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Are the Feds Trying to Nationalize Your Retirement Savings?

From Power Line:

For some time, there have been rumblings that the federal government might try to solve its budgetary problems by nationalizing (i.e., stealing) the money that millions of Americans have set aside for retirement in 401(k) plans and the like. One way they might do this is to confiscate the cash on hand in exchange for a promise to make future payments in the form of an “annuity.” An involuntary annuity, in that scenario.

I haven’t taken this speculation too seriously, mostly because the core of the Democratic Party consists of lawyers, and a lawyer’s most precious possession is his 401(k) account. One of those who have taken the threat more seriously is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who co-authored a letter warning the Obama administration against any attempt to confiscate Americans’ retirement savings. You can read the letter here. It says, in part:

In the Annual Report of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, Vice President Biden discussed at length the creation of so-called “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs)” which would provide protection from “inflation and market risk” and potentially “guarantee a specified real return above the rate of inflation” — presumably at taxpayer expense. …

The Vice President’s comments are troubling, insofar as they come on the heels of testimony before Congress from supporters of GRAs proposing to eliminate the favorable tax treatment currently afforded to 401(k) plans, and instead use those dollars to fund government-invested GRAs into which all employees would be required to contribute a portion of their salary — again, with a government subsidy. These advocates would, essentially, dismantle the present private-sector 401(k) system, replacing it instead with a government-run investment plan, the size and scope of which remain to be seen.

Read the rest at Power Line.


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