Christopher MarkowskiArticle, Research & The EconomyLeave a Comment


“So it begins”

King Théoden (At the battle of Helms deep from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings) 

In 2008 we uncovered a plot that was being hatched that would forever change our country.  This plan was rooted in the base desire of individuals on the left to control as much as they can of our lives and run it out of Washington D.C.  This plan was to find a way for the government to take over the nation’s retirement accounts. (IRA’s 401K’s etc.)  Guaranteed Government Accounts, a moniker worthy of Ayn Rand novel, was originally proposed by Professor Teresa Ghilarducci where she proposed eliminating all qualified plans and forcing all Americans to contribute 2.5% from every paycheck with a 2.5% employer match.  This contribution would be in addition to your Social Security and Medicare contributions.  

Ghilarducci states that the account would guarantee a 3% return above inflation.  That promise is the equivalent of me telling you that I can make 2+2 equal 10.  It is absurd.  Start with the fact that the government manufactured inflation numbers are not worth the paper they are printed on.  Couple that with a portfolio made up entirely of U.S. Treasuries.  

How do you come up with 3% return above inflation? 

You don’t.  It is a classic pyramid scam.  Might as well get Madoff to run it! 

The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments have already held public hearings with the goal of ultimately getting (forcing) Americans to turn their accounts over to Uncle Sam.  Leftists usually work through woman and children (society’s most vulnerable) whereas they frame their argument so if there is any opposition they can state that the individual in opposition does not care for woman, children and society’s most vulnerable.  This plays really well on MSNBC; in fact it is the basis of most of their programming outside of infomercials.  

In the James Bond filmYou Only Live Twice, Bond gets caught standing on a trap door that sends him spiraling down to the lair of the evil Tiger Tanaka’s office.  The evil Max Zorin in the Bond film A View To Kill uses a trap door to kill a business associate unwilling to go along with his plan to destroy Silicon Valley.  On the television show the Simpson’s, C. Montgomery Burns, the semi-evil owner of the nuclear power plant just so happens to have a trap door in front of his office desk to dispose of anyone that displeases him.  On January 28th 2014 the President of the United States proposes at the State of the Union address a new retirement account called MyRA.  We feel that MyRA is nothing more than a trap door to ensnare and convince Americans to turn over their retirement accounts to the government. 

The President stated… 

Let’s do more to help Americans save for retirement.  Today most workers don’t have a pension.  A Social security check isn’t enough on its own.  And while the stock market has doubled over the last five years, that doesn’t help folks who don’t have 401k’s.  That’s why, tomorrow, I will direct the Treasury to create a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings:  MyRA.  It’s a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg. MyRA guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in.  And if this Congress wants to help, work with me to fix an upside-down tax code that gives big tax breaks to help the wealthy save, but does little to nothing for middle-class Americans.  Offer every American access to an automatic IRA on the job, so they can save at work just like everyone in this chamber can. 

Could be me.  Call me crazy.  But, the rhetoric reminds me of that classic Obama golden oldie… 

“If you like your health insurance you can keep it.” 

John Fogerty from Credence Clearwater Revival articulates my suspicions and concerns with the lyrics from another golden oldie: I see a bad the moon rising.  I see trouble on the way. 

Breaking down the Presidents nonsense: 

  1. Government to the rescue.According to the President, the only way one would have access to use that dastardly tool of the rich, the stock market; one must have a 401k.  The only way to get a 401k according the President is that you must get the secret handshake from The Monopoly Man, Scrooge McDuck or Mitt Romney.  I guess they did not teach him at community organizing class back at Occidental, Columbia or Harvard about IRA’s, Roth IRS’s, and Individual Accounts etc.
  2. Economic Ignorance.The President obviously has no idea how inflation works and the idea that a Savings Bond is a guaranteed winner would put him with the boiler room stockbrokers of Stratton Oakmont and the Wolf On Wall Street Jordan Belfort.
  3. Really Bad Portfolio Management.Buying savings bonds, which is the equivalent of loaning money. To an entity that is already $17 trillion in debt and counting, is somehow a prudent investment move.
  4. Class-warfare and the tax-code.  The ridiculous notion that evil rich people are the only people that receive tax-breaks for being responsible and saving for their future.
  5. The trapdoor!  Automatic IRA on the job.  Force people to not only contribute to Social Security but to another government scheme.  It will start out as voluntary and it eventually become mandatory.  I can hear it already… “If you like your retirement plan you can keep it.”
  6. Your investment options or lack thereof.One.  You get to lend your hard earned dollars to the government for a below market rate of return. 
  7. Rollout or hard close.Soon after implementation you will have the choice to roll all of your retirement accounts under the prudent and wise advisement of Uncle Sam.  In fact I can see it being pitched on television by Celebrity Idiots as the patriotic thing to do.  More than likely, Jay-Z and Kanye West are probably working on rap song about this already.  Sooner rather than later the voluntary part goes away and becomes mandatory just like the governments of Argentina, Hungary, Poland and Portugal did to their people. 

Argentina, on October 22, 2008 when the entire world was enamored with this wonderful American Presidential candidate who preached of Hope and Change, far-left Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner took over the people’s private pension system under the cloak of “protecting investors from losses due to global market turmoil.”  The average return of the Argentine private pension system since its inception in 1994 was 13.4%.  The reality is that Argentina raided the accounts to fund-short term debt coming due over the next few years that funded their default in 2001.  

You know what other country North of Argentina with a flag that happens to consist of the colors red, white and blue also has a ton of short-term debt instruments? 

The trapdoor is set America.  Don’t step on it. 

Markowski Christopher Retirement RaidMarkowski Quarterly 3/2008

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