Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Katie Baird Writes Opinion on Child Savings Accounts for The Seattle Times

Posted: 3/11/2019 (CSDE Research)

According to CSDE Affiliate Katie Baird, Professor of Economics and Division Chair for Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at University of Washington – Tacoma, a striking feature of the growing income gap between generations is that state and federal policy does much less than it could to address it. While spending on Social Security and Medicare keeps rising, investment in education and child care languishes. In a few years, the US will be spending more on repaying federal debt than investing in children and youth. This backdrop helps make the case for House Bill 1592 and Senate Bill 5704, establishing Child Savings Accounts (CSA) for low-income children and currently under consideration by the Washington Legislature.

If passed, Washington would join four other states with statewide CSAs. These programs use public funds to set up savings accounts for children, which over time grow from both private and public investments into them. Once children become adults, they can use their CSA to finance college or make other longer-term investments in their future. “By themselves, Child Savings Accounts will not make the economic challenges facing today‚Äôs young adults vanish, nor rebalance the priorities reflected in our federal budget. But they represent an overdue step in the right direction.”

 

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