NPR logo Give US The Money

Give US The Money

Of all the counter-proposals for government action, the one that caught my eye the most was Alex Tabarrok's idea to dramatically transform the amount of savings in the U.S. economy.

I suggest that for the next 12 months contributions to an IRA account will never be taxed. We can modify this in various ways to cap contributions at a certain level etc. We can even make the proposal progressive — for the next 12 months contributions to an IRA account will never be taxed and the government will match $1 for every $10 saved for anyone with income below a certain threshold. The main idea is to increase savings.

It seems to appeal to the left: give the money to everyone, especially the poor, and not to Wall Street.

It should appeal to the right: it is government intervention, but is more market-based (if the world's most massive financial bailout can be called market-based in any way).

It would likely ensure ample credit for people and companies and would encourage growth in parts of the economy not directly connected to housing.

it would allow the banks that made bad decisions to bear the full weight of their risk taking and to suffer the consequences of owning toxic assets. But it would sure up the system to prevent systemic failure.

Any objections?

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.