WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush told reporters yesterday that he plans to request a new dollar design from the White House's graphic arts department.
"The dollar's cheesy appearance is the main reason for its poor showing against the euro in world financial markets," said the president. "Therefore I have authorized the Secretary of Graphic Arts to ask Congress to pass legislation authorizing the replacement of George Washington's image on the dollar bill with a photo of NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt.
"The American people deserve a dollar they don't have to be ashamed of any longer," said Bush. "How can we expect our dollar to compete against the euro when our dollar looks like somebody's weird Uncle Bob dressed up for the Halloween dance at the senior center?"
According to Bush, international monetary managers have become more style conscious with the emergence of the European Union as a world economic power. "Thus," he argued, "there's no reason why our dollar should be devalued by a photo of a guy with bad hair whose wooden teeth were hurting him when he posed for his portrait. It's not surprising that other countries are turning to the euro as their reserve currency of choice."
Bush also decried the use of "Latin mumbo jumbo" on the back of the dollar. "Almost nobody speaks Latin anymore," he said. "It's a dead language. If we insist on using it, the dollar will soon be dead too."
Despite the president's enthusiasm for "cutting edge currency," the movement to redesign the dollar has met with resistance in some quarters. The Reverend Jesse Jackson said that any dollar with "a dead white person" on it was "funny money, honey." Speaking at a vote fraud conspiracy rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, last week, Jackson thundered, "The black man in this country will never be free as long as he is refused a seat on the legal tender bus."
Jackson is said to prefer his own photo for inclusion on the dollar. Failing that, he supports a move to put a portrait of the late Martin Luther King Jr. on the bill. Christian groups, meanwhile, argue that Americans' widespread belief in angels make them the best subject to grace the dollar.
The most radical suggestion for modernizing the dollar came from Wayne Lemons, Delaware's state lottery director. Lemons is touting the Lotto-Dollar as "a kick-ass competitor" to the euro.
"The Lotto-Dollar would function as the present dollar does," Lemons explained, "but the Lotto-Dollar would have a number concealed under that spooky eye on the back. Upon scratching the eye, just as you would scratch a lottery ticket, you would find out if your dollar is worth its face value or some other value ranging from $5 to $500-plus a free Big Mac with fries and soda at McDonalds."
In related news, sources close to the president say he plans to reach out to the gay-and-lesbian community soon by putting "that gay Teletubby" on a three-dollar bill, which would be legal tender in blue states only.