I'm a fan of Ann Barnhardt. She's undeniably courageous and properly morally centered. She founds her arguments on objective evidence: events that have taken place in plain sight. She minces no words about her views, with the consequence that there can never be any doubt about where she stands or how she got there. All the same, some of her recommendations have been hard for me to follow, possibly because they've involved learning to distrust institutions I've trusted for decades.
One of those recommendations, perhaps the most difficult of all for anyone to follow, is to get completely out of dollar-denominated investment vehicles, including any in a tax-deferred account such as an IRA or a 401(k). The difficulties are twofold:
- Many 401(k) plans involve a matching contribution by one's employer, which employees are understandably reluctant to surrender.
- The tax bite on a significant withdrawal from an IRA or 401(k) account can be quite severe, especially if one is under the age limit and/or is still earning a significant income.
The latter consideration has paralyzed a lot of us who see things as Miss Barnhardt does. Consider: If you have $500,000 in a 401(k) account and are currently in the 35% federal tax bracket, you're guaranteed to lose more than $175,000 if you pull it all out at once. More, because there's now another, higher tax bracket above 35% -- thanks, gutless GOP Congressvermin -- and because of state and municipal income taxes, for those unlucky enough to be subject to them. $325,000 might be the actual, realizable value of that half-million in the account, but it looks like a lot less. That's enough to bring many of us to a screeching halt.
Trying to find sound information on whether or not the U.S. Government wants to manage your private 401(k) and IRA accounts has not been easy to verify. I heard Eric Bolling and Gerri Willis talking about it today with Bolling sitting in for Neal Cavuto – so decided to see what’s new in the Cold War between the U.S. Private Sector and Union Pensions. The government’s story is that they want retirees better protected. Those paying attention see the 401(k) and IRA grab as a way to bail out public sector union pensions.
I find not much is new but am reminded of several startling past events, and warnings to be ready for an assault because it is coming. Note comments by Newt Gingrich below saying Treasury and Labor have already asked for public comment on ‘the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams,” and Obama’s Latina double, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, president of Argentina.
The article provides several linked citations about probes at the IRA / 401(k) system. Consider, as an example of the worst of them, this article about a hearing about the IRA / 401(k) accounts' "unfairness to poor people:"
The hearing, held in the Labor Department’s main auditorium, was monitored by [National Seniors Council] 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."
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."...
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....
[National Seniors Council National Director Robert Crone:] "This effort ultimately is designed to grab the retirement nest eggs of America’s senior citizens. This new government annuity scheme, even if it is at first optional, will turn into a giant effort to redistribute the wealth of America’s older citizens," explains Crone. "This scheme mirrors what I expect the President will try to do with Social Security. He wants to turn that program into a welfare program, too."
This isn't just scare-mongering, according to Human Events:
In February , the White House released its “Annual Report on the Middle Class” containing new regulations favored by Big Labor including a bailout of critically underfunded union pension plans through “retirement security” options.
The radical solution most favored by Big Labor is the seizure of private 401(k) plans for government disbursement — which lets them off the hook for their collapsing retirement scheme. And, of course, the Obama administration is eager to accommodate their buddies.
Vice President Joe Biden floated the idea, called “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts” (GRAs), in the February “Middle Class” report.
In conjunction with the report’s release, the Obama administration jointly issued through the Departments of Labor and Treasury a “Request for Information” regarding the “annuitization” of 401(k) plans through “Lifetime Income Options” in the form of a notice to the public of proposed issuance of rules and regulations.
In pondering the threat level posed by such thrusts, please bear in mind, that the Supreme Court has already ruled that though your payroll taxes into the Social Security and Medicare systems are obligatory under the law, the federal government has no obligation to pay you one damned cent, nor to make any particular level of treatment available to you.
Eventually we do have a problem. That the population is getting older, health care costs are rising…there is this question of how we’re going to pay for the programs. The year 2025, the year 2030, something is going to have to give…. …. We’re going to need more revenue…Surely it will require some sort of middle class taxes as well.. We won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society will want without some increase in taxes… on the middle class, maybe a value added tax…And we’re also going to have to make decisions about health care, doc pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits . So the snarky version…which I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.
Consider how the Obamunists have flouted Constitutional restraints and legislative rules. Consider how bills hundreds of pages long are being passed by legislators who admit to not having read them, in some cases mere minutes after the bill has been printed and distributed. Consider how federal court decisions have either acquiesced to federal usurpations of power, especially by the executive branch, or have failed to inhibit them. And consider how little any of us can do about it, short of an armed revolt.
It's all too easy to say "Oh, they're not serious."
It's all too easy to say "It's just loose talk."
It's all too easy to say "Not in America!"
A lot of the Jews in Weimar Germany said the same things.