Coming Soon: $500 for Every Newborn?

Proposed legislation would start every American on a path toward savings.


Could this really become law in the United States sometime soon?

Lawmakers are expected to reintroduce the ASPIRE Act before the end of the year, and it already enjoys bipartisan support. The main challenge for supporters will most likely be over how to justify the cost at a time of great budget deficits and competing demands for federal dollars. Critics argue that the program 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.

How would this program be paid for?

Over the first decade of its life, the program would cost around $37.5 billion, and would start at around $3.25 billion per year. Cramer argues that because the money would be invested through the savings account, it would help spur economic growth. Lawmakers sponsoring the bill have said they would pay for it by making other cuts, but the bill doesn't specify what those cuts would be.