"This is the Army" Playbill

The US federal budget increased from about 10% of GDP at the start of the war to over 40% in 1944 and 1945. Any government that spends $4 out of every $10 of value generated by the economy had better justify it. Uncle Sam did so in spades with a propaganda program that asserted in prose, verse, song and illustration the virtues of Americans and their government.

Some of the government’s efforts fell flat but others can still bring a tear to the eye or a quiver to the heart. Overall, the campaign successfully met its goals. Despite unprecedented government involvement in the economy, civil unrest was muted, with nothing like the draft riots of the Civil War or the labor unrest of World War I. Most Americans accepted their draft assignments if they had not already volunteered, paid their taxes, bought war bonds and supported the rationing system.