CoinWeek Podcast #117: Treasury Reverses Course on Harriet Tubman $20 (with Barbara Howard)
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This week on the CoinWeek Podcast, Barbara Ortiz Howard from Women on 20s joins us to talk about Andrew Jackson, Harriet Tubman, and the Treasury Department’s 180-degree turn on changing the design of the $20 Federal Reserve Note, and why it has taken so long for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to state for the record what he’s likely known all along – that President Andrew Jackson is staying on the $20 bill.
Contemporary coverage of numismatics has been steeped in political controversy recently, and the implementation or lack thereof of the Harriet Tubman redesign is no different, with people on both sides of the issue deeply entrenched in their beliefs of what should or should not happen.
But regardless of whichever side you find yourself on, what about government transparency? If the current Treasury Secretary has decided that he will not go forward with plans to change the effigies and themes of three of America’s most used notes, shouldn’t he come clean with the American public and say so?
Buckle up as we dig right into this contentious topic next on the CoinWeek Podcast.
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I confess to being agnostic about the choice of Tubman over other worthy historical women. In fact I’m beginning to think we’d be better off abandoning portraits altogether and instead featuring vignettes of uniquely American wonders like the Grand Canyon, our agricultural might, scientific advances, etc.
That said, the ONLY reason I can see for the Treasury’s about-face is pure, unadulterated SPITE on the part of this most partisan of administrations. It’s as if they have people staying up nights and weekends combing through decisions made by prior administrations, picking those whose reversal will crank up their base while offending as many others as possible. ENOUGH is ENOUGH.
Aside from either opposite sides of the argument and the fact that American Presidents have most always graced the front of our currency, there was a brief time in history where that was not the case-the old and beautiful educational large sized notes. With that being said, we have been due for a change in our current currency for a long time. Unfortunately, it seems that as time goes on, the currency becomes less and less aesthetically appealing.