$12,000: Childcare or college? Plus: Pre-k, retirement, health care and presidential tax plans

September 3, 2008 | Economic Opportunity Institute

Childcare: Unbelievable–In the latest data on the broken economics of child care, care for infants costs more than tuition at public four-year universities in 44 states.

Early Learning: In a recent Wall Street Journal article, the Reason Foundation’s Shika Dalmia and Lisa Snell argue that pre-k programs don’t work or, worse, actually harm kids. Dalmia and Snell have a point: Some pre-k advocates exaggerate the benefits of pre-k. But Dalmia and Snell commit the same sin by over-hyping the evidence against pre-k and conflating high-quality educational pre-k with ordinary daycare programs.

Retirement Plans: Hard economic times are driving some people to begin raiding their retirement plans to take care of immediate needs such as paying down debt and medical bills, staving off foreclosure, or simply covering higher food and fuel prices.

The Rules of Retirement Plans: There’s some sentiment that a government rule that forces retirees to withdraw money from their IRA and 401(k) accounts when they turn 70 1/2 may need to be changed. That’s because people are living longer and need to keep as much of their retirement money for as long as possible, said several financial advisers and a leader of the Senate Finance Committee.

Health Care: The Apple Health Bus is currently touring the state, offering health care to uninsured children and educating parents on the state-sponsored health coverage.

Executive Tax Plans: Check out the Tax Policy Foundation’s Presidential Tax Plan Comparison to find out where the candidates stand on important tax issues.

Cause for Concern: The middle class is disgruntled with the direction of the country and politicians and see little coming out of Washington that would give them cause for optimism.

Pensions beat 401(k)s: A new report by the National Institute on Retirement Security shows how traditional defined benefit pensions are more cost-efficient, delivering the same retirement benefits at 46% lower cost to taxpayers than 401(k)-style defined contribution accounts.

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Posted in Early Learning, Education, Health Care, Retirement Security, Social Security, Work & Family

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