From: The Honorable Matt Cartwright
Sent By:
stephen.coffey@mail.house.gov

Date: 2/1/2017

Protect the Paper Savings Bond

Cosponsor the SAVINGS Act Today!

 

 

Supporting Organizations: Doorways to Dreams Fund, American Forest & Paper Association, Aspen Institute, Maryland CASH Campaign, Baltimore CASH Campaign, Rural Dynamics, National League of Cities, Michigan Economic Impact Coalition, Nehemiah
Gateway, Corporation for Enterprise Development, Consumers for Paper Options

 

115th Cosponsors (5): Cummings, Ellison, Lynn Jenkins, Neal, Tsongas

114th Cosponsors (26): Benishek, Brownley, Capuano, Cummings, Ellison, Engel, Fattah, Hinojosa, Huffman, Jackson Lee,
Lynn Jenkins, Jones, Kaptur, Kilmer, Lee, Lipinski, Meehan, Neal, Nolan, Poliquin,
Schakowsky, Serrano, Tonko, Tsongas, Watson Coleman, Webster

 

Dear Colleague,

American’s are struggling to support their families and save for their future. According to a recent report, the majority of American families are “Savings-limited” – meaning they can replace less than one month of their income through liquid savings.  According
to a recent study from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the typical household at the bottom of the income ladder has the equivalent of less than two weeks’ worth of income in checking and savings accounts and cash at home.  The financial fragility of Americans harms
our economy and, according the National Review, is one of our country’s top domestic policy priorities. However, through the Savings Bond program, we have a critical savings product that serves small and new savers.  No financial vehicle is more patriotic
than the savings bond and since 1935 millions of Americans have saved and invested in America through the purchase of savings bonds.

 

Unfortunately, the Treasury Department has chipped away at the savings bond program – eliminating its marketing budget, and eliminating a successful program that allowed employees to buy savings bonds through payroll deductions.  Currently the only way individuals
can purchase paper bonds is through the Treasury’s Tax-Time Savings Bond Program which allows individuals to use a portion of their federal tax refund to purchase bonds.

 

For those Americans who do not have a bank account or those without access to the internet, paper savings bonds provide a critical savings opportunity that does not exist through other financial products.  For millions of Americans struggling to put away
a little money during these tough economic times, tax refunds present a “savable moment” where money can be set aside to meet future financial needs.  Taking just $50 or $100 to buy a savings bond can help kick-start long-term savings goals and help families
prepare for financial emergencies.

 

Treasury has committed to maintain the Tax-Time Savings Bond Program through the 2015 tax season but not beyond.  Should it discontinue the program, Americans will only be able to buy their savings bonds online. This would in turn cut off savings bond access
to the approximately 25 percent of Americans who lack home internet access, and the nearly 10 million Americans who do not have a bank account.  When families do not have access to their own savings, they have to rely on social networks and government programs
to help them through financial hiccups and crisis.

 

Over the past four years more than 130,000 tax filers have purchased U.S. Savings bonds, accumulating more than $70 million in savings for themselves and their loved ones.  In addition, 25 percent of the 2010 bond buyers bought again in 2011 and 2012, indicating
the emergence of a savings habit.  Low-income filers have especially benefited from the Tax-Time Savings Bond Program.  In the 2013 tax season, Earned Income Tax Credit recipients constituted 29 percent of bond buyers.

 

The Save Access to a Valuable Investment Needed to Generate Savings (SAVINGS) Act would prohibit Treasury from discontinuing the Tax-Time Savings Bond Program unless the Department implements a universally accessible non-electronic alternative.

 

Savings bonds are truly a universal product.  Where else can someone invest as little as $50 in a virtually risk-free, inflation-protected, giftable, and fee-free product with returns that often exceed the meager interest on savings accounts?  The Tax-Time
Savings Bond Program provides the chance for all Americans to save not just for themselves but for their children.  Cosponsor the SAVINGS Act and protect the ability of tens of millions of Americans to save and invest in their future.

 

For more information, or to become a cosponsor, please contact Stephen Coffey at x55546 or Stephen.Coffey@mail.house.gov.

 

Sincerely,

 

Matt Cartwright

Member of Congress