the crying "Indian" from the pollution ads?"

He was Italian.

Beta Rube said...

Her skills should count for something.

Laslo Spatula said...

"according to U.S. law, they just have to be dead....
Okay, then. At least it won't be Hillary. "

This is, of course, dependent on Hillary living to 2020.

She is one more drunken fall away from being in contention.


I am Laslo.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Beta Rube said...

Her skills should count for something.

Grace Hopper didn't make the list.

Michael K said...

Seeing Rachel Carson on that list makes me wonder about putting famous frauds on the bills. After all, it seems appropriate.

Put the presidents on the gold coins that will be in use after the economic collapse.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

How many people have seen a Susan B Anthony dollar in the past year? They seem pretty rare to me.

There is one place where they are very popular: Ecuador.

Ecuador has typical South American problems running their currency and a few years ago changed to the US dollar.

The Susie is in wide circulation and there is no $1 bill in use I saw in my 2 weeks there.

I expect that the US Treasury gave them a deal to clear out the US warehouses of the coins nobody wants.

I came home with a couple dozen of them. It was fun going into a McD's and seeing cashiers see them for the first time.

John Henry

Edmund said...

Abigail Adams. Her correspondence with her husband influenced the Constitution. She was a woman's rights advocate and an abolitionist.

Terry said...

I think Jackson's portrait on the twenty should be replaced with either global warming or Trayvon Martin.

Beta Rube said...

Nor did the great gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. The double entendre jokes write themselves.

George Grady said...

Heck, just put them all on. It can look like this.

Michael said...

I think the Treasury should introduce a $3 bill with Obama's picture on it - which by law would be worth one penny. It would give new resonance to the phrase "phony as a three-dollar bill."

MadisonMan said...

Grace Hopper didn't make the list.

Neither did Joanne Simpson.

Because, you know, science is hard for women talking about women on money.

Laslo Spatula said...

Mary Jo Kopechne.

Our currency isn't going to stay afloat much longer, anyway.

I am Laslo, and I am THAT good.

J. Farmer said...

@Beta Rube:

"Nor did the great gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. The double entendre jokes write themselves."

Yes! I love a good Hedda Hopper reference, and I always loved her little cameo at the end of Sunset Boulevard. Coming from a southern family, I also have a soft spot for Florence King's writing, though she is also still with us.

Terry said...

The value of US currency isn't based on an empty promise. It's based on the promise that the federal government will extract that much value from American citizens and hand it over to the people who own the debt.

Dale said...

1● The day they put a woman who was not a President nor a Founder (there are women in that group) on currency because of political correctness is the day I vow to never personally handle that piece of currency, I don't care if I have to have everything in ones, the people behind me in line at wherever can get mad at the gravitas challenged idiots who brought is to this point.

2● It won't matter in a short time anyway because the country will have chips implanted to handle such things, a possible version of what the Bible predicted thousands if years ago. It's already in use.

Birches said...

I've always loved that bit of irony of having Jackson on the $20. I'd be sad to see him go.

And really, it's a terrible list of women. SBA has already been attempted. Abigail Adams is pretty good. How about Harriet Beecher Stowe?

Shawn Levasseur said...

When they brought back the $1 coin, I always thought they should have kept the same basic design (albeit in the new gold-tone) as the 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar coin.

I especially liked the tails side of the coin, picturing an eagle landing on the moon, with the earth in the sky behind it.

I wasn't too thrilled by the Sacajawea design for a few reasons, the most significant being that the coin was actually a depiction of a present day model, playing the part of Sacajawea. This is largely due to no portraits of the woman in her time, but given how magazine model perfect she looks, it draws attention to the inauthenticity of the portrait.

Terry said...

Lady Liberty should replace Jackson. Have you noticed how rarely politicians praise the abstract idea of freedom these days? Believe it or not, the US once proudly called itself the "Land of Liberty." This not only made us different from other nations, it made us better than other nations.

Bill said...

Frances Clalin !

Michael K said...

"How many people have seen a Susan B Anthony dollar in the past year? They seem pretty rare to me. "

If you like those dollar coins ride the MetroLInk in Los Angeles. The Irvine station will frequently refuse to take a debit or credit card so I have to use cash. A $20 bill gets you 15 dollar coins in change.

I get rid of them as fast as I can lest I mistakenly use them as quarters. I don't mind the 1 pound coins in Britain as they are thicker and obviously not another denomination.

David said...

Sacajawea.

A twofer.

Really, it's the best choice. Overall the lists of female possibilities show why there is no strong candidate.

Sacajawea walked across the continent while pregnant and saved the ass of her so called protectors more than once.

If you want a black guy it's gotta be Fredrick Douglass, for that amazing scowling face alone. Plus he was a man of the highest possible achievement, given the era when he lived.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I'd pick Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross.

The rule you have to be dead to get your face on U.S. currency has some interesting consequences.

