"To those who say that our deficits are too high to invest in research and development, education and infrastructure that would allow America to compete in this increasingly global economy, I will simply point out that, had we listened to that same pessimistic argument seven decades ago, Americans would not be nearly as prosperous as we are today," said Holt in an editorial he penned for the Newark, N.J., Star-Ledger.

Holt broke down numbers claiming that U.S. deficit, which is currently around $15 trillion, was nearly “twice as large,” when calculated as a percentage of GDP, as it was in 1944 when the G.I. bill will enacted

“According to the Office of Management and Budget, America’s deficits were more than twice as large in the 1940s as they are today,” Holt wrote. “In 1943, the deficit was 30 percent of our economy’s size; in 1944, it was 23 percent. Today, it is less than 9 percent.” 

Holt warned that if the U.S. does not quickly increase spending, it could miss out on opportunities to create greater wealth for the future. 

“Americans could easily have said we could not afford the G.I. Bill and abandoned our future potential,” he wrote. “Instead, Congress passed the G.I. Bill. In today’s figures, the federal government spent — rather, invested — $115 billion on these G.I.s.”