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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Obama's going after your pension.

                                                Even paranoids have enemies.

                                                Unofficial motto of the KGB.

With the Obama regime soon entering its final year (Thank you God!), we know his “pen and phone” will be working overtime to fundamental transform the United States into a second rate socialist nation.  He has made our foreign policy such a joke and weakened our military that our enemies don’t fear us, our friends don’t rely on us, and neither respect us.  With an administration that openly says the best way to handle ISIS is through a “Climate Change Summit”, can you expect much?  And with the  economy a disaster, Obama’s decided in the sunset of his administration to concentrate on gun control and “climate change” (Or whatever the hell it’s called next week  (Global cooling, global warming, criminate disruption, I loose track).

But an interesting article came out of the Wall Street Journal last week, below the radar, on something completely different.  The Obama regime’s Labor Department cleared regulatory hurdles to allow left leaning states (e.g. California, Illinois and Oregon) to establish publicly backed “individual retirement accounts”, which are IRAs in name only.  From the WSJ article,

California’s inchoate program requires all employers with more than five workers that do not offer retirement plans to enroll workers in a state plan that includes a to-be-specified guaranteed return. Employers will have to automatically deduct contributions from worker paychecks, though employees could opt out.

While Democrats call the plans IRAs, nothing in California’s law guarantees ownership or portability. Private financial institutions will putatively insure the plans, but with an implicit taxpayer guarantee. Illinois’s law allows the state retirement board to procure as needed, insurance against any and all loss” and accept any grants, appropriations, or other moneys from the State.” Rest assured that if Illinois officials refused to pay up, labor unions would cite this language in suing to make them pay.

It reminded me of something I wanted to blog about ages ago, 2010 to be exact.  I went into my files, found the unpublished post and the article from The Washington Examiner (link no longer working):

By: Mark Hemingway

October 31, 2010 Will the government outlaw your 401(k) plan? It seems like an absurd possibility, yet earlier this month two Democratic senators, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., held a hearing on Capitol Hill exploring the possibility of doing exactly that.

On Oct. 8, the two senators from the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on "Retirement (In)security in America." Among the proposals discussed was "Guaranteed Retirement Accounts," or GRAs.

The purpose of the GRA proposal is simple: To force Americans to stop putting their retirement savings money into private 401(k) accounts and send their money to the government instead.

GRAs would "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," according to a letter signed by House Minority Leader John Boehner and 12 other Republican representatives…

…Testifying at the hearing in favor of GRAs was Ross Eisbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal economic think tank located in the same building as the liberal Center for American Progress...

…EPI’s work on retirement security issues also has some suspect backing. The think tank has teamed up with two of the most powerful unions in the country -- the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union -- to push a public campaign for a "Retirement USA" initiative (see Retirement-USA.org).

One of the proposals being touted on Retirement USA's Web site is, you guessed it, GRAs. At the hearing, Eisbrey noted that Retirement USA had not specifically endorsed GRAs, but did "affirm that it meets all of the 12 principles the coalition set out as essential to deliver retirement income that is universal, secure, and adequate."

But why are unions pushing this? The average union pension plan is only 62 percent funded, far below the point at which the government considers a pension plan "endangered." Estimates suggest unions' multi-employer pension plans are underfunded by $165 billion and could be on the verge of collapse.

Union leaders see these "retirement security" ideas like GRAs as vehicles to a back-door pension bailout, where union leaders will no longer have to worry about the fact they've underfunded their rank and file members' pension plans. Just let Uncle Sucker take care of it.

Labor is the biggest source of campaign cash for Democrats (Retirement USA backers AFL-CIO and SEIU are spending $88 million this election),..

Regardless, forcing everybody into a government retirement system that pays out equally to Americans who have scrimped and saved and to those in organized labor who have grossly mismanaged their pension plans seems almost too crazy to contemplate…

This is not the first time the radical left has lusted after pension funds.  Jesse Jackson has proposed multiple times since the 1980s to seize thefunds to “rebuild” inner cites.  And there is money to get.  As of 2014, Americans have over 15 trillion in private pension funds.  Is there reason to be concerned?  “If you like your health care plan….”, need I say more?

The basics of the current IRA/401 system is you get an immediate tax advantage, the fund builds tax shielded (you generally pay taxes when it’s withdrawn) and if you die, the fund is passed to your estate.  This gives the individual a degree of independence.  With the proposed GSA, your money is pooled with others, you are guaranteed by “full faith and credit of the United States” and upon your death half (ain’t that nice of them) goes to your estate.  Don’t we already have things like this?  Social Security, the assets of which are only two safes of IOUs in a building in, I believe, West Virginia.  Similar to the Medicaid Trust Fund and the Federal Highway Trust fund, they have nothing but IOUs.  The “full faith and credit of the United States” ain’t worth much.

But again, look at something over the last seven years.  A point I’ve made countless times is Obamacare is working perfectly.  What is the purpose of Obamacare?  It is the bridge to single payer.  You destroy the private health care system and the only thing left is government, a form of “Medicaid for All”.  Remember him saying to AFL-CIO:
I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care plan. The United States of America–the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent–14 percent of its gross national product on health care and cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody and that’s what Jim is talking about when he says, ‘Everybody in. Nobody out.’ A single payer health care credit–universal healthcare credit. That’s what I’d like to see, but as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House and we’ve got to take back the Senate and we’ve got to take back the House.”
But I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out..”
Some of the first acts of B Hussein Obama in January 2009 included having the Department of Education take over student loans, increased government control of housing, establish government control over multiple industries (e.g. banking through Dodd-Frank).  Going full fore for gun control and industry regulation through climate regulation.  Do you see a pattern here?  All critical functions of life are now requiring government interaction.  Over the next 13 months you can see the metastasis of the Julia cartoon from the 2012 election campaign.  Retirement planning?  Need I say more.

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