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Ray wrote:
<<Maybe so. But I wonder how many people are (a) eligible for a fully deductible IRA and (b) are able to afford it. I suspect that most people who are not covered by some kind of employer plan are also paid poorly enough so that they can't afford to contribute to any kind of IRA, Roth or regular. Certainly there are some, but AFAIK this is only a very small percentage of people. >>

Ray:
<< But I wonder how many people are (a) eligible for a fully deductible IRA >>
Well over half.
In 1998 the limit for full deductibility for a couple is $50K, well over the $42K median household income. In addition many couples with higher incomes will be able to deduct a spousal IRA because the primary breadwinners pension plan no longer taints the spouse.

<<(b) are able to afford it.>>
IMHO, almost all of the above.

However, many people choose not to fund the IRA. In 1996 the IRS reports 3.9 million tax returns deducted about $7.7 billion. This is 3.5% of tax returns.
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