The Gerald Ford $1 coin is scheduled to come out in 2016. It appears the U.S. Mint working through the list of Presidents in order they served.

That means the Ronald Reagan $1 coin may have to wait until Jimmy Carter dies. George W. Bush and Barack Obama may never get their $1 coins, because Bill Clinton is a vampire and will never die.

Sloanasaurus said...

There will be plenty of opportunities for people to be on money as the money printing gets out of control in our near future.

Obama can be on the first Trillion dollar note. He will deserve it.

rhhardin said...

Women are on stock certificates all the time.

The trick is not to be any particular woman.

Terry said...

How about just a closeup of a woman's naked breasts? Who could possibly complain about that?

The Drill SGT said...

"Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Roslyn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama"

How about somebody who earned their place in history and wasn't just along for the ride.


Abigail Adams
Clara Barton
Molly Pitcher
Pocahontas

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

This is so premature. It needs to be tabled until President Warren has finished her second term. By then she will beour own Elizabeth I.

Anonymous said...

I want Ayn Rand on my money. Who could be more appropriate?

Fernandinande said...

I want money with pictures of baby bunny rabbits.

William said...

There can be no denying that Andrew Jackson was a dick, but he was our dick. If he had been a better man, America would have been a worse country if it had even remained in existence. Seminal father figures are by their very nature pricks........How about Jenny Churchill. She was good looking, and her name is easy to spell. While it's true that she wasn't the mother of a great American, she was born American and was the mother of a great man.

geokstr said...

Prof Althouse:
"...who is Obama's favorite woman?


Probably a toss-up between Reggie Love and Larry Sinclair.

Clyde said...

Given what Obama has done to the country, the only logical choice for him would be Calamity Jane.

rehajm said...

Swimsuit Farrah and we remain the world's reserve currency forever.

Dale Light said...

Has everyone forgotten that Andrew Jackson was the founder of the Democratic Party? Until quite recently he was their hero [Jacksonian Democracy, Age of Jackson, and such.] Repudiating him would signal that the Democrats no longer have any identification with the "Common Man".

Real American said...

Just put a vagina on the $20. That way all women will be on the bill...well, except women without vaginas.

richard mcenroe said...

We can put Michelle on the $1,000,000 "Weimar" notes the government will be issuing soon....

richard mcenroe said...

Yes, put Michelle on the twenty. Then she can be a vital part of every drug transaction in the slums the Democrats have maintained since LBJ...

Kyzernick said...

Setting: under the Brown line tracks on Hudson off North Ave, Chicago

wheezy, quiet voice: "Yo - yo, brotha. You holdin'? Hey yo - if you'se holdin', how much for three G's of that kush?"

menacing yet cautious voice: "Chyea, I can getchu. Gon' be four 'Chellies."

W,QV: (opens wallet, extracts four crumpled, wrinkled $20 bills bearing the likeness of Michelle Obama) "Here, fo' you."

MYCV: (takes the four bills, looks left, then right, reaches into coat pocket, hand comes out into the light with a baggie full of leafy greens) "'Dis the finest arugula you'll ever taste. Now get lost."

Gahrie said...


I especially liked the tails side of the coin, picturing an eagle landing on the moon, with the earth in the sky behind it.


The reverse of the SBA dollar coin was a holdover from the old Eisenhower dollar coins.

Gahrie said...

Sacajawea.

She's already on the new dollar coin that nobody uses.

John Lynch said...

Thurgood Marshall.

Why not?

John Lynch said...

Sandra Day O'Connor, after she dies. She's 84.

glenn said...

I actually think this is a great idea. My money is on Marilyn Monroe. She slept with a President and an AG. Everybody recognizes her, unlike all those fuddy duddies on the current bills. And like it or not she was hot.

campy said...

"...who is Obama's favorite woman?"

Himself. Obama thinks he's a better woman than anyone you can name.

CWJ said...

Obama on the money? Finally, an answer to his claim that McCain said he didn't "look like the other presidents on the currency."

LarsPorsena said...

Jackson killed man in a duel for insulting his wife. He was our first feminist president.

bgates said...

where will Obama go, years from now, when his face becomes legally billable?

Straight to hell.

JSD said...

I go with Marilyn Monroe. Years from now, after American history is completely consumed by myths and fables, Marilyn will become our Cleopatra, Helen of Troy and Joan of Arc all in one.

Pettifogger said...

Sacajawea.

Archie Waugh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Archie Waugh said...

I say Jeane Kirkpatrick, or to hell with it.

Sigivald said...

No.

All the people on bills, except Franklin, are Presidents - and Franklin is, well, "the only President who was never President", being that central to the Founding.

"But we want a woman, any woman" is exactly and precisely the wrong approach, and the wrong goal.

Dale Light said...

Hamilton wasn't president.

William said...

I note with sadness that to date I am the only commenter who has suggested that a great mother be honored. Why have feminists divorced the idea of being a good mother from the accomplishments of being an admirable woman?

pm317 said...

