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Dems Target Private Retirement Accounts

In Obama, Socialist Pig Injustice on November 8, 2008 at 1:44 pm

Democratic leaders in the U.S. House discuss confiscating 401(k)s, IRAs

http://www.carolinajournal.com/articles/display_story.html?id=5081

November 04, 2008

RALEIGH — 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.

Conservative Hippie>>>[Confiscate? It actually means STEAL.]

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.

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, in prepared remarks for the hearing on “The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Workers’ Retirement Security,” blamed Wall Street for the financial crisis and said his committee will “strengthen and protect Americans’ 401(k)s, pensions, and other retirement plans” and the “Democratic Congress will continue to conduct this much-needed oversight on behalf of the American people.”

Currently, 401(k) plans allow Americans to invest pretax money and their employers match up to a defined percentage, which not only increases workers’ retirement savings but also reduces their annual income tax. The balances are fully inheritable, subject to income tax, meaning workers pass on their wealth to their heirs, unlike Social Security. Even when they leave an employer and go to one that doesn’t offer a 401(k) or pension, workers can transfer their balances to a qualified IRA.

Mandating Equality

Ghilarducci’s plan first appeared in a paper for the Economic Policy Institute: Agenda for Shared Prosperity on Nov. 20, 2007, in which she said GRAs will rescue the flawed American retirement income system (www.sharedprosperity.org/bp204/bp204.pdf).

The current retirement system, Ghilarducci said, “exacerbates income and wealth inequalities” because tax breaks for voluntary retirement accounts are “skewed to the wealthy because it is easier for them to save, and because they receive bigger tax breaks when they do.”

Lauding GRAs as a way to effectively increase retirement savings, Ghilarducci wrote that savings incentives are unequal for rich and poor families because tax deferrals “provide a much larger ‘carrot’ to wealthy families than to middle-class families — and none whatsoever for families too poor to owe taxes.”

GRAs would guarantee a fixed 3 percent annual rate of return, although later in her article Ghilarducci explained that participants would not “earn a 3% real return in perpetuity.” In place of tax breaks workers now receive for contributions and thus a lower tax rate, workers would receive $600 annually from the government, inflation-adjusted. For low-income workers whose annual contributions are less than $600, the government would deposit whatever amount it would take to equal the minimum $600 for all participants.

In a radio interview with Kirby Wilbur in Seattle on Oct. 27, 2008, Ghilarducci explained that her proposal doesn’t eliminate the tax breaks, rather, “I’m just rearranging the tax breaks that are available now for 401(k)s and spreading — spreading the wealth.”

All workers would have 5 percent of their annual pay deducted from their paychecks and deposited to the GRA. They would still be paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, as would the employers. The GRA contribution would be shared equally by the worker and the employee. Employers no longer would be able to write off their contributions. Any capital gains would be taxable year-on-year.

Analysts point to another disturbing part of the plan. With a GRA, workers could bequeath only half of their account balances to their heirs, unlike full balances from existing 401(k) and IRA accounts. For workers who die after retiring, they could bequeath just their own contributions plus the interest but minus any benefits received and minus the employer contributions.

Another justification for Ghilarducci’s plan is to eliminate investment risk. In her testimony, Ghilarducci said, “humans often lack the foresight, discipline, and investing skills required to sustain a savings plan.” She cited the 2004 HSBC global survey on the Future of Retirement, in which she claimed that “a third of Americans wanted the government to force them to save more for retirement.”

What the survey actually reported was that 33 percent of Americans wanted the government to “enforce additional private savings,” a vastly different meaning than mandatory government-run savings. Of the four potential sources of retirement support, which were government, employer, family, and self, the majority of Americans said “self” was the most important contributor, followed by “government.” When broken out by family income, low-income U.S. households said the “government” was the most important retirement support, whereas high-income families ranked “government” last and “self” first (www.hsbc.com/retirement).

On Oct. 22, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Argentinean government had seized all private pension and retirement accounts to fund government programs and to address a ballooning deficit. Fearing an economic collapse, foreign investors quickly pulled out, forcing the Argentinean stock market to shut down several times. More than 10 years ago, nationalization of private savings sent Argentina’s economy into a long-term downward spiral.

Income and Wealth Redistribution

The majority of witness testimony during recent hearings before the House Committee on Education and Labor showed that congressional Democrats intend to address income and wealth inequality through redistribution.

Conservative Hippie>>>[That will mean stealing the 401k that you worked your butt off for while some lazy bum has done NOTHING.]

