November 10, 2008
Jack Hunter might be right?Obama just might end up governing as a semi-responsible Clintonian centrist, even as he emerges as a global icon for the multi-culti Left, his image emblazoned on a many a T-shirt.
But the difference between Bubba and Obama is that the latter is entering office just as the country descends into a horrible financial crisis?and this one ain?t a mere slowdown and it definitely ain?t ?mental.? From the 10 trillion national debt to the 59 trillion in unfunded liabilities to the Fed?s attempt to bailout the system and boost prices by, in effect, printing more money to the continued migration of production overseas, our chickens have come home to roost. And the interventions of Secretary Hank and Helicopter Ben have set the stage for even worse federal actions.
Thus, I think Obama will have a ?radical? presidency, but then not because he?ll wave the white flag in Iraq, install Rev. Wright as national pastor, revive the Fairness Doctrine, or any of the other stuff the Republicans fixated on this past year and a half.
I actually think his most radical measures will seem ?centrist? and get quite a bit of bipartisan support. Take for instance the recent proposal for the government to confiscate everyone?s 401(k)?oh, did I say confiscate? I meant guarantee everyone?s 401(k). You didn?t really want to take any money out of it before you retire, right? And you certainly wouldn?t mind if we borrowed your savings to fund social security, would you? Don?t worry, we?ll come up with a way to refund all those accounts we confiscated later.
What I just described was seriously discussed in the House this past October, and, sadly, I imagine that such a proposal would get the backing of Republicans as a ?conservative? measure meant to protect citizens.
Here?s the full report:
Democrats in the U.S. House have been conducting hearings on proposals to confiscate workers? personal retirement accounts ? including 401(k)s and IRAs ? and convert them to accounts managed by the Social Security Administration.??
Triggered by the financial crisis the past two months, the hearings reportedly were meant to stem losses incurred by many workers and retirees whose 401(k) and IRA balances have been shrinking rapidly.??
The testimony of Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economic policy analysis at the New School for Social Research in New York, in hearings Oct. 7 drew the most attention and criticism. Testifying for the House Committee on Education and Labor, Ghilarducci proposed that the government eliminate tax breaks for 401(k) and similar retirement accounts, such as IRAs, and confiscate workers? retirement plan accounts and convert them to universal Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) managed by the Social Security Administration.
And here are Karen DeCoster?s comments on the matter. (Karen?s a CPA, besides being a writer for Takimag and LRC.)
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