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And Then They Came For My IRA

August 31, 2009

"From each according to his ability; to each according to his need." - Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

News flash to all the drones out there who voted to elect the community-organizer-in-chief: you will reap what you have sown. Socialist tyrants always promise to lift everyone up to a higher level in order to achieve "equality," but reality suggests something very different. When they have finished with their social engineering and their economic tinkering, the net result is always to drag everyone down to poverty or, at best, mediocrity, and the Obama regime will be no exception.

So far, this autocrat has effectively taken control of banks, insurance companies and the automobile industry. Now he is after control of the entire health care industry, a full one-sixth of the U.S. economy. His administration has bullied his business detractors into submission, demonized doctors, insurance executives and anyone else who happens to disagree with him. Obama's thugocracy has browbeaten pharmaceutical companies and called into question the compensation of individuals who work for firms in the private sector.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts in Congress are attempting to foist upon us the laughably named "Employee Free Choice Act," which could allow labor unions to do to the rest of American business what they have already done to the auto industry.

Pelosi and company have already passed "Cap and Trade" legislation through the House, a bill that, in the murky name of "counteracting global warming," will crush American taxpayers under the weight of a huge new energy tax.

Democrats want to penalize small business owners -- arguably the backbone of our economy -- in a myriad of ways, from forced paid sick leave to a wage insurance tax. Because most of the yahoos voting on the Hill have no understanding at all of how business works, they falsely believe that they can finance their utopian schemes on the backs of independent entrepreneurs.

U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, is now using the power of his congressional committee to demand compensation information from American companies in a naked attempt to intimidate them.

And yet, when one mentions the idea of this government seizing your IRA and/or 401k and rolling it over into the bankrupt Social Security Administration, the usual reaction -- even after all the evidence of the last six months -- is scoffing. "They wouldn't dare," I heard from one individual. "There would be a revolt," said another. Still someone else commented, "If you think there was outrage over this health care bill, let them try that!"

Well, maybe, but given the arrogance of these Statists, that is a natural next step. It is one that has been floated before, and don't think that it has gone away. Consider that individual retirement accounts, be they private or corporate, have been accumulated tax free. In the eyes of Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al, that translates into you getting away with something. Somehow you got "free" money. We're talking about accounts totaling hundreds of billions (possibly trillions) of dollars! Believe me, they're salivating.

Never mind that you earned it. Never mind that you faithfully put it away for your retirement, or that your employer may have diligently matched a portion of if for you as part of your compensation package. None of that matters to these people. In their world, you took money and stashed it away without them being able to tax it. That makes you suspect, especially if you have been successful and a long-term investor, which makes you one of the evil rich. How dare you want to keep so much for yourself when others have nothing?

After what we have witnessed so far this year, anything is possible today in America. And even if they don't actually do it, imagine how much windfall revenue would accrue to the federal government if the American people only thought they were going to do it. An executive for a large Midwestern company told me: "I would pull every dime out of my 401k, pay the taxes and penalties and stick the cash in my mattress before I would let those (expletive deleted) have it!"

Could that be the plan?

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Copyright ©2009 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.