IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) were a good idea that should never have been tampered with.
We are glad to see the U.S. Senate is trying hard to undo the damage.
IRAs gave Americans one of the best means ever devised to plan for their futures.
Why, then, did the Congress place restrictions on IRAs in the 1986 tax "reform" legislation?
We think that, in seeking ways to close tax loopholes, [members of Congress] tried too hard to boost revenue at the expense of economic vitality. Savings boost investments, which in turn boost payrolls and profits, and, ultimately, the amounts paid in taxes.
The American economy, involving public and private sectors, is an interlocking system in which gains from one sector are almost always reflected in the other.
The new legislation even adds some improvements.
For example, it would allow penalty-free withdrawals from IRA accounts for such things as college educations, enormous medical expenses and down payments on first homes.
We think the measure would be good for just about everybody, including the government, and we hope it is passed by Congress.