Cory Booker urges colleagues to include ‘baby bonds’ in budget deal

Booker’s baby bond plan is, on its surface, breed neutral. Each American child would receive $ 1,000 at birth, in an “American Opportunity Account” administered by the Department of the Treasury, and receive an additional annual deposit of up to $ 2,000 until the age of 18, in based on his family income.

Since black families are disproportionately poorer than white families, they would benefit more from the baby bond program. According to Federal Reserve data, white Americans owned about 84% of the country’s wealth in 2020, compared to 4% for black Americans, who make up more than 13% of the population. Although poverty rates have declined in recent years, they are still highest among black Americans, reaching nearly 19% in 2019, according to the Census Bureau. (The policy would also likely benefit Hispanic Americans of all races, who also have higher poverty rates and a lower share of the country’s wealth, and have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.)

The senators’ letter notes that “the disparities are the result of intentional policy making.” Black Americans still feel the economic effects of practices like housing discrimination and segregation. They were also largely excluded from social policies of the first half of the 20th century that helped improve economic prospects for white Americans, such as the New Deal and the GI Bill. This discrimination occurred after 250 years of slavery, which necessarily prevented the accumulation of wealth across generations.

“For decades federal, state and local policies have deprived blacks and brunettes of wealth and opportunity, and our tax code is massively skewed to reward the already rich. We have the opportunity to build a just economic recovery that resolves the economic injustices of the past and present and directs us towards an economic future that leaves no family behind, ”the letter said.

About Norma Wade

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