America, You Asked For It!

Political News and Commentary from the Right

Saving for Retirement? Hand it over!

by Paul Hsieh at Pajamas Media

Uncle Sam wants your retirement money.

The Obama administration has just solicited public comment on their proposal to take money from Americans’ private 401(k) retirement accounts and convert it into government-backed annuities. In other words, they want to take your money now to purchase U.S. Treasury bonds, then pay you a monthly sum later after you’ve retired.

Although this proposal is being initially portrayed as a voluntary choice, Americans already have the ability to purchase Treasury bonds with their retirement money. Moreover, the Obama administration is considering making these annuities the default option. And as analyst Karl Denninger noted, “‘choices’ have a funny way of turning into mandates.” Nor is his concern unjustified.

In 2008, Professor Teresa Ghilarducci of the New School of Social Research testified before Congress proposing a similar scheme to convert private 401(k) accounts into government-run “guaranteed retirement accounts” that would pay a 3% return. And in 2008, the Argentinian government attempted to nationalize private retirement funds to help cover its runaway deficit.

As the U.S. Social Security system moves ever closer to bankruptcy, the billions of dollars Americans have saved in their private retirement accounts will become an increasingly tempting target for our politicians.

A government raid on private retirement funds wouldn’t necessarily take the form of outright confiscation. It could take the form of mandatory conversion into government accounts, where the government would determine how much money retirees could receive. Or it could take the form of, for example, a 40% surtax on disbursements from 401(k) balances over $1 million — on the grounds that it would only harm wealthy “millionaires.”

But regardless of the precise method employed, the basic principle would be the same: Your money would no longer be your money. Instead, the government would claim the right to redistribute your wealth to pay for others’ retirement on the grounds that they needed it more. In essence, the government would be implementing the Marxist principle: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”


February 25, 2010 Posted by | Obama | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something’s Got to Give

by Ken Connor at

This has been the “Summer of the Senior” in America.

While the health care debate has raged, senior citizens have been front and center at town hall events, challenging their representatives to explain how Obamacare will affect Medicare and pressing them to shoot straight about whether a “public option” will result in health care rationing or “comparative effectiveness” policies (what Sarah Palin has termed “death panels”).

In the midst of the turmoil, America’s seniors learned this week that, for the first time ever, they will not be receiving a cost-of-living adjustment to their monthly Social Security benefit. The reason for this is that the Social Security Administration bases its cost of living adjustments on inflation, and inflation has been negative this year. Nevertheless, many senior citizens are becoming anxious on news of a cut in their benefits. That anxiety is only a pale foreshadowing of what is yet to come.

According to the latest projections, Social Security will begin paying out more money than it collects in 2016 and will become totally insolvent in 2037. Medicare is estimated to go belly up in 2017?two years earlier than previously projected.


August 30, 2009 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , , | 1 Comment



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