The truth about 401(k) plans, not that the truth matters


By Mencken’s Ghost
Nov. 30, 2012

I predicted a few years ago that our broke national government was eventually going to confiscate tax-deferred retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

Well, the groundwork is being laid to do just that. Useful leftists in academia are making the philosophical and revenue cases for the confiscation, or I should say, have put intellectual rot on hooks for the gullible and amoral media and masses to swallow. In fact, Time Magazine already has taken the bait.

You can expect a concerted effort from the usual suspects to win over the media and masses with relentless brainwashing, conditioning, and agitating. And you can expect Republicans to stay in their default position of defense instead of going on offense and going for the jugular as Democrats do.

Let’s play along with the left’s charade that this issue is about something other than stealing money from those who have it and giving it to those who have squandered it--that it is about fairness, not stealing.

Before turning to their smokescreen arguments, please let me explain why I’m qualified to discuss this subject: Of my many responsibilities over my corporate career, one was overseeing employee benefits, including 401(k) plans, for tens of thousands of employees.

I eventually quit the lucrative career because of being conflicted over what I was doing. I had to go along with the lie that the government is doing a favor for employees by letting them defer taxes on a small part of their savings. Actually, the government is doing harm to employees (and to the nation) by taxing their savings at all. Citizens shouldn’t have to pay a penalty to save for retirement and not be a burden on society, especially when savings are necessary for investments in plant, equipment, and new jobs. Moreover, because of the administrative and regulatory complexities of 401(k) plans, investment returns are lower than they would otherwise be, due to fees for administration and legal and tax advice. A big chunk of those fees go to Republicans who rant about big government while having their snouts buried in the rancid regulatory pork from 401(k) plans.

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