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Personal Saving in America: The Role of Government Incentives

March 1, 2004  • Institute Contributor

What is the role of government in helping more Americans save more money? The Institute’s Initiative on Financial Security put this question to policy and business leaders with four members of Congress on Capitol Hill in March 2004. Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) asked how, if tax credits often drive saving, policy can support workers whose tax liabilities are too low to yield benefits. Representative George Miller (D-CA) questioned basic assumptions – whether current policies push individuals to save or to consume. Representative Rob Portman (R-OH) spoke of “an impending crisis,” warning, “We need to do something right now about retirement,” while Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) urged that employers need better ways to help their employees save.