Hillary Clinton is making a play for the lower to middle income voters who pocketbooks and wallets have taken some serious hits from the Bush Administration. Her healthcare plan unveiled recently, will make a huge difference for those folks (myself included) who can’t afford healthcare and now Hillary’s got a plan to “create 401(k)-style retirement accounts for all Americans and provide federal matching money of up to $1,000 to middle-income people.”
Under the plan, the government would give a dollar-to-dollar match for the first $1,000 saved by Americans who earn up to $60,000 annually. For those who earn $60,000 to $100,000, the government would provide a 50 percent match, or $500 for the first $1,000 saved.
Mrs. Clinton said she would pay for the program by freezing the estate tax at its 2009 level of $7 million per couple. A campaign analysis of the plan said that the freeze would affect about 10,000 of “the wealthiest estates” in the United States and provide a new retirement savings systems for an estimated tens of millions of families.
Of course, Republicans on Congress will cry foul over the idea that this will have any effect on their coveted wealthy voters. It’s about damn time the trables were turned once again in this country and we got back to place where the average American is not feeling the pinch everytime they open their wallet. It’s hard enough for some folks just to get by and pay their bills, and luxuries, yes, luxuries like retirement accounts are a pipedream to many.
Hillary is on the track with this, as far as I am concerned. Like her universal health care plan, Hillary Clinton has “cast her savings proposal in terms of choice: If Americans like their 401(k) plans and other retirement accounts, they can keep those, while those who lack any savings plan will have a chance to start one with government help and save $5,000 a year on a tax-deferred basis.”
“Saving in the accounts will be easy — it should not require a Ph.D. to save for retirement,” Mrs. Clinton said.
The program, which Mrs. Clinton called “American Retirement Accounts,” would allow people to set up their accounts with any private provider “that offers diversified investment options and that includes as a default option, a passively managed lifecycle-type fund,” according to a campaign statement. Mrs. Clinton said she would press employers to let workers directly deposit a part of their income into the plans.
Mrs. Clinton said that Americans could also tap into the savings accounts to buy a home or pay for college, and that she was considering allowing workers to access the account “during tough times, like an illness or accident.”
Imagine that… a plan that would help people through the tough times. Why that’s just positively populist and quite against the grain of our current administration. Good for Hillary… she gets that American’s are struggling and she’s out to make a difference by offering choices that many will find appealing.
“Through the discipline of good planning and the miracle of compound interest, you should be able to build wealth for yourself,” Mrs. Clinton said.
“We’ve got a lot of workers — more than half in America right now — without any employer-based retirement system,” she added, noting that the number included about 770,000 workers in Iowa. “That maybe isn’t something you talk about with your neighbors, but that’s a lot of people right here in Webster City and across Iowa.”
Clinton’s speech on her plan, at Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa was well received as she “laid out an “economic blueprint” for the 21st century with a promise to return the country to the economic prosperity that marked her husband’s two terms as president.”
“I believe that middle class is the backbone of our economy, the key to real growth, and the guarantor of the American Dream,” Clinton said…
I believe she’s right and it’s time for the backbone of America’s economy to stand strong again. Clinton’s full plan is available here: A 401(k) Plan For All Americans.