Here's a novel idea. Instead of worrying that Social Security will go bust in 30 years (it won't) and considering absurd and unnecessary cuts in benefits for millions of Americans, why not expand this, the most popular social insurance program in the country, to provide for a universal defined benefit pension for every worker and his/her family? [Ed: Eh, because it's a giant Ponzi scheme? And the government stole all the money from the 'Trust Fund'?]
It's really not such a novel idea; most modern and civilized industrial nations have in place such pension systems... [Ed: Oh. Like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland? How's that working out?]
...A favorite of mine, economist Teresa Ghilarducci, of the New School for Social Research, was the first to call the 401(k) a failure for retirees and she shocked lawmakers when she suggested they be ended in favor of what she calls a Guaranteed Retirement Account that would be as safe and secure as defined benefit pension plans... [Ed: More on Teresa below.]
...Now, according to Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, "only 13 percent of workers say they are very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement-that's the lowest level in 16 years...With the enactment of Social Security and the growth of union-negotiated pensions, elderly Americans became [and are still] the least impoverished age group." [Ed: Because who knows better about wasting money than Trumka?]
...Ghilarducci makes the same point, that 401(k)s and IRAs, in which taxes on earnings are deferred, reduce tax receipts by $193 billion a year. But, she says, 80 percent of these tax breaks go to the top 20 percent of taxpayers. Her solution: "Guaranteed Retirement Accounts", to which employers and employees would each be required to contribute 2.5 percent of salaries, with a $600 refundable tax credit for the employee's contribution... [Ed: Net-net, confiscate the 401(k) monies, increase taxes, and create brand new revenue streams that can be stolen to bankrupt future generations even more.]
The walking bedsore known as Saul Friedman is a Communist. Yes, I said it. Oh, Doug -- that's so harsh. No it's not. Friedman advocates that the government -- legally -- confiscate Americans' hard-earned money and redistribute it to their union allies who intentionally underfunded their pensions.
That's what this is really about. Connie Hair at Human Events describes the real intent of Friedman's covering fire.
Democrats in the Senate on Thursday held a recess hearing covering a taxpayer bailout of union pensions and a plan to seize private 401(k) plans to more "fairly" distribute taxpayer-funded pensions to everyone.
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee heard from hand-picked witnesses advocating the infamous "Guaranteed Retirement Account" (GRA) authored by Theresa Guilarducci... (listen to the outstanding 2007 interview with Guilarducci by Mark Levin)
...the pressing issue for the lame duck [session] is the union pension bailout with new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) rules currently set to take effect December 15. These new rules would force companies to account for the cost of penalties to extract themselves from these union pension plans against their bottom line...
...In a nutshell, under the GRA system government would seize private 401(k) accounts, setting up an additional 5% mandatory payroll tax to dole out a "fair" pension to everyone using that confiscated money coupled with the mandated contributions. This would, of course, be a sister government ponzi scheme working in tandem with Social Security, the primary purpose being to give big government politicians additional taxpayer funds to raid to pay for their out-of-control spending.
Guilarducci and the Democrats are advocating legalized theft of the juicy trillions of dollars Americans have saved in their retirement plans. Nationalizing those accounts would support massive new spending programs plus payoff the unions and crony capitalists looking for more bailouts at the "workers'" expense.
As Hair concludes, "The lame duck session would offer the last chance for unions and companies to be able to place liability for their underwater pensions on the taxpayers' backs before the new FASB rule goes into effect."
In short, while I'm not a conspiracy theorist, when Harry Reid promises plenty of legislation during a lame-duck session... when the Stuffington Toast prints agit-prop... and a Marxist-led recess session considers an outrageous new way to steal your money... well, I get chills down my spine.
These Democrats need to be kicked to the curb next month -- politically. And in every election from this point forward, if we are to save this Republic.
Hat tip: RL