Richard Stengel proposed the idea in a Time magazine article a few weeks ago:
Every time an American baby is born, the Federal Government would invest $5,000 in that child’s name in a 529-type fund – the kind many Americans are already using for college savings. At a rate of return of 7% – the historic return for equities – that money would total roughly $19,000 by the time that baby reaches age 20. That money could be accessed between the ages of 18 and 25 on one condition: that he or she commits to at least one year of national or military service. Like the old GI Bill, the money must be used to fund education, start a business or make a down payment on a home. The bond would preserve the voluntary nature of the service but offer a strong incentive for young people to sign up for it. Says City Year CEO and co-founder Michael Brown: “It’s a new kind of government philosophy about reciprocity. If you invest in your country, your country will invest in you.”
In her speech today, Clinton didn’t mention whether she would impose a national service requirement.