Let’s Rebuild America Now

Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill

Rebuild America Bond

The voters want jobs. They do not want Washington to descend further into a Dark Age of vindictive partisan gridlock.

I suggest both political parties work together to create a Rebuild America Bond to raise private capital to build roads, bridges, schools, military hospitals, vets centers and other shared priorities.

Before elaborating on the Rebuild America Bond, let’s step back for a moment. Harry Truman said that the only new thing in the world is the history you don’t know.

As work begins to address the deficit crisis, Republicans can learn from Ronald Reagan, and Democrats can learn from Tip O’Neill, about how great rivals can work together on major national challenges.

With the jobless crisis imposing severe pain and political independents demanding constructive bipartisan action, Republicans can learn from former Rep. Jack Kemp, and Democrats can learn from former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen.

The Republicans miss Kemp, who was a fountain of ideas to create private-sector incentives to address priority national problems. Kemp was both an inspiration to Ronald Reagan and a colleague to liberal Democrats whom he respected and worked with whenever possible.

The Democrats miss Bentsen, who was a progressive capitalist and successful CEO and venture financier in the years between his service in the House and Senate. As senator and Treasury secretary, Bentsen became good friends and respectful partners with leading Republican senators such as Bob Dole and John Danforth.

I have been urging the creation of a patriotic national unity bond since the origin of the Iraq war, which created major war costs alongside major tax cuts, leading to ballooning deficits and severe problems for military personnel, equipment and healthcare.

A Rebuild America Bond would combine attributes of liberal and conservative thinking, in the tradition of Jack Kemp and Lloyd Bentsen.

The Rebuild America Bond would be a conservative, interest-bearing investment like the savings bond and the war bonds of the 1940s. It would be a purely voluntary, opt-in venture that would appeal to many patriotic Americans and financial institutions. It would win substantial support from political independents and voters in the Midwest and hard-hit constituents and communities across the nation.

The Rebuild America Bond would appeal to individuals who today receive close to zero interest on deposited funds. It would appeal to Wall Street firms, mutual fund managers, money center banks and insurers whose portfolios include prudent interest-bearing investments.

The Rebuild America Bond would attract private capital for national priorities. It would attract some of the vast amount of institutional capital now being hoarded, in very low-interest accounts, in a very low-growth economy.

As proposed here, both parties would carefully negotiate the specific uses of Rebuild America Bond capital. There is no such thing as a Democratic or Republican collapsing bridge, decaying school, missing vets center or urgently needed military hospital.

Brent BudowskyWhile our political debates will continue, let’s mobilize the good will and patriotism of an American people who are in this together and won’t accept an America in decline.

There are Democrats and Republicans with private-sector experience who can become the new Kemps and Bentsens, working together on a wide range of issues to support venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Let’s rebuild America now.

Brent Budowsky

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at brentbbi@webtv.net This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


  1. Elaine says

    Government cannot create jobs and if they do they are union jobs which take advantage of their people and misuse their funds for getting horrible officials like Pelosi, Reid, Boxer put back in office. We need jobs that small businesses create and Big Government to get out of our lives and stop spending on nonsense like global warming which exists only from the Sun. I am tired of people believing that road and bridge construction is going to give us out of this mess. But it is not these wasteful programs that and these sneaky czars behind closed doors that are working against the American people that is going to get things done. If we got rid of these czars and the additional IRS agents, killed the Obamacare bill we would save a lot of money there. The Obamacare bill is not killed is going to take us the rest of the way down. Taking care of the illegal immigrants is not going to help us either. It is only going to cost us more money to take care of those when we can’t even take care of ourselves.

  2. says

    “I suggest both political parties work together to create a Rebuild America Bond to raise private capital to build roads, bridges, schools, military hospitals, vets centers and other shared priorities.”

    Nice thought. It ain’t gonna happen. As long as the GOP remains in control of the extremists and half-wits who have hijacked it, the only thing you can expect is the continuation of our downward spiral as a nation.


    Tom Degan

  3. says

    ADDENDUM: Regarding partisanship, the 110th Congress began one of the blackest forms of partisanship with H.Res.6 in 2007. The Democrats will now have to live under the law they created. Republicans will not have to worry about partisan wrangling. They will just cease spending more one government than our GDP can afford.

  4. says

    In no way has any Congress ever pushed the the People in more debt than the 110th and 111th Congresses. We are nearing $14 trillion in debt and $5 trillion of that was added by the 110th & 111th Congresses.

    If spending brought prosperity, California would be near utopia rather than bankruptsy. The very title of today’s issue shows how far out of touch those calling themselves “progressive” can be.

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