Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Is It Breathing? Yes? Give It 500 Bucks!

California's power and water infrastructure, education system and highways are all in need of massive repair and improved management. But why should the state's managers -- those august electeds in Sacramento -- care about that when there are opportunities to fling money around willy-nilly?

Here's their latest brain-numbing idea:

California would give every newborn child a tax-free $500 savings account under legislation scheduled to be unveiled Wednesday.

The measure, Senate Bill 752, will be presented at a 1:30 p.m. news conference by state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

The bill is meant to persuade more families to invest for the future, beginning when their children are very young.

SB 752 estimates that state costs would total about $270 million.

The state's $500-per-baby investment would be seed money for a long-term, tax-free account that would encourage family contributions.

The account, called Kids Investment and Development Savings, or KIDS, is meant to grow until the child is 18 and could use the money for a house, education or retirement savings.(source)

The authors of this flight of legislative fantasy are a Dem, Darrell Steinberg, and a GOP, Bob Dutton. Maybe they think they'll nab the parent vote.

They've built in all kinds of financial penalties for parents who cash in the $500 and use it for, oh, I don't know ... meth. I suppose one or two will do that ... one or two million. A year.

And I'm sure your local meth head, gambling addict or, for that matter, hungry mom with hungry kids won't think about the tax consequences and the fact that they're supposed to pay back the state when they cash out the KIDS account.

I'm also sure they won't be worried about how much the state will pay to chase down and prosecute these KIDS criminals. But I am. And I wonder why Steinberg and Dutton aren't. Because it's not their money; it's our money? Maybe.

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