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Will Someone Please Explain the Meaning of "War Bond" to Ben Nelson?

The Nebraska senator seems to think they're the equivalent of free money. They're not.
 
 
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BEN'S BONDS.... I assume someone will get around to explaining the policy to him eventually.

The United States would begin financing its military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan with war bonds under new legislation introduced Tuesday.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) unveiled the "United States War Bonds Act of 2009" early this afternoon, which would authorize the Treasury Department to begin selling bonds to fund the wars.

The bonds, Nelson said, would be purposed with helping to pay for the military efforts, in particular the surge of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, without having to resort to the "war surtax" that has been discussed by some liberals in the House and Senate.

John Cole asked, "He really does not understand that all of our debt is structured through bond sales and the like, does he?"

No, I don't think he does.

Alex Koppelman's explanation was nice and simple: "The problem with this logic is that bonds -- even war bonds -- aren't free money. At some point, those who invested expect to be paid back, and with interest. In order to accomplish that, the government has to use money it gets from ... well, from tax dollars."

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal . His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."

 
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