A candidate for lieutenant governor wants North Carolina to make an investment in its children, literally: $700 to every baby born in the state, to be plowed into mutual funds.

Using historic stock market returns as a guide, Jim Snyder (search) calculates the plan would give each child $450,000 by the time he or she turns 65.

The Republican unveiled the plan Tuesday, saying it could pay impressive dividends by helping eliminate poverty.

Snyder, who is trying to oust Democratic incumbent Beverly Perdue (search), said his plan would "literally provide financial security for every citizen in North Carolina."

Perdue campaign consultant Marc Farinella said Snyder's plan "does not make sense on the surface" and has "several fundamental problems."

Snyder had few details on how to pay for the plan and is misleading the public by not cautioning that even mild inflation and administrative costs would erode the investments, Farinella said.

Snyder said the plan would cost the state about $85 million for the 117,000 or so children born each year in North Carolina. He said he would cover the cost by eliminating waste and fraud in state government.

Snyder, a Lexington attorney, ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate two years ago.