OUR VIEW: Sessions’ plan makes sense but is bad policy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 21, 2007

To be honest, we are trying to figure out exactly what part of Sen.

Jeff Sessions’ savings plan qualifies it as a fiscally conservative

piece of government policy.

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For certain, what Sessions proposes makes good economic sense for

individuals. People would be wise to place 1 percent of their annual

earnings into a savings account. Being able to do so in an account

that is free of taxes and cannot be used by the federal government

for any other purpose would be even better.

However, for the government to tell an individual how they are to

manage their finances is an intrusion we cannot afford. If the

government wants to spend our money, then they can tax us. If they

want to put it away in savings, then they can increase Social

Security requirements. But to require that individuals invest a

specific amount of money seems to us to be a drastic infringement on

individual rights.

Sessions is an idealogue conservative who favors less government &045;

save when it comes to regulating society’s social norms. Furthermore,

he passes himself off as a fiscal conservative. How, then, can this

come from him?

Certain specifics of the plan, which have not been formally

introduced, are also worrisome. It would allow individuals to

increase their tax-free contributions if they so desire. That’s one

heck of a tax shelter for wealthier folks, which means a decrease in

tax revenues our government can use to fund necessary programs.

Not to mention, the money is tied up in an account until the person

turns 65. What of an emergency? What happens at death? What about the

poor who live hand-to-mouth and who can’t afford that 1 percent?

We might favor an elective program with a low investment cap, but not