One that would eliminate all private retirement accounts. This must be stopped.
A recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury and Labor Departments marked the beginning of the Obama Administration’s effort to nationalize the nation’s pension system and to eliminate private retirement accounts including IRA’s and 401k plans, NSC is warning.
The hearing, held in the Labor Department’s main auditorium, was monitored by NSC staff and featured a line up of left-wing activists including one representative of the AFL-CIO who advocated for more government regulation over private retirement accounts and even the establishment of government-sponsored annuities that would take the place of 401k plans.
“This hearing was set up to explore why Americans are not saving as much for their retirement as they could,” explains National Seniors Council National Director Robert Crone, “However, it is clear that this is the first step towards a government takeover. It feels just like the beginning of the debate over health care and we all know how that ended up.”
Such “reforms” would effectively end private retirement accounts in America, Crone warns. “These people want the government to require that ultimately all Americans buy these government annuities instead of saving or investing on their own. The Government could then take these trillions of dollars and redistribute it through this new national retirement system.”
Deputy Treasury Secretary J. Mark Iwry, who presided over the hearing, is a long-time critic of 401k plans because he believes they benefit the rich. He also appears to be one of the Administration’s point man on this issue.
“This whole issue is moving forward very quickly,” warns Crone. “Already there is a bill requiring all businesses to automatically enroll their employees in IRA plans in which part of every employee’s paycheck would be automatically deducted and deposited into this account. If this passes, the government will be just one step away from being able to confiscate all these retirement accounts.”
The Pension Rights Center has close ties to unions in the US and we know that unions are nothing but Marxist incubators:
A representative of the liberal Pension Rights Center, Rebecca Davis, testified that the government needs to get involved because 401k plans and IRAs are unfair to poor people. She demanded the Obama administration set up a “government-sponsored program administered by the PBGC (the governments’ Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation).” She proclaimed that even “private annuities are problematic.”
It is all outcome based thinking and not opportunity based. This is how Social Security got started. FDR recognized the limits of a government backed pension scheme in his statement upon signing the Act on August 14, 1935:
We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.
And he expressed a sentiment that we know today to be nothing short of a fantasy:
This law, too, represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete. It is a structure intended to lessen the force of possible future depressions. It will act as a protection to future Administrations against the necessity of going deeply into debt to furnish relief to the needy. The law will flatten out the peaks and valleys of deflation and of inflation. It is, in short, a law that will take care of human needs and at the same time provide for the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness.
FDR only foresaw 30 million people taking advantage of this plan:
This social security measure gives at least some protection to thirty millions of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, through old-age pensions and through increased services for the protection of children and the prevention of ill health.
Today we have 47 million on foodstamps alone, Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid now account for over 43% of the federal spend (I can’t say “budget” because we don’t have one) and in April of this year, for the first time since the Great Depression, 60% of American households were receiving more from the government than was being paid in:
For the first time since the Great Depression, households are receiving more income from the government than they are paying the government in taxes. The combination of more cash from various programs, called transfer payments, and lower taxes has been a double-barreled boost to consumers’ buying power, while also blowing a hole in the deficit. The 1930s offer a cautionary tale: The only other time government income support exceeded taxes paid was from 1931 to 1936. That trend reversed in 1936, after a recovery was underway, and the economy fell back into a second leg of recession during 1937 and 1938.
This is how we have lost liberty – not in massive bites but bit by bit over decade after decade. Not a flood but a constant drip until the bucket is full. A common tactic of the left is to pay this incremental game by only looking back a short period and saying “well, this is just a little more” or as Obama says about the “rich”:
“A modest tax increase on the wealthy is not going to break their backs,” he said. “They’ll still be wealthy.”
You can only conceptualize how far we have fallen by looking at the top of the cliff, not the rocks at the bottom. Look to history to understand what we have lost and whether it was worth it.
Past is truly prologue.