That working Americans in general don’t save or invest enough money to ensure a comfortable retirement is cause for concern. But the good news is that enough do save and invest to have accumulated trillions of dollars to sustain themselves. Of course “trillions of dollars” is a phrase one dare not speak in front of a politician without risk that he will devise some mechanism to punish past savings and discourage such good behavior in the future.
For instance, Barack Obama turned up last week with the not-at-all-new idea of placing limits on the retirement savings individuals are allowed to accumulate in tax-deferred accounts.
As we said, nothing new: Left-wing interests never take their eyes off retirement savings and pension funds, given that they’re on one hand a huge potential source of other people’s money and on the other, activist political pressure sometimes succeeds at badgering fund managers into “investments” that prop up Liberal policies like green energy and climate boondoggles.
But even if the attitude is familiar, it’s galling to read the words of the Treasury Department presuming to disparage the discipline of some savers accumulating funds “in excess of amounts needed to fund reasonable levels of consumption in retirement.” Since when is it some bureaucrat’s business to say what is a “reasonable” amount to set aside from one’s earnings?
So far, nobody has to answer that question, and the reason should be instructive for the considerable numbers of people who regard themselves as Conservatives but hold the Republican Congress in contempt. The current administration isn’t already moving to siphon off private retirement savings for the same reason countless assaults on freedom and private property aren’t attempted. You don’t hear about those attempts because Republican congressional majorities would make them futile.
We mustn’t overlook the things we don’t see.