Roosevelt undeserving of being honored on dime

Josh Buckman

Imagine naming the Pulitzer Prize after Jayson Blair or making Joe Namath the head of the National Organization of Women.

Doing such things would be considered strange. But we Americans have done a similar thing by honoring our worst president, Franklin Roosevelt, by minting an image of his face on every dime that is spent each day.

USA Today reported in December that several U.S. congressmen are pushing to pass a bill that would replace Roosevelt’s face on the dime with Ronald Reagan’s.

Putting an image on currency is usually an honor reserved for great Americans. Roosevelt does not deserve such an honor.

Roosevelt came to power during the 1930s at the height of the Great Depression, when one out of every four Americans was out of work. In order to improve the economy, Roosevelt set up social programs under his New Deal plan.

One New Deal program was the Agriculture Adjustment Act that enabled the government to pay farmers to plant fewer crops and destroy their livestock. The goal was to increase the amount of money farmers receive for their crops. But it wound up increasing the cost of food in a time when many Americans were struggling to afford something to eat.

One farmer that refused this money was my great-great-grandfather Henry Miller.

He believed that one should not be rewarded for doing nothing. While he struggled for money, he believed it was his duty not to accept anything he believed was unconstitutional.

My great-great-grandfather wasn’t the only one who thought the New Deal programs were unconstitutional. The Supreme Court struck down several New Deal programs. In order to get his programs upheld and change the meaning of the constitution, Roosevelt reorganized the structure of the Supreme Court. He tried to appoint new justices. Though Congress refused to give him this power, he was able to replace the justices as they retired.

Many textbooks print that New Deal programs brought the United States out of the Depression, but unemployment actually increased during Roosevelt’s second term.

American involvement in World War II was what actually ended the Great Depression because of the increased economic stimulation from factories producing war supplies and weapons.

Many liberals also use World War II as an example of great leadership by Roosevelt when again, nothing could be further from the truth.

During the war, the Roosevelt administration promoted Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin as a friend of liberty. In actuality, Stalin was a brutal dictator who was responsible for more deaths than Adolf Hitler.

Unlike the man who is currently on the coin, Reagan is more fitting of this honor. He stands for hard work and small government. His efforts helped end the Soviet Union and liberated millions from tyranny.

The Reagan years saw an incredible amount of economic growth. Unlike Roosevelt, Reagan did not need a war to have prosperity. Reagan helped stimulate the economy through tax cuts and less government.

It’s time that Americans had a good president on the dime.

Josh Buckman is a senior print journalism major from Fancy Farm.

This commentary does not reflect the views of the Herald, Western or its administration.