March 1, 2007


Bill would give all newborns in California a $500 savings account (DON THOMPSON, Feb 28 2007,

Every child born in California would get a $500 savings account to start building a nest egg for college or down payment for a home, under a bipartisan bill introduced Wednesday in the state Senate.

The proposal would cost taxpayers about $285 million a year.

A similar program has increased savings in Great Britain since 2002, but California would be the first state in the nation to enact it, said David Lesher, California program director for the nonprofit New America Foundation, based in Washington, D.C. A national savings program has been pending in Congress since 2005.

Under the bill, every child born in California after Jan. 1, 2008, would receive the money, regardless of their parents' income or immigration status. Recipients would repay the state's initial $500 investment once they turn 18.

The money may be used for three purposes: college or continuing education, a down payment on a home or a retirement account.

"This is the essence of equal opportunity. Every child, every person ought to get a head start," said Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, who introduced the bill with Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

They ought to be even more generous--the pay-off down the road is transformational.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 1, 2007 5:14 PM

Will they be able to invest in Cattle Futures?

Posted by: JR at March 1, 2007 7:35 PM

Tomfollery at its best.

Posted by: erp at March 2, 2007 7:58 AM

"A similar program has increased savings in Great Britain since 2002"

Not sure about this. What children actually get is a voucher saying that the government will give them money at some future date. They can't actually get the money itself for many years (age 18 or something).

And many people guess that by then the government will have found some way of not actually paying out; or paying out in grossly discounted currency; or at least only paying out to the very poor, possibly plus a few of their favourite client groups.

So the savings that have increased are a bit paper-based, in fact, and the usual caveats about fiat money apply, big-time.

Posted by: andrew duffin at March 6, 2007 7:57 AM