Obama should go on the penny -- there are a lot of them and but they are useless and I have heard some people throw them in the trash.

Steven said...

Of the bills currently in general circulation, everyone is a President, a Founder, or both. Of the most recent editions of the $500, $1,000, $10,000, and $100,000, everyone is a President except the $10,000, which has man who was both Treasury Secretary at the time of the introduction of the greenback and Chief Justice.

So, obviously, we should take the lists of all women who were Founders, Presidents, Secretaries of the Treasury, and Chief Justices, and pick one from that.

That's, what, maybe Abigail Adams?

Quaestor said...

"...the 50 will become the new 20. Or 5."

What was 5 is 2. What was 2 is 1, and 1 is nothing. The Post-Obama currency change.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

How about Dolly Madison? Either the one who saved Washington's portrait from destruction by the Redcoats, or the inventor of the lard-filled sponge cake, take your pick.

Qwerty Smith said...

Why wait to put Elizabeth Warren on a bill? Maybe she has not done anything yet (including dying), but lack of accomplishment didn't stop the Nobel Committee from recognizing Obama. Maybe Warren should be put on the $20 to recognize the greatness of what she has promised to do.

I'd like to see President Walker put Catherine Beecher or Phyllis Schlafly on a bill. It wouldn't be smart politics, but it would infuriate people who seem to enjoy feeling furious. Why deny liberals the pleasure of a good two minutes hate?

traditionalguy said...

Hey, what about John Wayne. I don't know if any of the Presidents earned it but John Wayne earned it in every one of his movies.

Brando said...

It'd have to be someone noncontroversial--the only reason Jackson is on there is he was widely popular at the time they put him on.

Sadly there just aren't any women famous for establishing or preserving the Republic. Tubman helped free slaves, but that's nothing on the scale of Lincoln. Founding the Red Cross is nice, but not in the "would we still have a country" level.

madAsHell said...

Jane "you ignorant slut" Curtin.

BudBrown said...

Go with Stowe!

Terry said...

Traditionalguy wrote:
"Hey, what about John Wayne."
Unacceptable, unless he is depicted shooting an Indian. Or an Italian or Jewish American made up like an Indian.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

My vote goes to Bettie Page!

Cause I ain't met anyone yet who didn't agree that she was hot!

(Don't worry they're work safe!)

MrCharlie2 said...

Hillary !!!

Anonymous said...

Obama definitely gets the $3 bill.

ken in tx said...

Marilyn Monroe and other beauties were depicted on Military Payment Certificates used as currency by GIs in Vietnam.

Lots of antique coins and bills had versions of Lady Liberty on them.

George and Martha Washington used to be on matching sets of one cent postcards.

Seriously, I would vote for Abigail Adams.

RecChief said...

if they put Margaret Sanger on the $20, I will spend only $20s at black democrat owned businesses

furious_a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
furious_a said...

I vote a 1965-ish Ann Margret.

Pfft, she's Norwegian. An all-American girl, like Cindy Crawford or Christy Turlington.

Shootist said...

Woman on a bill?

Sally Ride
Grace Hopper
Molly Pitcher
Sacajawea
Pocahontas (the real one, not the Senator from Mass).
Sandra Day O'Connor

None of the first ladies.

Lyle said...

I'd support Harriet Tubman on a new currency denomination.

The Sacajawea and Susan B. Anthony coins are cool.

More specially made coins with women.

BudBrown said...

Seriously Stowe. Without her Grant
would just a been a hard drinkin Missourian and Lincoln a sketchy Illinoian.

Fen said...

Putting Rosa Parks in the list reveals it as a sham. Her actions had already been done before her by others, she just stage the photo op.

You want to honor her actions, go find the women she stole attention from.

Rusty said...

Aunt Jemima.

Everybody knows who she is.
She's a black lady.
She's everybodys aunt
And she's sweet.

crimsonjoe said...

I want to get rid of all President from bills. Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR and Washington are on coins- no need to celebrate elected officials on bills. Let's nominate great Americans who aren't politicians.

My choices:

$1- Mark Twain
$2- Norman Borlaug
$5- Clara Barton
$10- Neil Armstrong
$20- Jackie Robinson
$50- Alvin York
$100- Ben Franklin

Biff said...

I'm with whswhs. Simply floating the idea of putting Ayn Rand on US currency would cause lefty heads to explode. The entertainment value would be enormous!

Of course, we'd have to revert to the gold standard, first. No way Ayn Rand would've countenanced her countenance on fiat money.

Johanna Lapp said...

Is there an American woman who has sold more books than Ayn Rand? Or has inspired more to political action?

Hillary! is again caught in a bind. As long as she remains alive, someone else will sneak in ahead of her and become the first woman on a US banknote. But if she dies, they'll have to argue that her achievements surpass Jackson's. Fat chance.

The obvious choice is Christina Hendricks.