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Asset Building Program

Archives: Asset Building Program Policy Papers

Investing in Children

  • By
  • Terri Friedline,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Nik Schuetz, University of Kansas' School of Social Welfare
June 24, 2014
Properly designed and integrated Child Development Accounts (CDAs) can have lasting, positive effects on children's educational development and can improve their long-term economic outcomes.

Children's Savings Accounts

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • Rachel Black,
  • Justin King,
  • New America Foundation
June 18, 2014
The American Dream is built upon the enduring values of equal opportunity and personal responsibility. Ensuring that this dream remains attainable depends upon America being able to promote these values among rising generations. Research and experience in the field consistently supports the thesis that children's savings accounts (CSAs) can provide a vehicle to support these objectives.

Solving the Retirement Puzzle

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • Justin King,
  • Elliot Schreur,
  • Aleta Sprague,
  • New America Foundation
May 12, 2014
The growing recognition that millions of Americans are ill-prepared for retirement has prompted a number of state and federal policy proposals to promote retirement security. Yet even the most promising proposals fail to acknowledge a prerequisite to sustaining long-term savings: access to flexible resources that can be tapped in an emergency or can support productive investments that can pay off over the long haul.

Rebalancing the Scales

  • By
  • Rachel Black,
  • New America Foundation
March 19, 2014
The 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty naturally prompts reflection on how much progress has been made and how to chart a path forward. While there is a marked divergence in the diagnosis of poverty’s roots and the policy prescriptions necessary to address them, a consensus is emerging that new efforts are needed to promote opportunity, economic mobility and to ensure that the American Dream remains attainable.
 

The Financial Health Check

  • By Antoinette Schoar, MIT, and Piyush Tantia, ideas42
March 3, 2014
Managing day-to-day finances is about as complex as changing the oil in a car – with some skill and instruction we can manage it, but there’s a good chance we’ll wind up with a big mess of black gunk everywhere. For the messy task of changing oil, most of us choose to hire a trained specialist like a mechanic at Jiffy Lube. For the essential task of managing finances, many of us choose to hire financial services specialists, though most of the time they only serve the wealthy.

Connecting Tax Time to Financial Security

  • By
  • Rachel Black,
  • Elliot Schreur,
  • New America Foundation
February 25, 2014
The ability to accumulate and access savings is a fundamental determinant of economic security for many families, especially those with low incomes and limited resources. Since every family’s circumstance is different, so too are their savings needs, which can range both in time horizon and flexibility of purpose. Current federal policy favors longer-term, targeted purposes, such as savings for retirement, leaving a void in policy supports for households whose savings needs are more immediate.

Asset-Oriented Rental Assistance

  • By
  • Hannah Emple,
  • New America Foundation
December 5, 2013
Federally funded rental assistance programs in the U.S. address housing-related hardship for participants, but are unable to reach a majority of eligible households due to current funding levels. Given existing funding constraints, there are benefits to expanding programs and policies that help families move up the economic ladder, thus freeing up resources to assist more eligible families.

Designing California's Secure Choice Savings Program

  • By
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • Reid Cramer,
  • Aleta Sprague,
  • New America Foundation
November 25, 2013
Increasing access to retirement savings plans and creating incentives for low- and moderate-income workers to participate is a cornerstone of a policy agenda that democratizes asset building opportunities. Previously, we have authored a series of policy papers, issue briefs, and published testimony about automatic IRAs, universal 401(k)s, and the role of the tax code in creating inequitable subsidies for retirement savings.

Ohio’s Tax Time Coalition

  • By
  • David Rothstein,
  • New America Foundation
November 22, 2013
Throughout the country, a network of over 4,300 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites helps over 1.2 million low-income taxpayers file their taxes for free each year. Organized through IRS grants, the sites not only help low-income Americans file their taxes, but also to take advantage of important tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For more than six years, the Ohio Tax Time Coalition (formerly the Franklin County EITC Coalition) has served the Columbus metro area as one of these sites.

Personal Savings and Tax Reform

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • Elliot Schreur,
  • New America Foundation
July 22, 2013

The tax code is riddled with inequities, especially for families with lower incomes and fewer resources. While some low-income households benefit from refundable credits provided in the tax code such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, many more are categorically excluded from benefiting from valuable tax incentives. The nearly 70 percent of Americans that do not itemize on their tax returns cannot access a range of valuable benefits, deductions, and write-offs that amount to huge tax-saving benefits to higher-income households.

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