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The Effect of the Current Ira Program on Federal Debt


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  • Frank Caliendo
  • W. Cris Lewis


This article analyzes the long-term impact of the current individual retirement account (IRA) program on government debt. The initial work on this subject was conducted by Feldstein (1995), who argued that the traditional IRA has a favorable long-term effect on government debt. Yet, absent from the literature is any formal extension of Feldstein’s model to include the Roth IRA. Using modeling techniques similar to Feldstein, the Roth IRA is shown to have a negative long-term effect on government debt. The model includes personal and corporate tax revenue collections, the cost of government debt, the source of Roth IRA saving, the payment source of the taxes paid on Roth contributions, and optimal investment strategies. Aconceptual, newtype of IRA is proposed as a replacement for the Roth IRA.

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Article provided by in its journal Public Finance Review.

Volume (Year): 32 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 331-351

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Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:32:y:2004:i:3:p:331-351

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