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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

The Bid to Put Reagan's Face on Currency

June 14, 2004

Jonathan Turley's June 9 commentary, "A Bit Too Early for Sainthood," on the obsessions of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, is well reasoned and insightful. I would argue, though, that the truly appropriate legacy for Reagan would be to create a million-dollar bill -- for the convenience of the plutocrats his policies benefited. It would simplify the task of measuring his legacy of insupportable debt, so eagerly embraced by the current administration. ("How many Reagans are we in the hole right now?")

Wayne Bernhardson

Oakland

Reagan was a brilliant advocate for his political philosophy. But on the nation's money? I have a suggestion more fitting to his legacy: Put his portrait on U.S. government Treasury bonds, the chief instrument of our nation's debt.

Bob Wieting

Simi Valley

Rather than allowing Alexander Hamilton's face to be replaced by Reagan's, Congress should honor the two 20th century presidents who were far superior presidents than the actor who should have been impeached for Iran-Contra. Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman will occupy a greater place in history than Reagan.

Clint Hopson

Tustin

I would like to point out that, despite Hamilton not being a president, he is more deserving of being on our money than practically anyone else in our history. Hamilton is almost single-handedly responsible for the strong currency and monetary system we have today, and thus indirectly responsible for our country's robust and world-leading economy. Of all the currency in circulation today, I believe the face least likely to face resistance to its replacement would be Ulysses S. Grant's, on the $50 bill. Despite his contributions to the victory of the North in the Civil War, he is perhaps the least important person represented today on American currency. (And I'm sure the Southern states would approve of this move!)

So, to all the supporters of placing Reagan's portrait on the $10 bill, please consider switching your campaign to support this change and leave poor Hamilton alone. Don't be a modern Aaron Burr.

Lynne Foringer

Los Angeles

Re "Reagan's Gone, but His Name Lives On," June 9: Though it was unfortunate for Reagan to pass on, suffering with Alzheimer's, I was completely dismayed and disappointed to read that the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood had recently changed its name to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. For a man who never addressed AIDS during the peak of the crisis, it is very disturbing that UCLA (probably the most prestigious and advanced medical center in the world) would identify itself with someone who didn't care about thousands dying -- delaying investigation and treatment.

If I ever find myself in the situation where paramedics need to transport me for emergency care, I will refuse to go to UCLA, on principle. Take me to St. John's or Cedars-Sinai, but never UCLA.

Edward Castillo

Santa Monica

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