Editorial: Buy defense bonds; pay taxes too (5-1-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (May 1, 1941)


Defense bonds and savings stamps went on sale today. They offer an attractive investment as well as an opportunity to help the country.

The stamps will be sold in denominations as low as 10¢. When enough stamps are accumulated, they can be converted into bonds which will increase in value by one-third if held until the maturity date 10 years later. That is, $18.75 will buy a bond which can be cashed in for $25 10 years hence; $37.50 buys a $50 bond; $75 buys a $100 bond, and so on.

Most of us, and our children, will have need of all the bonds we can get when those 10 years have rolled past – if for no other purpose, to pay the taxes that will be levied to carry and retire the public debt. Commerce Secretary Jones estimates that the nation’s debt, now nearing $50 billion, may reach $90 billion before this defense emergency is over. All of us, or our children, will have to pay a share of that debt. The more prudent among us will try ro make sure that we, and our children, also own a share of it – so that we will have money to take out of one pocket and put into the other.

Meanwhile, to keep that ultimate debt as low as possible, and to reassure the buyers of defense stamps and bonds that they will be paid off in coin of comparable purchasing power, Congress ought to seek the maximum in additional revenue now through stiffer taxation. Even under the most expansive estimates of tax proposals pending, our government will be able to meet only two-thirds of expenditures out of current revenues. The suituation confronts Congress with a stern duty, and demands sacrifices from all citizens.


I didn’t know the drive for war bonds started this early. Has the U.S. ever had war/defense bonds after WWII?

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Not that I know of, unfortunately.