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Obama to force IRAs and 401Ks to buy government bonds

posted Jan 18, 2010, 1:10 PM by Arthur Purves   [ updated Jan 18, 2010, 7:23 PM ]
From a January 8, 2010, Bloomberg article:

"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, who are spearheading the effort."    More ...

Sound good?  Wait.  To get a "steady payment stream" Obama wants to force you to buy government securities.  From June 7, 2009, Investment News:

"Officials in the Obama administration are moving quickly to develop the investment infrastructure behind the president’s proposal for mandatory automatic enrollment in individual retirement accounts, which could be supported by the creation of Treasury-issued retirement bonds.

  "J. Mark Iwry, deputy assistant secretary for retirement and health policy at the Department of the Treasury, said that administration officials are exploring some “conservative” options for investing the assets of 78 million Americans that he estimates could be automatically en¬rolled in this “universal” workplace retirement system."  More ...

Why force IRAs and 401Ks into government securities?  From a January 8, 2010, post on the Market Ticker:

" ... this looks to me like a raw admission that Treasury knows it will not be able to sell its debt in the open market - so they will effectively tax you by forcing your "retirement" money to buy them!"  More ...

We were alerted to this issue in a January 18, 2010, press release from Golden for Congress.

Of course we already have a retirement program where we buy government securities:  Social Security.  For years, Social Security tax revenues have exceeded Social Security payouts.  The surplus Social Security tax revenues were "lent" to the Treasury Department.  According to the president's FY2010 budget, Social Security holds $2.5 trillion of the $14.5 trillion national debt.  The Social Security trustees predict that starting in 2016, Social Security tax revenues will be less than Social Security payouts.  At that time, the Social Security administration will ask the Treasury to start paying back the $2.5 trillion.  How will the Treasury do that?  Either by raising taxes or more borrowing.  However, by 2016, the national debt will already be $20 trillion.

Solution:  Only support federal candidates who have the courage to avert future bankuptcy by advocating cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which currently account for nearly half of the federal budget.