Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has a pretty terrible suggestion for how to get a woman on U.S. currency without bumping Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill: put Harriet Tubman on the rarely used $2 bill instead.
After news broke that the U.S. Treasury intends to replace Jackson with Tubman, the former GOP presidential hopeful told Fox Business' Neil Cavuto he disagreed with the decision.
"Andrew Jackson was the last president who actually balanced the federal budget, where we had no national debt," Carson said in an interview Wednesday. "In honor of that, we kick him off of the money."
"I love Harriet Tubman, I love what she did," Carson continued. "But we can find another way to honor her. Maybe a $2 bill."
The $2 bill, which features Thomas Jefferson, is a rare sighting in modern commerce. As Marketplace reported last year, less than 0.001 percent of bills and coins currently in circulation are $2 bills. The bills are so rare that many people are known to hoard them.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew initially planned to remove Alexander Hamilton from the $10 note, as that bill was the next due for a redesign. However, apparently thanks in part to the popularity of the Broadway musical about the founding father, Hamilton will remain on the $10 while Jackson gets scrapped from the $20.
As The Huffington Post argued last year, Jackson is far more deserving of the boot than Hamilton:
Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers, was a strong opponent of slavery, and was an early member of the New York Manumission Society, an abolitionist group that organized boycotts against merchants connected to the slave trade and lobbied for legislation abolishing the institution.
Andrew Jackson, meanwhile, a War of 1812 hero, was a slave owner. Even more perniciously, Jackson carried out an “Indian removal” policy as president. Much of his popularity before the presidency came from his many wars against Native Americans — some of them, including an invasion of Florida, done illegally.
Tubman, a key figure in the abolitionist movement who guided many slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad, is a particularly apt choice to replace the slave-owning Jackson.
However, the seventh president isn't going anywhere just yet: the new $20 bill probably won't debut until at least 2030. And according to Politico, Jackson is likely to still have a place on the back of the bill.
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