Scott Brown claims to have a fiscally responsible plan to pay for unemployment benefits. In fact it's a money-losing gimmick that provides a windfall to the rich:
The senator has argued that “we need to stop borrowing against our children and grandchildren’s future and start paying for things.” Nevertheless, in proposing his own stimulus legislation this week, he included a gimmick that, while offsetting some costs in the short term, would make the deficit worse over the long term.
Here’s how it would work:
Americans could roll over their 401(k) balances into “Roth” accounts. Taxpayers would pay tax up front on the rollover funds but, in the future, all of the earnings on these funds would be completely tax-free. Moreover, “Roth” accounts have very permissive distribution rules and, unlike regular IRA accounts, Roth account holders do not have to make withdrawals when they reach age 70½. As a result, the rollover option would give affluent people a way to shelter years of investment earnings and then pass the accumulated funds to their heirs.
Because those who made this rollover would pay taxes on the funds up front, the Joint Tax Committee estimates that the proposal would raise $5 billion over the next 10 years. The provision, however, would cost the federal government much more after that. The Joint Tax Committee does not estimate the revenue effects of proposals beyond 10 years, but the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has previously analyzed similar Roth IRA rollover gimmicks and found that, on a net present value basis, the federal government would lose $2 tomorrow for every $1 raised today.