On July 31, 2008, Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, testified before the subcommittee on workforce protections that “from the standpoint of equal treatment of people with different incomes, there is a fundamental flaw” in tax code incentives because they are “provided in the form of deductions, exemptions, and exclusions rather than in the form of refundable tax credits.”

Even people who don’t pay taxes should get money from the government, paid for by higher-income Americans, he said. “There is no obvious reason why lower-income taxpayers or people who do not file income taxes should get smaller incentives (or no tax incentives at all),” Greenstein said.

Conservative Hippie>>>[Is he kidding?! Hell no, he is not kidding! Wake up, America!]

“Moving to refundable tax credits for promoting socially worthwhile activities would be an important step toward enhancing progressivity in the tax code in a way that would improve economic efficiency and performance at the same time,” Greenstein said, and “reducing barriers to labor organizing, preserving the real value of the minimum wage, and the other workforce security concerns . . . would contribute to an economy with less glaring and sharply widening inequality.”

When asked whether committee members seriously were considering Ghilarducci’s proposal for GSAs, Aaron Albright, press secretary for the Committee on Education and Labor, said Miller and other members were listening to all ideas.

Miller’s biggest priority has been on legislation aimed at greater transparency in 401(k)s and other retirement plan administration, specifically regarding fees, Albright said, and he sent a link to a Fox News interview of Miller on Oct. 24, 2008, to show that the congressman had not made a decision.

After repeated questions asked by Neil Cavuto of Fox News, Miller said he would not be in favor of “killing the 401(k)” or of “killing the tax advantages for 401(k)s.”

Arguing against liberal prescriptions, William Beach, director of the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation, testified on Oct. 24 that the “roots of the current crisis are firmly planted in public policy mistakes” by the Federal Reserve and Congress. He cautioned Congress against raising taxes, increasing burdensome regulations, or withdrawing from international product or capital markets. “Congress can ill afford to repeat the awesome errors of its predecessor in the early days of the Great Depression,” Beach said.

Instead, Beach said, Congress could best address the financial crisis by making the tax reductions of 2001 and 2003 permanent, stopping dependence on demand-side stimulus, lowering the corporate profits tax, and reducing or eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends.

Testifying before the same committee in early October, Jerry Bramlett, president and CEO of BenefitStreet, Inc., an independent 401(k) plan administrator, said one of the best ways to ensure retirement security would be to have the U.S. Department of Labor develop educational materials for workers so they could make better investment decisions, not exchange equity investments in retirement accounts for Treasury bills, as proposed in the GSAs.

Should Sen. Barack Obama win the presidency, congressional Democrats might have stronger support for their “spreading the wealth” agenda. On Oct. 27, the American Thinker posted a video of an interview with Obama on public radio station WBEZ-FM from 2001.

In the interview, Obama said, “The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society.” The Constitution says only what “the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you,” and Obama added that the Warren Court wasn’t that radical.

Conservative Hippie>>>[Obama intends to change the constitution to suit his socialist agenda.]

Although in 2001 Obama said he was not “optimistic about bringing major redistributive change through the courts,” as president, he would likely have the opportunity to appoint one or more Supreme Court justices.

“The real tragedy of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused that I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change,” Obama said.

Conservative hippie>>>[Community organizing. Think about that. Think about what that means to socialism. Obama, the socialist is about to bring change we have never been able to fathom in this great nation. A change that will steal from us all for the common good. A change that will FORCE us to become our brothers’ keeper. My advice: Find out RIGHT NOW what you can do about your 401k. I am no financial expert by any means. But there has to be SOMETHING we can do to keep the government from putting their socialist greedy fingers on our belongings. The new socialist regime are thieves, people! Nothing but thieves, cheats, liars and deceivers! Do not wait for the wind to blow to decide what you will do. The socialist regime is such they will tell us one thing and then the next morning we will wake up and find out we have been lied to. Protect what is rightfully yours. It is your right! NEVER EVER forget that!]

Obama to appoint talk radio’s executioner?

In Socialist Pig Injustice on November 8, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Expected FCC transition chief served during ‘Fairness Doctrine’ days
Atricle gotten here: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=80424

Democrat Henry Rivera, a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, is expected to head President-elect Barack Obama’s FCC transition team, a move that has sparked fear in media circles that the Fairness Doctrine may return to silence conservative talk radio.

If reenacted, the “Fairness Doctrine” would require broadcasts over the public airwaves to give equal time to opposing political views. For talk radio, which boomed after the law’s repeal in 1987 by building an audience devoted to conservative talk, the law’s return would decimate the industry’s marketability.

