Nov 10, 2008

Series: things that we might kiss good bye

After a few days of blogging and news blackout --totally voluntarily, I should add-- I've decided to compile all the scary things that have been scaring me since the presidential campaign started and all the scary stuff that we have yet to come.

That plus other things related to the political environment and the government of the US are to be included in this bulk. Think about as a some sort of creepy diary inside a bigger diary, with the hope that, in a few years, my kiddo and all those that have known me can still read my posts and realized my worries during the first time in my life where I voted in a free and democratic elections.

* * *

Today's news: 401 (k)'s en el pico de la piragua, which means they are dangerously close to be put down

Apparently, my 401 (k) retirement plan, as I've known it and cherished it, it is in grave danger.

No more pre-tax money for it, the economist testifying at the hearings teaches in a left-liberal school that praises, in its own website: “The Department of Economics offers a broad and critical approach to the study of economics, covering a wide range of schools of thought, including Keynesian and post-Keynesian economics; the classical political economy of Smith, Ricardo, and Marx;"

No more pre-tax money for your retirement, confiscation and nationalization of those funds into a centered, government-administered, package.

From this expert witness that testified earlier this month at the House Education & Labor Committee:

"Ghilarducci outlined her plan last year in a paper for the left-liberal Economic Policy Institute, in which she acknowledges that her plan would amount to a tax increase on workers making more than $75,000--considerably less than the $250,000 Barack Obama has said would be his tax-hike cutoff. In addition, workers would be able to pass on only half of their account balances to their heirs; presumably the government would seize the remaining half. (Under current law, 401(k) balances are fully heritable, although they are subject to the income tax.)"

Currently, 401(k) plans allow Americans to invest pretax money and their employers match up to a defined percentage, which not only increases workers' retirement savings but also reduces their annual income tax. The balances are fully inheritable, subject to income tax, meaning workers pass on their wealth to their heirs, unlike Social Security. Even when they leave an employer and go to one that doesn't offer a 401(k) or pension, workers can transfer their balances to a qualified IRA.

So, was I paranoid about Obama's plan to cut taxes during the campaign?

Yeah, sure.

To answer the Wall Street Journal question; no, I don't think my modest-newly created 401 (k) is save from the Democrats in Congress, to the contrary, it is in the brink of extinction. (And be prepared to see this phrase over an over again in the next four years).

I do agree with the writer when he says that: It is by no means a certainty that Congress or a President Obama would embrace such a proposal, but this is a direction in which things may move if the Democrats make big gains next month. But boy, it is certainly very worrying!

But, hey! Do not say you were not warned! This other story in the issue broke to the light on Election Day. The golden nugget?

“The majority of witness testimony during recent hearings before the House Committee on Education and Labor showed that congressional Democrats intend to address income and wealth inequality through redistribution”.

Really? Now, those are really breaking news!

H/T to Babalú

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