Several national and local media outlets have interviewed history professor Dan Feller about changes the US Treasury plans to make to the twenty-dollar bill. Abolitionist Harriet Tubman will replace president Andrew Jackson on the front of the currency.
Politifact spoke to Feller to verify a claim about whether Andrew Jackson was the last president who balanced the federal budget and there was no national debt during his presidency. Feller noted that following the end of the War of 1812, which racked up massive debt, Congress required debt reductions under Jackson’s predecessors. So Jackson just had to maintain the status quo. “The policy of paying off the debt happened before Jackson, and he happened to be president” when the debt hit zero, Feller told the publication.
The Knoxville News Sentinel also featured Feller in this story about the currency debate. Even among historians, Jackson has long been a polarizing figure, Feller told the paper. Read the story online.