April 12 2013
White House: Some Naughty Americans Are Saving Too Much Money!
President Obama thinks that some naughty people are saving entirely too much money for their golden years!
Well, he’ll stop that profligate saving!
The president’s new budget proposes to put a stop to this by for the first time limiting how much money can be saved in tax-sheltered vehicles such as your 401K.
A Wall Street Journal editorial notes:
The White House explanation is that some people have accumulated "substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving." So Mr. Obama proposes to "limit an individual's total balance across tax-preferred accounts to an amount sufficient to finance an annuity of not more than $205,000 per year in retirement, or about $3 million for someone retiring in 2013."
Thus do our political betters now feel free to define for everyone what is "needed" for a "reasonable" retirement. Not to be impertinent, but does this White House definition include being able to afford summers at age 70 at Martha's Vineyard near the Obamas?
The feds may think $3 million is all you need after a lifetime of work, but that's roughly the value of a California police sergeant's pension if she works for 30 years, retires at age 50 and lives to normal life expectancy.
The budget doesn’t provide details on how the government would enforce this. Since one person is likely to have several accounts, monitoring accounts would be complicated.
But the real problem is worse: if you restrict your private savings, you are more likely to end up dependent on the government.
So this is a plan aimed at increasing dependency on government.
The president’s budget is DOA, but it still provides a remarkable insight into the mind of the statist.
I'd like to make one other point--and it's something that has been bugging me a lot of late.
I hope this won't sound envious, but I'm getting angry that a pampered political class is making hugely important fiscal decisions that will affect other Americans but won't affect them.
They will be spared the fall out from their decisions.
President Obama, for example, will receive a generous pension from us--POTUS' pension is tied to congressional salaries, so right now it would be nearly $200,000.
With a pension like that, he doesn't have the worries other Americans face, but he is the guy trying to tell us how to lead our lives.