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October 04, 2007

Cato-at-liberty » Clinton’s $5,000 Baby Giveaway

(What, more on the dumb baby bond idea?)

I think Hillary Clinton's baby bond is a bad idea, and on this the libertarian Cato Institute and I agree (this is about the only thing other than Bush's impeachable offenses against the constitution we agree on), but we part ways quickly on solutions.  Their solution is a non-solution:

Re: Cato-at-liberty » Clinton’s $5,000 Baby Giveaway:

To boost savings, we should eliminate current government tax hurdles through universal, all-purpose, tax-free savings accounts.

The root failure of so many free-market fundamentalists is shown in this tiny example: “universal, all-purpose, tax-free savings accounts.”  That solution, like mandating health insurance purchases, only works for those who already have a fair amount of money; it doesn't help the poor at all.  Now, I am all for systems that help middle class upward mobility, but let's not let this obscure the need for upward mobility out of being poor.

What free-market fundamentalists forget is that being poor means not having any money -- to spend or to save.

Just as conservative supply-siders forget that being rich means you already spend as much as you want and don't need tax cuts to encourage it.

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