Monday, July 24, 2006

Old wine in a new bottle

That’s how Hotline On Call characterizes the Democratic Leadership Council’s buzzword-laden “American Dream” plan. Here are some of the quote-unquote specifics:

"cutting wasteful corporate subsidies"
"third party reporting of capital gains"
holding schools and students accountable
Provide incentives for savers
Tax credits to stimulate innovation
A "smart energy policy"
Greater accountability in corporate governance
A "home mortgage deduction for everyone"

Here’s one proposal with a number attached:

An American Dream grant that "rewards" states based on the number of students who graduate and attend college. It'll cost $150B over ten years.

Phi Beta Cons has already addressed the unintended consequences of this plan:

Obviously, this doesn't really keep costs down, but only spreads the costs around to federal taxpayers. It also creates the same kinds of incentives that states often create for K-12 funding — money depends not on educational results, but on the number of bodies. If this idea were to become law, we can expect more gimmicks to get weak students into college and to keep them there until graduation.
And, of course, here’s a favorite of mine:

Requiring every employer to open a retirement account for every worker

Why? Is there a problem with Social Security?

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