Reagan on the $10 Bill?

CNN Money — Reagan the new face of the $10 bill?

Ronald Reagan’s face could one day adorn the $10 bill or half the dimes minted in the country, if fans of the late president get their way.

On TuesdaySen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) confirmed that he is considering sponsoring legislation in the Senate to have Reagan’s image replace that of Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first treasury secretary, on the $10 bill.

Meanwhile, an effort is underway in the House of Representatives, led by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), to put Reagan’s face on the $20.

If either effort is successful, it would represent the first change of a person on U.S. currency since 1929, when the nation’s paper money was standardized in size and general design. Although various anti-counterfeiting measures have altered the look of paper notes since then, the principals depicted have not changed.

While this is an interesting proposal, it’s one that should be considered a few years down the line rather than when pro-Reagan sentiment is highest. It seems to me that it would make more sense to take Grant off the $50 or to relegate Washington and Lincoln to one currency apiece than to take Hamilton off the $10 bill.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I told you they’d overplay their cards. McConnell was on TV (Fox or MSNBC) on saturday and he totally used Reagan’s death as a means to start talking about why people should vote Republican in November. What a parasite.

  2. I’d have to rather strenuously object to taking Grant off the $50…

  3. moghedien says:

    If anything, they should take Andrew Jackson off the $20. Having a man who shut down the Bank of the US, leading to the panic of 1837, should not be on a Federal Reserve note…

  4. Alex Knapp says:

    Not to mention that Jackson was just plain evil…

  5. How about removing Sasquatch, or whatever her name was, from the on the $1 coin and putting Reagan on there.

  6. Bring back the $500 bill!

  7. Damon says:

    I agree this is taking it too far…

    I doubt the U.S. will enjoy waking up a year from now with Reagan’s face tattoed on its rear.

  8. I see nothing wrong with preserving his image on something, but I do agree that we should wait a bit, to see if anyone remembers him.

  9. Ron says:

    Naw, put Reagan on the $1 bill.

    I can hear the heads exploding already…

  10. mark says:

    Ike was on the silver dollar from 1971-1978. And they are having all those state quarters coming out every year. I think having a few years or so of “Reagan dimes” or nickels would be fine.

  11. chris says:

    Agree. Let’s save the discussion for this for a few years…no need to move headfirst into it now.

  12. Max says:

    First of all I have complaint…about simple minded idiots, like we have seen in “Director Mitch.” If you don’t like the history of this country why don’t you find another to go infest. You are insulting a people that this land was STOLEN from. Which is exactly what I was getting at in my comments on the subject of Reagan being put on our currency. Let’s put him on the $20. Get rid of the WORST president of the the 1800’s. Why should we have Jackson’s face on our money? I don’t see Germany putting Hitler’s face on theirs. When you get right down to it both men were guilty of EXACTLY the same things.

  13. Jay says:

    Okay – split the numbers of dimes minted yearly between FDR and Reagan, and in a few years, dumpo Franklin off the $100 and put The Gipper there. Now THAT is serious walking around money!

  14. Jay says:

    Okay – split the numbers of dimes minted yearly between FDR and Reagan, and in a few years, dump Franklin off the $100 and put The Gipper there. Now THAT is serious walking around money!

  15. flippo says:

    Obviously Reagan should be on the trillion dollar bill. We’ll be forever in his debt.

  16. paradigm_shift says:

    Hamilton was the first Treasury Sec’y, so his commemoration on the $10 seems appropriate. Franklin was a great American and a founding father, he should stay put. Jackson on the $20? Open to debate, but why memorialize Reagan on currency?

    Yes, he was a great communicator and a hell of a funny guy. Very personable. But a great leader who left a legacy of excellence on the office of the presidency? Hardly. Let’s not forget that his administration was as riddled with scandal as Clinton’s, if not more so. In the 80s, the media called Reagan “The Teflon President” — nothing seemed to stick.

    Like I said, he was a great communicator. Sometimes that means making things not attributable to your office.

  17. JFaurescu says:

    Hamilton should remain on the $10; if people knew their history they would agree. However, replacing Jackson with Reagan is a good idea. I agree with the comment that a president responsible for the dissolution of the national bank has no place on a national bank note. The $50 is also a good idea. Grant may have been a great general; however, he was a lousy president. His tenure was marked by corruption not to be seen again until the likes of Bill Clinton.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Take Grant off $50… What is he remembered for besides the most corrupt Presidency of 19th century? He was a mediocre general that drunk too much… Put Reagan on $50… I think removing Hamilton takes away nostalgia of $10 bill… Never mind! Heck just get rid of FDR, and give Reagan the dime. FDR made the word safe for communism, was soft on Stalin and overlysympathetic to Stalin, he sold eastern Europe into communist slavery at Yalta. Reagan did just the opposite.

  19. J A Rogers says:

    Better not try to spend them in Nicaragua.

  20. Michelle says:

    I dont really have an opinion on the 10.00 dollar bill, but I had no idea who Hamilton was until I went on line and if someone important is on money and wasn’t a president then we should in history (as children) should have to learn about him. Especially if we have to see and learn about the terrible tyrant- Hitler.

  21. JayKay says:

    Create a brand new circulating bi-metallic $2 coin bearing his portrait. Many other countries have successfully eliminated both their $1 and $2 notes (or equivalent) in favor of bi-metallic coins. With Reagan on a new $2, no one’s favorite president is displaced from our existing currency (even Grant!), and we fill a gap in our coinage system at the same time. I think Ronnie might’ve liked the idea.