“C’mon baby, eat the rich!”
I had meant to talk about this a while back, but Gradeapalooza and such got in the way. One of the problems with expecting government to meet your needs is that you’re trusting the government to know what your needs are. And if you and the government differ as to the nature and extent of your needs, guess who gets the last word? As Jonah Goldberg has pointed out on numerous occasions, a government can’t love you — it can’t care about you as much as your friends, your family, or yourself. How many of your needs are you willing to entrust to someone who doesn’t ultimately give a damn about you?
(At this point, one might argue that we do business and acquire services from lots of folks who don’t give a damn about us. The difference, of course, is that we are their customers, and have the right to take our business elsewhere. There’s mutual dependency in play. Harder to do with a government monopoly.)
This brings us to an interesting article that ran at US News and World Report three weeks back.
According to advance reports, the administration’s budget due out on Wednesday will propose a cap limiting the amount of annual return a retirement account can create to $205,000. If that proposal were enacted today, that would mean retirement accounts would be limited to $3 million in assets. The White House estimates that caps on the tax-preferred accounts would generate $9 billion over 10 years.
“Under current rules, some wealthy individuals are able to accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving,” the White House told Politico last week. [Emphasis mine — Prof. M.]
See, you can’t be trusted to know how you might want to live when you’re done working. You might save too much — you might want to live too well. Who are you to decide what kind of life is suitable? There’s a GS-14 in DC who can make that decision for you — and will relieve you of anything that he or she finds excessive. You know, like an excessive retirement income that is less than the cost of two Spring Break trips for a President’s kid.
Remember, “Government is the one thing we all belong to.” Apparently our cash and the labor that earned it belong to the government as well. And if they want it, they’ll take it.