It’s 7,329 miles as the crow flies from my home in California to the island of Cyprus, but politically it’s nearer than you think. Cyprus, in case you’ve forgotten, is where an essentially bankrupt government arbitrarily attempted to seize money in private citizens’ bank accounts to shore up its finances.
Here in the U.S., President Obama — who won’t be running for election again — is channeling his inner socialist as he looks longingly at your retirement account.
In Obama’s 2014 budget he wants to spread the wealth by “limiting 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."
This is because some selfish people have, in the sage opinion of the White House, "substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving." Personally, I think spending $50,000 per week on a rental in Martha’s Vineyard is substantially more than is needed to enjoy a vacation, but I would not ban the Obama’s from doing it.
The temptation here is to fall prey to envy and decide those fat cats don’t need all the extra money, but The Wall Street Journal points out that amount is “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.”
This is simply more proof that liberals aren’t about liberty — they are all about control. Nanny Bloomberg in New York decides when your soda is too large and Nanny Obama decides when your retirement fund is too large. The arrogance is simply breathtaking. It flies in the face of the American Dream.
Instead of congratulating citizens who are independent and fund their own retirement so they won’t be a burden on the government, Obama’s intrusive regime wants to make sure you only take what he decides is your fair share.
What’s more, if the money is held in a Roth IRA, the owner has already paid taxes on the funds before he put the money in the account. So Obama’s plan is double taxation. What, exactly, is fair about that?
Currently the IRS does not track how much money is in tax-free IRAs until the owner begins to pull money out, at which time he pays taxes. Obama’s grab would have a ravenous government snooping around in your retirement fund and you filing a more complicated tax return.
Before you reassure yourself with the thought that Cyprus doesn’t apply because that was bank accounts and this concerns retirement funds, keep in mind that Argentina (only 6,110 miles away) did seize pension funds when the government needed money.
Americans made investment and retirement decisions on the expectation that the rules would remain the same. Their retirement fund should not be at the mercy of the caudillo’s latest idea for spreading their wealth around.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Click Here Now.
© Mike Reagan