• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: You Thought You Owned Your 401(k)

    This week Argentina’s leftist president, Christina Kirchner, announced she would move forward with her plan to seize the nation’s private pension funds. Kirchner claims government seizure of the funds is needed to protect Argentinians from the global market crisis. But most observers believe her real motive is to use the $30 billion in seized assets to ease the massive debt obligations her leftist spendthrift government has run up. The move is unprecedented even by Argentina’s past socialist standards. Leftist icon Juan Peron called the nationalization of private pensions “theft” in a 1973 public address.

    But desperate times call for desperate measures. And Kirchner has eagerly pointed to the unprecedented state interventions in the economy by the U.S. and Europe to help justify her policies. The proposed plan has already sunk Argentina’s markets and sent the Peso to new lows. But how does all this affect you? Enter liberal chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Rep. George Miller (D-CA).

    Earlier this month, Miller held a hearing on how the market crisis has hurt retirement savings plans. Miller wants to allow Americans to trade in their 401(k)s for guaranteed government bonds. Fair enough. So far he isn’t forcing anyone to do anything. But then Miller also added this: “With respect to the 401(k), it appears to be a plan that is not really well-devised for the changes in the market. We’ve invested $80 billion into subsidizing this activity. … [W]e have to start to think about in Congress of whether or not we want to continue and invest that $80 billion for a policy that is not generating what we … say it should.” In other words, Miller believes government owns the money you put into your 401(k) every month, and that it is considered government “spending” when he lets you keep that money. As a result, Miller wants to eliminate $80 billion in tax-savings “rich” Americans receive by investing in their 401(k)s.

    But you’re not rich, you say. Well, unfortunately, you don’t get to decide whether or not the IRS considers you rich. Congress and the White House do. And Barack Obama and Joe Biden have been steadily lowering the bar on the definition of who is rich and who isn’t. In July, Obama claimed those who made more than $250,000 a year are rich. Then in an ad called “Defining Moment,” released earlier this month, that definition was lowered to those making more than $200,000 a year. Then in an interview last week, Biden lowered the bar even further, saying an Obama administration could only promise not to raise taxes on “people making under $150,000 a year.”

    Like his leftist ally in Argentina, Obama has a laundry list of new spending priorities that are guaranteed to drive up the federal debt. Altogether, Obama is promising at least $4.3 trillion of increased spending and reduced tax revenue over the next 10 years. He’s going to need to take money from someone to make up that shortfall. As Kirchner showed, that someone is you.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Morning Bell: You Thought You Owned Your 401(k)

    1. Michael J O'Bri says:

      The socialist democrats see an opening to redistribute wealth and it will happen. .The Obama gang has not been honest, and will not be honest about their spending and taxation intentions. Additionally, today the Obama campaign removed 3 newspapers from their airplane travel coverage: Washington Times, New York Post, and Dallas Morning Star, all three recently endorsed John McCain. Smells like censorship, and we did not hear about the Fairness doctrine much from the dems about Obama's 30 minute national add this week. Let's face it; our freedoms are at risk with Obama and his gang. He is not an honest broker. America, wake up!

    2. Ed - Tucson, Az. says:

      Astonishng! What is more so is that liberals, democrats know what Obama wants to do. They simply don't care. Their ranks consist of a combination of inexperienced and idealistic young people voting ignorantly; those in all demographic groups voting based solely on Obama's deceptively smooth but truly shallow persona, and the rest of their ranks that simply, and many of whom unabashedly, hate America because of their skewed perceptions of what it's supposed to be. Look for the first attack by Islamic terrorists on American soil since 9/11 on Obama's watch, and it's going to pale the Twin Towers event. America will soon be like Britain, with Muslim zealots calling for blood in our streets with impunity and bombs detonating in public places. McCain wouldn't allow that to happen, but Obama will – in the spirit of "conciliation." No matter what happens during Obama's administration, he and his liberal supporters will just blame Bush.

    3. Pingback: » Morning Bell: You Just Thought You Owened Your 401(k) White House On Best Political Blogs: News And Info On White House

    4. Pingback: Whitehouse On Best Political Blogs » Morning Bell: You Just Thought You Owened Your 401(k)

    5. Pingback: Barack Obama On Best Political Blogs » Morning Bell: You Thought You Owned Your 401(k)

    6. Pingback: » Morning Bell: You Just Thought You Owened Your 401(k) Joe Biden On Best Political Blogs: News And Info On Joe Biden

    7. Pingback: » Morning Bell: You Thought You Owned Your 401(k) Barrack Obama On Best Political Blogs: News And Info On Barrack Obama

    8. Pingback: » Morning Bell: You Thought You Owned Your 401(k) Joe Biden On Best Political Blogs: News And Info On Joe Biden

    9. Pingback: » Morning Bell: You Thought You Owned Your 401(k) White House On Best Political Blogs: News And Info On White House

    10. Pingback: Whitehouse On Best Political Blogs » Morning Bell: You Thought You Owned Your 401(k)

    11. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Democratic Party is the Socialist Party of America with Communists safely ensconced in it.

      A large segment of American people think that they should be catered to and they are OK with taxing others(confiscating their property) so that they can get it. This cancer started in the 1920's and 1930 and has fully metastasized now.

      It is a myth to think that we have freedom. Look at how privacy of Joe the plumber, a private citizen was violated. Look at how the Democrats wants to re-institute the "fairness doctrine". The socialists use endearing terms to hide their diabolical intentions.

      America, better wake up before the country becomes another USSR. It is already late. It will take another revolution to get back to the Constitutional roots.

    12. dave schraub, indian says:

      well, it's just like any other program that is designed to help the american people. there is so much money involved that they can't leave it alone. this is why social security is bankrupt, and every program they have designed, to save us from ourselves. If the socialist take the house and the senate, and the presidency, they will destroy the country in the first 6 months. damage that can't be repaired

    13. Eileen, Alabams says:

      Obama is a die-in-the- wool liberal Democrat makes no mistake about it, who holds some very Marxist and socialist views. He wants to tax, tax, and tax and wants to spend, spend and even more spend. Our Country will be sad shape and we are already seeing the signs, our Market is down because of fear of his policies and his taxation plans. If the Dems gets more seats in Congress they will destroy you’re free will, our Constitution, place a permanent ban on oil drilling. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have both said so. The consequences will be felt for decades. So be smart and don’t believe the liberal media hype about Obama, he is a very dangerous man and in order to save our Country you need to vote against the democrats.

    14. Rosemarie Topor, Flo says:

      If people would put more effort into helping each other instead of condemning things they don't believe in, we would be better off. Instead too many are trying scare tactics. Can't wait for this election to be over with.

    15. Pingback: Is your IRA or 401k safe? - InterNACHI Message Board

    16. Robert Smith, Clayto says:

      I have heard via the news that there have been discussions in Washington regarding the government seizure of private 401k pensions and redistribution by the government. Is this true? or simply a myth?

      thank you

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.