Conservative Hippie>>>[Equal time? Equal time? They have had “equal time” for years. They were in control of the whole media for decades. Who would even want to spend their time listening to the liberal garbage and propaganda?

Many fear the “Fairness Doctrine” would drive talk radio hosts – like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage – out of business.

Conservative Hippie>>>[That is exactly what the liberals want. Then we wouild be forced to either have to listen to the new socialist regime which is taking over or turn off our radio. I would probably throw the radio out the back door.]

Brian Maloney of the blog “The Radio Equalizer” said in his post, “Meet Talk’s Executioner,”  he believes Rivera will use his position to bring back the law for that very purpose.

Conservative Hippie>>>[Socialism at work.]

Rivera, according to Maloney, “is expected to lead the push to dismantle commercial talk radio that is favored by a number of Democratic Party senators. Rivera will play a pivotal role in preventing critics from having a public voice during Obama’s tenure in office.”

Conservative Hippie>>>[Did you hear that? Obama wants to silence his critics. Is this nothing but socialism at its’ best?!]

Rivera served on the five-member FCC from 1981 to 1985 under Republican chairman Mark Fowler. He is now a partner at the Wiley Rein law firm, the same firm current FCC chairman Kevin Martin worked at prior to his appointment to the FCC.

Rivera resigned from the FCC in 1985. The remainder of his term was served by President Reagan appointee Patricia Diaz Dennis, who opposed the Fairness Doctrine. The law was then repealed in 1987 after the FCC admitted it “had the net effect of reducing rather than enhancing the discussion of controversial issues of public importance.”

Conservative Hippie>>>[They had hoped it would work in their favor. But Rush Limbaugh–the King of talk radio–came along and gave us a voice. Now that they have found out it did not work in their favor, they want to shut us down.] 

Rivera himself has not confirmed his selection as Obama’s FCC transition team chief, first reported by Multichannel News.

“The only thing I can tell you is that there will be a release of the folks involved in that,” Rivera told the News. “I just can’t comment on anything. They told us not to talk to the press.”

Conservative Hippie>>>[This tells me that this is a priority agenda they are working on. The secrecy behind it is diabolical.]

Rivera also declined to answer WND’s request for his position on reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.

Obama’s position on the law also remains unclear.

Conservative Hippie>>>[Anyone who would actually believe his position is not clear is a total idiot.]

“Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters,” campaign press secretary Michael Ortiz told Broadcasting & Cable earlier this year. “He considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible.”

Conservative Hippie>>>[Then why all the secrecy of not talking to the press?]

As WND reported, ATI-News President Brad O’Leary examined Obama’s legal and organizational attempts to silence media detractors during the presidential race and came to a different conclusion.

Barack Obama has shown a stunning lack of tolerance for free speech throughout the course of this campaign,” said O’Leary. “His presidency, combined with supermajorities for Democrats in Congress, would almost certainly bring back the so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine’ and allow the Democrats to snuff out any broadcasters with whom they disagree.”

Conservative Hippie>>>[Lack of tolerance is correct when you sic your thugs on Joe–the plumber–an ordinary citizen who dared to ask a question. It most defintitely would allow the Socialists to snuff out any and all who disagree.]

Democrats in Congress have been more definitive in advocating the “Fairness Doctrine.”

Conservative Hippie>>[Is that suppose to be some great surprise? Let’s start calling these people what they truly are before the right is taken away from us. They are SOCIALISTS of the Marxist revolution.]

In June, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., affirmed her support to Human Events reporter John Gizzi.

Conservative Hippie>>>[Nancy Pelosi is one of the biggest socialists of all in this nation.]

Speaking on Albuquerque station KKOB, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., told host Jim Villanucci, “I would want this station and all stations to have to present a balanced perspective and different points of view, instead of always hammering away at one side of the political [spectrum].”

Bingaman said, “For many, many years, we operated under a Fairness Doctrine in this country. I think the country was well-served. I think the public discussion was at a higher level and more intelligent in those days than it has become since.”

Conservative Hippie>>>[You are darn right the discussion was at a higher level and of more intelligence. Thanks to truth speakers, we did not have to listen and believe every lie that came at us through liberal media. And the socialists hate it. They hate that the public began to see through them.]

Rush Limbaugh, the most-listened to radio host in American history, however, blasted Bingaman’s comment that there were “a lot of talk stations” before 1987.

