Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Take Them Seriously

     I encountered the following over at 90 Miles From Tyranny:

     James Woods isn’t just highly intelligent; he’s also diligent and has a reputation for honesty. All the same, I decided to be diligent myself and check what he asserts in the above.

     And...weeelllll, it’s not quite right. Here’s the only thing I could find in the Dems’ platform that appears to touch on 401(k) and IRA accounts:

     We will also make it easier to save for retirement beyond Social Security. We will support approaches to retirement saving that enable workers and retirees to prepare for and prosper in retirement, including reforms that will allow states and municipalities to create public individual and pooled retirement account options that are easy for workers to access and understand. We will advocate federal legislation to make it easy for all workers to save, not just those in states or municipalities that have established their own programs. Democrats believe that when workers are saving for retirement, the financial advisors they consult should be legally obligated to put their client's best interests first. We will take immediate action to reverse the Trump Administration's regulations allowing financial advisors to prioritize their self-interest over their clients' financial wellbeing. And Democrats will equalize the network of retirement savings tax breaks so that working people can build their nest eggs faster, while also providing more equitable access to these accounts through automatic enrollment and relaxed contribution restrictions for unpaid caregivers. [Emphasis added by FWP.]

     That’s on page 26 of the 92-page Democrat Party Platform for 2020, which I downloaded from here. As far as I can tell, the platform makes no explicit reference to either 401(k) accounts or Individual Retirement Accounts. If a previous version of the platform did so, I can’t find it.

     Mind you, whenever a politician starts talking about “taxes” and “equality” or “equalization,” you should have one hand on your wallet and the other on your gun. “Retirement savings tax breaks” are principally implemented through the 401(k) and IRA systems. If the Democrats intend to “equalize” those things, certain questions arise:

  • “Equalize” meaning what? Which rates would go up and which ones would go down?
  • Would that “equalization” be with the tax rates on Americans’ Social Security benefits?
  • Would the new rates apply to retirees currently supported in part by their 401(k)s and / or IRAs?

     I have an uneasy feeling that these are questions no Democrat currently in or running for federal office would answer honestly and explicitly. But then, they’re unlikely to answer any question in a fashion that would deprive them of finagling room later on.

     Take them seriously. They’ve been after your retirement savings for at least thirty years. The proposals have been several:

  • To eliminate the “favorable tax treatment” of 401(k) and IRA accounts, as implied above;
  • To make the purchase of T-Bills by pension systems and 401(k) account holders compulsory;
  • To seize all pension accounts, 401(k) accounts, and IRAs and fold them into Social Security.

     I’ve noted these things before. Any of them would enrich the already bloated federal government and impoverish millions of current and future retirees.

     Please, if you have the stomach for it, read the entire Dem platform. It’s filled with horrors, though usually couched in language that permits endless quibbling about “what we really mean by that.” Here’s the section on guns, which proposes blatant violations of the Second Amendment’s guarantees in the name of “Ending the epidemic of gun violence:”

     Gun violence is a public health crisis in the United States. Over 100,000 people are shot and nearly 40,000 people die annually from guns—devastating countless families, friends, and communities. We can and will make gun violence a thing of the past. Addressing the gun violence crisis requires supporting evidence-based programs that prevent gun deaths from occurring in the first place, including by making mental health care more accessible and supporting suicide reduction initiatives, funding interventions to reduce homicides and gun violence in neighborhoods, and strengthening protections against domestic violence. Democrats will also ensure the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have sufficient resources to study gun violence as a public health issue, including the ongoing health care, mental health, economic, and social costs that can affect survivors and their families for years.

     Democrats will enact universal background checks, end online sales of guns and ammunition, close dangerous loopholes that currently allow stalkers, abusive partners, and some individuals convicted of assault or battery to buy and possess firearms, and adequately fund the federal 47 background check system. We will close the “Charleston loophole” and prevent individuals who have been convicted of hate crimes from possessing firearms. Democrats will ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines. We will incentivize states to enact licensing requirements for owning firearms and extreme risk protection order laws that allow courts to temporarily remove guns from the possession of those who are a danger to themselves or others. We will pass legislation requiring that guns be safely stored in homes. And Democrats believe that gun companies should be held responsible for their products, just like any other business, and will prioritize repealing the law that shields gun manufacturers from civil liability.

     If you weren’t outraged before this, I hope you are by now.

     Nota Bene: (For anyone out there who’s unfamiliar with this Latin phrase, it means “Heads up, doofus.”) There is no such thing as a trustworthy politician. Democrat, Republican, or other, it’s proper to suspect all of them, at all times, of:

  • Wanting more power, prestige, and perquisites for themselves;
  • Wanting more of your money.

     Both those statements are well supported by history. Ergo (another handy Latin word; this one means “therefore”), there’s no justification for just throwing out their rascals, replacing them with your preferred rascals, and sitting back satisfied that your job is done. Nor is it sufficient simply to watch them as they steal, resolving to turn them out at the next election; you have to keep the tar hot and the feathers handy at all times. Failure to do so this century past is why we endure the burdens of today.

     Which raises another question: Is there anything in the penal law – state or federal – that makes it illegal to tar and feather a politician? I mean, if we can’t recall them, which is not possible in most states, what recourse is left to us? Other than hanging them, that is.

     Something to muse about over your Cheerios®.

1 comment:

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Francis;

I have a huge concern that the democrats will take a portion of my 401K in the name of "Fairness" to either shore up SS or to give to someone else who didn't put money away for their retirement. I and my wife scrimped and saved and deprived the here and now for our golden years and the idea of having our hard earned money taken away and given to someone else who didn't bother really"Sticks in my craw" to use a southernism. The 401K seizure or "Haircut" was bandied about during the Obama administration, all those billions of dollars in accounts where the government couldn't touch it really drove the democrats nuts, the 401K is a huge part of the wealth of the middle class, and the big state democrats like the idea of the state and the proles,and they view themselves as the state and everyone who isn't them as the "proles" and the middle class is the check on the power of the big government statist, and if they can take our power and wealth, they can rule.