Tonight during his 5th State of the Union, President Obama proposed a new tool that would make it easier for American’s save for their retirement. But, because of it’s fairly unfortunate name and President Obama’s uneasiness in saying it, the piece of executive action may turn out to be a bit of a joke.
Here is what you need to know about MyRA:
1. MyRA are Savings Bonds
As the president proposed the idea, MyRA would be saving bonds that Americans could purchase and would encourage them to create a “nest egg” for their retirements with no risk.
2. It was Proposed at the State of the Union
The idea of MyRA was unveiled at the State of the Union, The president said in his address:
Let’s do more to help Americans save for retirement. Today, most workers don’t have a pension. A Social Security check often isn’t enough on its own. And while the stock market has doubled over the last five years, that doesn’t help folks who don’t have 401ks. That’s why, tomorrow, I will direct the Treasury to create a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings: MyRA. It’s a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg. MyRA guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in. And if this Congress wants to help, work with me to fix an upside-down tax code that gives big tax breaks to help the wealthy save, but does little to nothing for middle-class Americans. Offer every American access to an automatic IRA on the job, so they can save at work just like everyone in this chamber can. And since the most important investment many families make is their home, send me legislation that protects taxpayers from footing the bill for a housing crisis ever again, and keeps the dream of homeownership alive for future generations of Americans.
3. People are Confused as to How to Pronounce it
MyRA, which the president pronounced like My-R-A, was confused by news outlets just minutes after the State of the Union had ended. Fox News pronounced the name of the program as if it were the woman’s name Myra.
4. It’s Already Spurring Memes
— Red Alert Politics (@RedAlert) January 29, 2014
Twitter erupted almost instantly with jokes about MyRA relating it to college residential advisors. Below are some of the best:
— Tamar Fox (@Tefox) January 29, 2014
#MyRA was a super nice gay due who smoked a lot of pot with his freshmen.
— Daniel Foster (@DanFosterType) January 29, 2014
#MyRA kept breaking up our dorm parties.
— Bill Hammond (@NYDNHammond) January 29, 2014
5. It Was Part of a Larger Proposal to Correct Wealth Inequality
Tonight’s MyRA rollout came with Barack Obama’s new plan to combat economic equality. His emphasis on the economy sparked some of the only plans of the evening including raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 and aiding a struggling education system.