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Democratic senator proposes $1,000 account for every child at birth, paid for by tax increases

Sen. Cory Booker introduced a bill that would give every child a federally-funded, interest-bearing savings account at birth. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) wants to give all children $1,000 in federal money at birth to combat economic inequality, and Monday he introduced a bill to do just that, according to The Hill.

Booker's bill calls for an aggressive and expensive attempt to close the gap between America's richest and poorest citizens, and would be funded by tax increases.

"There needs to be a new birthright in our country -- universal 'opportunity accounts' that give EVERY single American kid a shot at the American Dream," Booker tweeted. "Everyone deserves economic opportunity -- not just the 1%."

What's the plan?

Booker is one of a handful of Democrats many believe will run for the presidential nomination in 2020, and some of those high profile politicians are jockeying for position with lofty policy ideas.

Here's how Booker's "opportunity accounts" would work:

  • The federal government gives every child a $1,000 savings account at birth
  • The government could pay up to $2,000 in additional funds to the child per year based on family income
  • The government would invest the funds in a low-risk account with approximately 3 percent annual returns
  • After age 18, the money can be accessed and used for certain things, like homeownership or education costs

According to Booker's estimate, the maximum a child could get from this account would be $46,215 by age 18. Children in the highest tax bracket would have $1,681 when they turn 18.

Who is paying for this?

According to The Hill, a Booker aide said the program would cost about $60 billion, with funding coming from increases in the capital gains tax rate and the estate tax.

"Everyone in America should have a real shot to succeed, but federal policy over decades and an upside down tax code that heaps benefits on the very rich and big corporations have grown the gap between those who have much and those who have little," Booker said in a statement."

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