OP-ED: Why doesn't Boehner believe America is a good investment?

By Joseph J. Honick
OP-ED: Why doesn't Boehner believe America is a good investment?
The voluble and aggressive new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has made it clear -- even using the elder George Bush’s warning “Read my lips” -- in his quest to slash billions of dollars of federal spending.

In powerful speeches and interviews, Rep. John Boehner, R-OH,  has made it clear that he is willing to take great strides to cut what he calls “unsustainable government spending” not just to the bone but perhaps to amputation of whole programs and government staff.

So why do Mr. Boehner and his colleagues fail to trust Americans to be partners in solving problems?

In WWII -- the last time the idea was tried -- the U.S. government issued bonds so Americans could not only invest in the war effort but help to hold down inflation at the same time.  First called “Defense Bonds” and later "War Bonds," they attracted just under $200 billion in 1940’s dollars though they only paid 2.9% interest.  Even further, schoolchildren were encouraged to buy stamps at 10 cents each that could lead to purchase of bonds.  And the effort helped immensely to finance the massive cost of fighting the war.

So, back to today and the seemingly endless wars Mr. Boehner’s leaders created nearly a decade ago, why would the House leader ignore his own countrymen to help pay the bills for the unsustainable government outflows he quite logically fears so much?

In those war days, an emotional appeal went out to citizens by means of advertising and other promotion.  Even though the bonds represented rates below market value, the appeal represented a moral and financial stake in the war effort.  Them most powerful advetising agencies joined with government to promote the bonds because they felt they were doing plenty for the war effort,  Even the New York Stock Exchange urged purchasers not only to buy but not to cash in their bonds,  There were bond rallies featuring movie stars.

In other words, the tremendous task that faced the free world brought out the best of the private and public sectors but mostly the plain ordinary American citizen.  Which brings us back to the current wars asserted to be necessary by budget busters who won’t trim a buck from the so-called “defense” budget while calling everything else part of the “unsustainable” outflow.

If these wars are so critical and there is a need to help finance socially related programs while reducing the inflation potential, why will the GOP House leadership leave most Americans out of the right to help and benefit at the same time?

Perhaps it is the moment  once again for the political leadership of the nation to enlist everyday citizens, without regard to party affiliations or anything else, to buy investments in America.  After all, these same ordinary citizens put up the hundreds of billions that went to major corporations and financial institutions under labels of “bailouts” and “stimuli.”

Such a step would also show that Washington has some faith in America as a worthwhile investment….maybe?

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Joseph J. Honick is an international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications, including huntingtonnews.net. Honick can be reached at joehonick@gmail.com

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