A recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury and Labor Departments marked the beginning of the Obama Administration’s effort to nationalize the nation’s pension system and to eliminate private retirement accounts including IRA’s and 401k plans, NSC is warning.
The hearing, held in the Labor Department’s main auditorium, was monitored by NSC staff and featured a line up of left-wing activists including one representative of the AFL-CIO who advocated for more government regulation over private retirement accounts and even the establishment of government-sponsored annuities that would take the place of 401k plans.
"This hearing was set up to explore why Americans are not saving as much for their retirement as they could," explains National Seniors Council National Director Robert Crone, "However, it is clear that this is the first step towards a government takeover. It feels just like the beginning of the debate over health care and we all know how that ended up."
A representative of the liberal Pension Rights Center, Rebecca Davis, testified that the government needs to get involved because 401k plans and IRAs are unfair to poor people. She demanded the Obama administration set up a "government-sponsored program administered by the PBGC (the governments’ Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation)." She proclaimed that even "private annuities are problematic."
Such "reforms" would effectively end private retirement accounts in America, Crone warns. "These people want the government to require that ultimately all Americans buy these government annuities instead of saving or investing on their own. The Government could then take these trillions of dollars and redistribute it through this new national retirement system."
Deputy Treasury Secretary J. Mark Iwry, who presided over the hearing, is a long-time critic of 401k plans because he believes they benefit the rich. He also appears to be one of the Administration’s point man on this issue.
"This whole issue is moving forward very quickly," warns Crone. "Already there is a bill requiring all businesses to automatically enroll their employees in IRA plans in which part of every employee’s paycheck would be automatically deducted and deposited into this account. If this passes, the government will be just one step away from being able to confiscate all these retirement accounts."
NSC has taken the lead in warning the nation about this new government onslaught and is plotting ways to stop it.
"This effort ultimately is designed to grab the retirement nest eggs of America’s senior citizens. This new government annuity scheme, even if it is at first optional, will turn into a giant effort to redistribute the wealth of America’s older citizens," explains Crone. "This scheme mirrors what I expect the President will try to do with Social Security. He wants to turn that program into a welfare program, too."
NSC will likely unveil a new grassroots campaign effort later this year or early in January to coincide with the seating of the new Congress.
(Originally posted 10/13/10)