A Woman on the Ten Dollar Bill? Why I Prefer Hillary on the Twenty.

The Treasury Secretary wants a woman on the ten dollar bill and I would rather not disgrace any woman I admire with a Federal Reserve note.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says he is removing Alexander Hamilton from the ten dollar bill and putting a woman on it.

I have heard people suggest women such as Susan B. Anthony the pro-life suffragette. I’m sure Lew has someone much less wholesome in mind. I hope so. I think Susan B. Anthony was a good person. Why would I want to smear her name by associating it with a Federal Reserve note?

To belong on the Federal Reserve note, I think we need to pick someone who represents the greed and corruption of the central banking system.

Without doubt, the most appropriate person would be Andrea Mitchell, the wife of Alan Greenspan who feels free to “report” on financial issues as if she didn’t have a family stake in them.

But Wall Street candidate Hillary Clinton would also be another possibility.

And let’s not forget Margaret Sanger.

Basically, we conservatives should want some liberal on the Federal Reserve note. It is not a fitting monument for a conservative.

Which brings up another question: Why remove Alexander Hamilton?

I’m shocked to admit that I find myself in agreement with, of all people, Ben Bernanke. He wants Jack Lew to choose a different bill. On his blog he writes,

I must admit I was appalled to hear of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s decision last week to demote Alexander Hamilton from his featured position on the ten dollar bill.

[…]

Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, would qualify as among the greatest of our founders for his contributions to achieving American independence and creating the Constitution alone. In addition to those accomplishments, however, Hamilton was without doubt the best and most foresighted economic policymaker in U.S. history. As detailed in Ron Chernow’s excellent biography, as Treasury Secretary Hamilton put in place the institutional basis for the modern U.S. economy. Critically, he helped put U.S. government finances on a sound footing, consolidating the debts of the states and setting up a strong federal fiscal system. The importance of Hamilton’s achievement can be judged by the problems that the combination of uncoordinated national fiscal policies and a single currency has caused the Eurozone in recent years. Reflecting on those parallels, as Fed chairman I recommended Chernow’s biography to Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank. Mario told me that he read it with great interest.

Hamilton also played a leading role in creating U.S. monetary and financial institutions. He founded the nation’s first major bank, the Bank of New York; and, as Chernow points out, Hamilton’s 1791 Report on the Mint set the basis for U.S. currency arrangements, which makes his demotion from the ten dollar bill all the more ironic. Importantly, over the objections of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Hamilton also oversaw the chartering in 1791 of the First Bank of the United States, which was to serve as a central bank and would be a precursor of the Federal Reserve System.

Chernow’s biography is good, though laughable in places, like when he attempts to get Hamilton “off the hook” for participating in slavery, or when he implies his experience as a clerk gave him the ability to design a banking system—which is about like claiming that working at McDonald’s means you will be a great Federal Reserve Chairman some day. You have to read it a bit discerningly and, if you do, it paints an appalling picture of a “Founding Father” we would have been better off without. If you want a shorter book than Chernow’s try Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution—and What It Means for Americans Today.

But here’s the point on which I agree with Ben Bernanke: If anyone’s image deserves to be on a Federal Reserve Note it is that of Alexander Hamilton!

On the other hand, as Bernanke notes, Andrew Jackson would probably love to be liberated from the twenty dollar bill. While Jackson can be accused of many sins, he hated the idea of a national bank. He absolutely opposed it, and saved the American people from that level of corruption for decades.

So let’s put a liberal woman on the twenty dollar bill to join Alexander Hamilton.

When we start re-issuing genuine gold and silver coins (with no fixed exchange rate!), that’s when I will start lobbying for the image of a conservative heroine to be engraved on the currency.