Coming Soon: $500 for Every Newborn?

Congress wants to give every baby a $500 trust fund at birth. They call it ASPIRE (“America Saving for Personal Investment, Retirement, and Education”) Act.

Over the first decade of its life, ASPIRE would cost around $37.5 billion, and would start at around $3.25 billion per year.

Recipients could the money once they were older to pay for education, a first home, or retirement. Low-income children would receive additional funding. Of course, we have to be progressive. Why?

Well, let’s look at Britain. Since September 2002, children born in the socialist United Kingdom have received a $500 savings account. Three quarter of the recipients have never added another dime to the account.

Other savings systems, such as 529 accounts for college savings, depend on parents opening the accounts and making deposits. Low-income parents can’t be counted on to add to ASPIRE so the government has to do it for them.

Also, keep in mind that the “rich” are already receiving benefits. According to University of Michigan professor Michael Sherraden, two thirds of retirement tax benefits go to households that earn incomes of $100,000 and higher. Policies that encourage homeownership, such as tax deductions on interest payments, similarly benefit those who can already afford to purchase homes.

This stupid idea would simply create another costly entitlement program. Writing for the Portland-based think tank Cascade Policy Institute, policy analyst Sreya Sarkar says the program would provide benefits to one generation by taxing another.


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