More Noise and Smoke from the GOP

You know what I hate? What I really really hate?

I hate sounding like I’m a mouthpiece for the Democratic party. Unfortunately I can’t let stand certain things, like when Conservative mouthpieces just plain make stuff up.

Did you know that the Democrats are planning to steal your 401(k) funds? I didn’t either. Until yesterday.

From the IBD:

Hair says a “backdoor bull’s-eye is on your 401(k) plan and trillions of dollars the government would control through seizure, regulation and federal disbursement of mandatory retirement accounts.”

Leaving aside for the moment whether it would be possible for a Democratically controlled congress and presidency to pass legislation to this effect, let me point out to you where they’re getting the dire news of a jackbooted seizure of your retirement savings. Again from the article:

In January, Bloomberg reported the “U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and individual retirement accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry.”

Ok. That doesn’t sound quite so dire, but let’s go check the source. From Bloomberg (January 8, 2010):

The Obama administration is weighing how the government can encourage workers to turn their savings into guaranteed income streams following a collapse in retiree accounts when the stock market plunged.

“The question is how to encourage it, and whether the government can and should be helpful in that regard,” Iwry said.

I pulled out what I thought were the most relevant items but don’t believe me, go read the source for yourself!

What we have then is thus:

  • A admininstration stating five months ago that they’re seeking ways to encourage people to opt for more stable income post-retirement, with no real details or plan.
  • A conservative editorial which cites itself (read the source!) shouting about how the sky is falling and the liberals are coming to take your money without any independent reporting or confirmation.

I don’t object to rhetoric; I object to blatant obfuscation to score political points.

The GOP has no direction or real ideology right now therefore they’re creating problems and strawmen that they can view with alarm and hope to carry some momentum into the midterms. It’s kind of sad, actually. I miss the GOP of the late 80’s and early 90’s.

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