Friday, October 31, 2008

Democrats Take Aim At Investments and Savings

US News and World Report is reports in their article Why Democrats Will Target the Investor Class in 2009
that a Democrat run government will target a government take over of
savings and investments for political expediency. It should be noted
that the 'investor class' includes people who put thier savings in
IRA's and 401K's. This isn't the super wealthy, this is most often
responsible middle class Americans that save for retirement and other
needs. This not only threatens people's savings it is more evidence
that a government fully controlled by the Democrats will result in a
dramatic lurch to the left as thes are plans for more big government
1) Hike Investment Taxes. Obama wants to raise capital gains taxes
even though he has kinda, sorta admitted that it might be bad for the
economy and might actually decrease tax revenue to the government. For
now, he's talking about raising the highest cap gains rate by one third
to 20 percent, though earlier in the campaign, he floated pushing it as
high as 28 percent, a near doubling. (Recall that Democratic
presidential contender John Edwards wanted to raise it as high as 40
percent, a move that was applauded by liberals who want investment
income to be taxed as onerously as labor income.) With the next
administration facing a trillion dollar budget deficit—maybe more—there
will certainly be pressure to raise taxes to higher levels than now
being suggested.

2) Eliminate 401(k)'s, IRAs, and other retirement plans.
Democrats in the House are now talking openly about the longtime
liberal dream of repealing the tax advantages of putting money into a
401(k) plan or other tax-advantaged retirement account. "The savings
rate isn't going up for the investment of $80 billion [in 401(k) tax
breaks], we have to start to think about whether or not we want to
continue to invest that $80 billion for a policy that's not generating
what we now say it should," said Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from
Washington at a recent hearing, according to an industry trade paper.

House Democrats recently invited Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor at the
New School of Social Research, to testify before a subcommittee on her
idea to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of the popular
retirement plans. In place of 401(k) plans, she would have workers
transfer their dough into government-created "guaranteed retirement
accounts" with a 3 percent real return.

Not only would removing
the preferential tax treatment of these vehicles raise investment taxes
by $100 billion a year and affect Americans making less than $100,000,
it would surely prompt many Americans, already shell-shocked by the
market's recent losses, to flee stocks. All this ignores the fact that
there are trillions of dollars in American retirement accounts, and
abandoning the higher-returning stock market at a probable bottom is
classic financial foolishness. If you believe long term in the American
economy, then you have to believe in the stock market. If you don't,
then you have to admit the government won't be able to afford its
promises anyway.

3) Replace private capital with public capital.
But wouldn't a weak stock market hurt the economy by making it tougher
to raise investment capital and lessen the return on risk? Surely, it
would. But Obama is planning hundreds of billions of dollars of
government "investment" in cutting-edge technology, particularly in the
energy and healthcare sectors. One specific example: Obama wants to
create something called a "Clean Technologies Venture Capital Fund" and
invest $10 billion a year in emerging energy technologies. Now, the
private VC industry is already pouring billions into alternative
energy, but Obama thinks that's not enough and wants Uncle Sam to get
in on the action at taxpayer expense. Interestingly, a new study
by the University of British Columbia looked at the performance of the
Canadian government's venture capital efforts. It found that government
venture capital isn't nearly as successful as private venture capital.

Democrats Take Aim At Investments and Savings


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