Yesterday, Congressman Patrick McHenry wrote to his fellow members of Congress, “Like President Roosevelt on the dime and President Kennedy on the half dollar, President Reagan deserves a place of honor on our nation’s currency.” McHenry suggested printing Reagan’s picture on a $50 bill, replacing Ulysses S. Grant. I believe that President Reagan represents a far greater value and should be on a $500 bill. Why? Because I believe that President Reagan was one of the greatest salesmen ever to have lived in the White House.
I know that many people will say a $500 bill will be impractical; it will be subject to more forgeries and will be used in the drug trade. But I believe that when people have a $500 bill bearing Reagan’s likeness in their pockets, they will feel richer and more powerful and are likely to spend more money. Do the math: If 100 million Americans (that’s 1/3 of the population that’s not affected by the recession) carried only $100 in their pockets, we’d have $10 billion walking down the street. If they all had a Reagan $500 bill, we’d have $50 billion waiting to be spent.
The itch to spend would increase by $40 billion. Multiply that by 12 months, and we could pump $480 billion back into the economy in 2010. Business would be booming, and unemployment rates would be cut in half within a year. What if the idea fails? What would we possibly lose? The cost of printing and paper.
I believe that the recession has caused too many people to think small. It’s time to think big again. Ronald Reagan was a big-picture leader. He set out to achieve daunting tasks that were associated with big risks but great rewards. A $500 bill would be symbolic of Reagan’s soul, courage, and wit.
Printing the Reagan $500 bill would not be a step into an unknown future. America printed a $500 bill in 1928 with William McKinley’s image.
Europe has a 200 Euro note (worth $272) and a 500 Euro note (worth $680). Why should we limit ourselves to $100? That’s risk-averse, bureaucratic thinking.
Ronald Reagan had the smiling confidence of a man who had been before an audience for nearly half a century. Before he said his first word, he had begun a successful sale. His relaxed appearance, sparkling eyes, sincere smile, and open body language showed his belief in himself and his ability to sell. Think of it: If you had at this moment a Reagan $500 bill in your pocket, wouldn’t this put the sparkle back into your eyes? Now think of having a $50 Reagan bill in your wallet. Would that be exciting? I think not.
Call to action: Write a note to Congressman Patrick McHenry, and tell him what you think of his idea to put Ronald Reagan on a $50 bill. If you agree that Reagan should be on a $500 bill, let him know that thinking big is part of the American character. The more money Americans who are not affected by the recession will spend, the sooner we’ll create more jobs, because businesses will start hiring again. Let’s stop thinking about small change; it’s time to think big again.
There are more than 20 million salespeople in this country, and if we all banded together to create this bill, we’d accomplish a big, audacious goal that may be on par with tearing down the Berlin Wall. Remember the saying, “Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.” Let’s make the Reagan $500 bill a reality.
Call or fax your note to Congressman Patrick McHenry.
224 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
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