“A 125 radio stations talking about carrot cake recipes for the holidays,” Limbaugh said. “Senator Bingaman, do you know how many talk-radio stations there are in America today? Try over 2,000 since the Fairness Doctrine was lifted, and on those 2,000 radio stations are countless points of view, from the extreme communist left to the wacko whatever it is way out on the fringe right. They’re all over the place.”

Republican Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana has opposed to the Fairness Doctrine by introducing the Broadcasters Freedom Act, arguing that lifting the restrictive law has “opened the public airwaves to free and vigorous discussion of controversial issues by individuals of all political stripes.”

“Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine would amount to government control over political views expressed on the public airwaves,” Pence said. “It is a dangerous proposal to suggest the government should be in the business of rationing free speech.”

Conservative Hippie>>>[So right! This is socialism at its’ full power. Silence the people. Silence the critics to the point where the people will be forced into believing everything they are told by liberal media. Then they can control us.]

Pence, a former broadcaster, said his Broadcasters Freedom Act would ensure that “true freedom and fairness will remain on our radio airwaves.”

Conservative Hippie>>>[Let’s all hope so!]

Cops at man’s home for opposing Obama

In Socialist Pig Injustice on November 2, 2008 at 11:00 pm
Police threaten criminal trespass after delivery of anti-Dem letter

 

 

Posted: October 30, 2008
11:00 pm Eastern
 

 

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

 

A Kansas resident is claiming he has been unfairly threatened by officers after he hand delivered a note to a police department administrator explaining why he will not vote for Obama.

Brent Garner of Lawrence, Kan., told WND he composed an essay on Oct. 29 detailing Obama’s connections with communist Frank Davis and Weatherman William Ayers, the Democrat’s tax plan and his lack of protection for infants born alive following failed abortion procedures.

He then put the letter in an envelope and delivered it to Obama supporter and Lawrence Police Department civilian administrator Kim Murphree, whom he had met at his church.

“She demanded to know what was in the envelope,” Garner said. “I simply told her to read it that it was self-explanatory and then walked off her property. She then began to yell at me and call me names while I was in the street.”

Garner said his wife witnessed the incident from the couple’s minivan.

He then drove home, and a clergyman from his church called him, saying Murphree had complained about the letter. While he was speaking on the phone, only 10-15 minutes following his letter delivery, an officer from the Lawrence Police Department appeared on his doorstep.

“He belligerently demanded to speak with me,” Garner said. “I asked him if I was required to speak with him without an attorney present. He told me no, and I bade him leave my property. He then told me that Kim had lodged a criminal trespass complaint against me and that if I went on her property again I would be arrested.”

Garner said he told the officer he would consult an attorney.

“I perceived this to be a blatant effort to intimidate me over my political beliefs and that such action was illegal and unconstitutional,” he said. “He became more belligerent where upon my wife stepped up and informed him that what Kim claimed I had done was a lie as she, my wife, was there as a witness.”

Garner said he believes the administrator used her association with the local police to punish him for his political beliefs.

“A 15-minute response for something like this, something that would be considered a nonviolent crime?” he said. “If I had been violent, a quick response would have been most in order.”

Chapter 21, Section 3721(a) of Kansas law states criminal trespassing is when a “person enters or remains therein in defiance of an order not to enter or to leave such premises or property personally communicated to such person by the owner thereof or other authorized person.”

But Garner said he was never aggressive, and he left Murphree’s property immediately. However, police still met him on his doorstep.

“I was told that if I went anywhere near her that they would arrest me,” he said.

When WND contacted dispatcher Kim Murphree to verify the allegations, she responded, “Me, let you know if it was true?”

She then referred to the department’s internal affairs officer and hung up her phone before the conversation had ended.

Internal affairs officer Sgt. Bill Corey said, “It looks like someone showed up to her house, the fellow you talked to, apparently. He was very aggressive apparently, and she wanted him off her property, and he wouldn’t leave.”

But when told that Garner said he did leave immediately, Corey said, “I don’t know. I don’t think so. It doesn’t show here in the call.”

Corey confirmed that an officer had spoken with Garner.

“We just said that that person doesn’t want them on their property, and they have the right not to have someone on their property if they don’t want them on their property and please don’t go back,” he said.

Corey said police filed an informational report, but he said he doesn’t believe Murphree will press charges.

However, Garner said he has contacted John McCain’s campaign, and it has collected information from him about the incident. He plans to consult an attorney.

“If I can drag the Lawrence Police Department into it, I am going to do that,” he said. “To me, this is a blatant attempt to punish me for my constitutionally protected right of free speech.”

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=79513