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Alexander Hamilton’s Home on the $10 Bill is Safe… For Now

Alexander Hamilton’s Home on the $10 Bill is Safe… For Now

Treasury Secretary delays their $10 bill update announcement

In June, the Treasury Department announced plans to replace Alexander Hamilton’s mug on the $10 bill with a gal. Feminists applauded the move, the news instigated an awkward question to Republican candidates in a GOP presidential primary debate, and the rest of us who know American history were less than impressed.

Treasury Secretary Lew claimed plans to change the $10 bill were not due to social concerns, but the bill’s security.

At that time I wrote:

When it comes to having a woman’s face on the cash I use to buy shoes, books, and americanos, I’m indifferent. It all spends the same.

If anything, I loathe the idea that because I’m a woman I’m supposed to applaud or champion all women firsts a la “it’s time a woman _____!” Being a woman and doing something a man did years before is not in itself an accomplishment. Likewise, slapping a woman’s face on a $10 bill isn’t a cause to celebrate.

Of the available jackasses printed on our cash (read: Andrew Jackson, though he knew how to throw a killer party), why replace Alexander Hamilton?! If there’s anything insulting about the latest attempt to feminize American cash, it’s that Hamilton is getting booted for a yet to be determined chick just so America can say we have a chick on our currency.


Not only was Hamilton the first Treasury Secretary, he was ardently anti-slavery, and arguably one of the nation’s most crucial founding fathers. “An online petition earlier this year urged the administration to replace Jackson with abolitionist Harriet Tubman by 2020, the 100th anniversary of the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote,” wrote USA Today. That would’ve been a noble cause — replacing a pro-slavery wild man with a female abolitionist.

But scrapping Alexander Hamilton? That’s simply poor taste.

Even Ben Bernanke was “appalled” by Secretary Lew’s decision. In June he blogged his disgust:

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’s demotion is intended to make room to honor a deserving woman on the face of our currency. That’s a fine idea, but it shouldn’t come at Hamilton’s expense. As many have pointed out, a better solution is available: Replace Andrew Jackson, a man of many unattractive qualities and a poor president, on the twenty dollar bill. Given his views on central banking, Jackson would probably be fine with having his image dropped from a Federal Reserve note. Another, less attractive, possibility is to circulate two versions of the ten dollar bill, one of which continues to feature Hamilton.

I was in government long enough to know that decisions like this have considerable bureaucratic inertia and are accordingly hard to reverse. But the Treasury Department should do everything within its power to defend the honor of Jack Lew’s most illustrious predecessor.

Fast forward six months. Enormous public backlash to the June announcement prompted the Treasury Department to delay any decision on the $10 bill until next year.

Politico reported Friday:

The decision to select the woman who would take Alexander Hamilton’s spot on the $10 bill will be postponed until next year, a Treasury spokesperson announced Friday.

The delay was spurred by a slew of public comments about who should inherit the spot currently held by the first treasury secretary, who adopted the post in 1789. Treasury officials initially announced in June that the decision would be reached by the end of 2015.

Despite the push back, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the public’s opinion would weigh heavily in his decision. A spokesperson added that the Treasury Department had a surplus of ideas prompted by outsiders.

“As a result of the tremendous amount of engagement, we have many more ideas than we had originally anticipated. Therefore, we are taking additional time to carefully review and consider a range of options to honor the theme of democracy as well as the notable contributions women have made to our country,” she told CBS News.

The $10 bill in its updated form is set to be released in 2020, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women legal voting status.

I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to commemorate the 19th Amendment’s centennial that don’t include muddying the memory of a man who played a vital role in creating our country.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye

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Comments

It’s like affirmative action. We will all know that the only reason whoever-it-is gets pictured on the bill is because she is a woman. Any actual accomplishments she may have achieved will be forever diminished.

How many man hours were wasted on this when they could have been better spent looking at discontinuing the penny, which is something that is sorely overdue, considering it cost 1.7 cents to mint the 1 cent coin.

    Get rid of the penny? Given the current education system, do you really trust people throughout the economy to round off their prices? I don’t!

      Gremlin1974 in reply to irv. | December 13, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      Actually many business across the nation have already started doing just that. Most are using a round down to the nearest .5 cent mark. Also, what do you expect them to do if the currency isn’t available any longer?

      Besides we did fine when we got rid of the half cent coins.

      If it is costing 1.7 times what the coin is worth to mint it then it needs to go, no actually it has to go.

      Oh, and before you ask according to the treasury dept. there is no way to reduce the cost of production any further.

OK, let’s put a woman on the $10 bill.

I nominate Sarah Palin.

(I thought so.) 😉

how politically incorrect to limit the field of candidates to biological women—this will offend the LGBTQIAetc community!

Well, I’ll just say it.

Most of the people who have made celebrated accomplishments in our civic life have been men. All of our Presidents, our generals, captains, captains of industry, — indeed, all of the people who might be put on our currency based on sheer accomplishment — are men.

It’s only been a few decades since life got easy enough to open these areas of endeavor to women. As a result, women of a suitable level of accomplishment remain few in number, and most of them are still alive.

What I want to see is an end to the glass ceiling for my nieces, who are in college. That ceiling is not going to be affected by putting a minor character on our currency. This entire discussion is brought to us by people who will settle for Doing Something in lieu of making actual, positive change.

Subotai Bahadur | December 13, 2015 at 8:08 pm

You have to realize what regime we are under. The only two candidates would be either Tashfeen Malik or Caitlyn Jenner.

I nominate Paula Jones.

For the C-note, of course.

“An online petition earlier this year urged the administration to replace Jackson with abolitionist Harriet Tubman by 2020, the 100th anniversary of the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote…”

That I could get behind.

A brave, gun-toting, abolitionist, black Republican woman.

To replace a slave-owning Democratic demagogue famed for ethnic cleansing.

Replacing the Trail of Tears with the Underground Railroad.

Yes. I could get behind that.

Somewhere I have a picture of me holding a $10 bill in front of the house where Hamilton was born in Charlestown, Nevis (West Indies). Not many men (or women) had a more profound effect on our fledgling nation than Hamilton, but, hey, political correctness is more important.

We all know that Oblamo & Hillary think that they should be on a coin or Currency Bill. People just won’t admit it. Oblamo knows all dictators have their face on the countries currency. They both should be in Prison, instead.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to bobgood1. | December 14, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Actually that evil little part of my brain that holds my healthy paranoia is going, yea they are waiting until next year so they can announce they are putting the first black president on the bill, lol.

Uhh, I honestly have no clue.

I nominate Eleanor Roosevelt for the $3 bill.

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