If you have been wise enough to save up for your retirement, Democrats believe that it’s “not fair” that some else hasn’t been as responsible and has no savings set aside. Even more than that: they believe that any money you may have put away doesn’t belong to you, anyway, since all property essentially belongs to the state. They therefore have no problem stealing your nest egg in order to make things more “fair” according to their utopian schemes.
Retirement is an American’s reasonable expectation. We put money into investment plans so that our work today funds our hard-earned leisure of tomorrow.
But many in Washington see our investment accounts not as the expressions of well-planned, disciplined decisions but as untapped reservoirs of wealth they can drain to fix the problems that they caused.
The tax protection that 401(k)s have now can be wiped out by grasping politicians who refuse to do what’s right, which is to severely cut spending.
The war on retirement, particularly 401(k)s, is quiet now. But that’s because it’s a cold war.
And like the postwar tensions between the East and West, it could erupt at any time into a hot war.
One group of retirement plan professionals is warning that the hostilities might be closer than many of us think. The American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries launched on Monday, according to Reuters, “a media campaign intended to educate U.S. employers and workers that the federal government might consider changing the tax benefits of retirement savings accounts.”
A website set up by the ASPPA advises account holders to tell lawmakers to “keep their hands off your retirement savings” and explains that “Congress needs to reduce the deficit, and part of deficit reduction will most likely be ‘tax reform’ that increases tax revenue” — the strong suggestion being that Washington is coming after Americans’ 401(k)s.
If the ASPPA were alone in issuing its warnings, it could be written off as the hyperbole of an isolated group. But Washington’s lust for Americans’ retirement investments is well documented.
President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, for instance, proposed lowering the cap on the amount workers could place in their 401(k)s without incurring taxes.
And nearly three years ago, Newt Gingrich and Peter Ferrara wrote on these pages about the Treasury and Labor departments “asking for public comment on ‘the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams.'”
“In plain English,” said Gingrich and Ferrara, “the idea is for the government to take your retirement savings in return for a promise to pay you some monthly benefit in your retirement years.”
That coffee can buried in the backyard is starting to look better and better.
Cross posted at ThoughtsFromAConservativeMom.com
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