Monday, November 8, 2010

So The Government's Coming After Your 401(k)? Gimme a Break.

I'm always amused by conspiracy theorists, but sometimes you just have to speak up when you hear something that's completely outside the realm of all reason. I hesitate to even mention it, but it's a good illustration of how far we have fallen from reasonable discourse.

You may have read that nothing good can come of making financial decisions on the basis of political ideology. That doesn't stop people from doing it, of course. Here's the latest:

Last week, a client told me that he had heard "Obama is going to start dipping into our 401(k) accounts to get money to pay off the deficit." As you might imagine, the client viewed such a scenario as highly unlikely, but since he had heard it from a financial services professional, he wanted to know if he should cash in his retirement plan and bury it in the yard. So I looked into it, and here's my take:

Hmm, how should I put it? How about this: Get real. It's not going to happen.

First of all, nobody within the government has suggested such an idea. Second, just how far do you think someone would get with this kind of  scheme? "Hey guys, I have an idea: let's take money from private retirement accounts to pay off the deficit! That should be pretty easy, don't you think?"

Let's say the administration tried it. There are a couple little organizations called Congress and the Supreme Court that might have a thing or two to say about it. Regardless of one's opinion of the Obama Administration, they're smart enough to know that attempting to take money from personal investment accounts would be political suicide. Please, gimme a break.

Okay, so now you know that the President of the United States is not going to steal your hard-earned retirement fund. Breathe a sigh of relief, and enjoy a great week!


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