Institute a bond program to finance infrastructure
During World War II, America’s Greatest Generation, my generation, helped pay for the $288 billion cost of the war. The war bonds program was supported by more than half of the population, including schoolchildren, raising $188 billion by the end of the war. This was at a time when the average income was $2,000.
The bonds were sold in amounts from $25 to $10,000 and paid an average 2.9 percent return over a 10-year maturity. There is $17 billion worth of bonds that were never turned in.
A similar bond program today could raise over a trillion dollars of infrastructure money if supported in a similar response as was done by my generation. With an average annual income of $55,600 and a population of 330 million, a well-advertised program, as was done in World War II, could give Americans the opportunity to invest in and hold a piece of our renewed infrastructure.
To lure investors, the tax-free bonds would be purchased with pretax dollars (thereby reducing the individual’s taxes immediately) with the result of an average annual return ranging from 3.75 percent to 7.75 percent, depending of the individual’s tax bracket.
Additionally, the war bond program had as a purpose to take money out of circulation and rein in inflation. That is something we may need to do today as well, as government spending increases, taxes are cut and budget deficits loom.