During World War II, the cash-strapped U.S. Government came up with a hugely successful way of raising money to pay for the war effort. U.S. citizens purchased what were called war bonds. After the war, the money was paid back with interest. Now, the Bush Administration is bringing back war bonds, so every American can feel he is doing his part in the fight against terrorism.
Any bonds today? This was the cry the U.S government made during World War II. It was heard on the radio, in the movies, in newspapers, and at massive bond rallies in big cities.
By the end of the war, Americans bought an amazing $186 billion in war bonds. Each person who bought a bond believed he was making a personal contribution to defeat fascism.
Now, the Bush administration is reissuing the call to buy bonds with the "Patriot Bond".
Each bond features a picture of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and a profile of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill unveiled the new bond Tuesday, three months to the day after the September terrorist attacks on the United States. "The patriotism these images represent," he said, "burns as brightly today as ever fueling our determination to see this war on terrorism through to its end."
Secretary O'Neill says the Patriot Bond is an opportunity for all Americans to contribute to the government's war effort and save for their future.
The U.S. Senate bill reintroducing war bonds passed unanimously. Co- sponsor Mitch McConnell, a Republican, says voters brought him the idea for the new bond. Senator McConnell said, "All across the country, everybody says, 'What can I do? I'm too old to be in the military, I'm already volunteering for my favorite charity, maybe I can step that up a little bit, I've already sent some money to the firefighters relief fund in New York, I want to do more.'"
The bonds are available in eight denominations from $50 dollars to $10,000. They cost one-half the face value and earn interest for 30 years. They can be bought at banks in the United States and through the Treasury Department website www.savingsbonds.gov.