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The American Dream Accounts Act of 2012 would authorize grants aimed at helping low-income students prepare for college. But one education analyst says the measure would duplicate many services already being offered.

The proposed act is vague on how it would be structured and funded, although no federal funding would go toward the called-for savings accounts. Though he believes the legislation to be confusing and ill-defined, Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute says one thing is very clear.

“The one thing I can say definitively is that this is not something the federal government should be doing, that there’s no constitutional authority to do something like this, and that it appears to be redundant,” he explains. “I mean, we already have lots of student aid programs.”

The associate director of Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom says it is hard to conclude that the main goal of this legislation is not about political gain.

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