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Should the faces on our currency change?

Updated on April 26, 2016

The faces on our currency have been relatively stable over the years and now new decisions are being made to change the face printed on the $10 and potentially other denominations. This decision is reported to have been made by the Treasury Secretary. The question is who should have the authority to make this kind of decision and who according to the Constitution has the responsibility to make these kinds of changes. The Treasury Secretary is not an elected individual though he was confirmed by the Senate when he was nominated to fill the position. Unelected individuals are making decisions affecting us every day. In some cases they have both the authority and responsibility but it is not across the board.

There are all kinds of decisions being made in executive departments such as the Treasury department. From doing some research according to one news resource it states that Congress has the authority to make changes to our coins but not our currency. The report goes on to say that the Treasurer has the authority to make decisions about changes in our currency. Some of the changes being decided are valid and appropriate but changing the face on any of our currency should rest with Congress not the Treasurer.

I have reviewed the responsibilities of the Department of the Treasury of which there are many. Some of the changes/decisions being made by the treasury secretary are logical and make sense. One involves making changes which will impede counterfeiting activity which can be devastating to businesses and individuals who accept them. The Treasury Department has many responsibilities not the least of which is overseeing our coins and currency. In looking at

responsibilities of this department controlling aspects of our currency I could find no specific authority either in the Constitution or the responsibilities identified when the department was created to have control over the changing the faces on our currency.

Overall many decisions are made and have been made by the treasury secretary and while there have been issues the department seems to be working well to accomplish their mission. We as voters are never going to agree with all decisions of a cabinet level department or agency including the Treasury Department. It is the job of Congress to keep tabs on the operations of any executive department and agency to ensure they are accomplishing their mission and that the decisions they are making are the right ones for the country.

In many cases the Treasury Department is accomplishing their mission through the decisions that are being made. There is always criticism against many of the executive departments and some are justified. Do changes need to be made in this department many will say that the answer is a yes. The mission and authority engrained in the structure of this department upon its creation needs to be reviewed to determine what if any changes are necessary. This is the responsibility of Congress.

As previously mentioned many decisions are made by unelected individuals in departments and agencies in the Executive Department but some are of such magnitude or impact that Congress should step in and put a hold on many decisions. I agree we need to honor individuals who have had an impact on the history of our country but there are many ways to do so without changing the face of our currency.

Our currency and coins and changes to them should be controlled by Congress not the Secretary of the Treasurer. Changing the pictures and layout of our currency may need to be made to help guard against counterfeiters but we should not change the pictures of the individuals on any denomination. Making changes of this magnitude diminishes the impact these individuals had on our country as it grew into what it is today. It also impacts the reason why the current individuals were chosen in the first place.


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