We all know that the current administration is harking back to the FDR's New Deal to justify its Keynesian intrusion into our economy. We are also aware that when it is pointed out that the New Deal was an abject failure to restart the American economy and that is was only with the advent of WWII that full employment was achieved, Obama supporters will often shoot back that the initial monies devoted to the New Deal was not enough and that is was the truly MASSIVE war spending the restored America to its financial supremacy. Thus the justification for enormous stimulus bill and the passing of the current budget and talk of more stimulus. I will agree with the Democrats judgment with only a few minor caveats:
1) We beef up our Armed Forces to the same relative levels they were in WWII. Out of a population of 140 Million, that was approximately 16 million men and women, or 11.5 % of the population. With current population of the US over 300 million, that means an armed forces of around 34.5 million. Talk about reducing the unemployment rate!
2) For the next 4 to 5 years or so we go about making sure every major industrial power in the world is turned into so-much burnt out debris so that for the next 25-30 years we have little or no economic competition (hey, we got to give our guys and gals in uniform something to do). I know, I know, people will die, but look on the bright side; All the dust and pollution in the air will reflect back those awful sunrays and cool down the Earth, right?
3) To support above said effort, we devote almost all of our industrial capacity towards making sure that our 34.5 million man Armed Forces are the best equipped military in the world. That also means major R&D into exotic technologies like nuclear fusion, anti-gravity, space based weapons, Anti-Obesity Drugs, etc. (Can you say "Manhattan Project"?) Solar and wind power will just have to wait.
4) During this 4-5 year period (aka "War"), we allow the government to set prices, wages, dictate profit margins, raise taxes on a progressive scale up to 90% on some people and tell practically everyone where they can or cannot work. But, best of all, the government gets to implement that great equalizer, RATIONING!! Yes sir! Nothing like total economic rationing to force people to save their money they earn from full employment and since they will have nothing to spend it on, we can get them to invest in OBAMA BONDS (aka "War Bonds"). I can see it now, all our Hollywood stars hawking them across the fruited plain. (My money is on Sean Penn to be our equivalent of Abbot and Costello and sell the most). Just to give you a taste of what rationing will sound like, give this a listen!
5) After the 4-5 period (aka "War"), the government gets to keep it's progressive tax rate up to the 90 percentiles, cause it won't really affect our working people until the world rebuilds again.
6) The only downside to this is that after our 30 year window of economic prosperity, Disco would make a comeback....
Of course, we could do just what Reagan did and reduce taxes on individuals and business and get the same result.