New Orleans Senator Charles Schumer from New York actually has a good plan which would substantially build citizen wealth: having the government give every child a $500 saving account at birth, matching it along the way with individual savings, and making it tax-free, so that at maturity, there would be a real increase in individual assets.
Unfortunately this may be more press release than plan. Estimates indicate such a plan could cost $2 billion a year for the 4 million babies born annually in America. Schumer has not lined up either votes or a tax stream to support the program.
All of which is too bad, because this would be one of those rare programs that actually created real wealth, particularly for lower income and working families. Statistics cited in my new book, Citizen Wealth, also establish that such incentives actually work to achieve income reduction in the same ways that savings diverted from income tax refunds have also spurred savings.
Let’s move from press release to plan on this one and make a difference.