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Author: orangeblood Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 81602  
Subject: Re: Thoughts on IRAs and 401Ks Date: 1/27/1998 10:40 AM
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>>>Yeah, I'm staying away from the Roth. There's nothing to stop Congress from changing the rules and deciding to tax them. People who recommend this stuff wholeheartedly have a lot more faith in politicians than I do.<<<

I'm curious if anyone can come up with a similar example where Congress set up something with a specific major benefit (in this case, the tax-free withdrawal of Roth IRA money), and later retroactively changed it.

My example would *not* include, for example, the changing of the IRA rules, because those changes were not retroactive and applied only to new contributions(i.e., just because Congress declared IRAs were no longer deductible, one did not have to go back and pay taxes on earlier deductible contributions).

This is probably just a long way of saying, yes... Congress may change the Roth rules at some point in the future, even no longer allowing tax-free withdrawals of new accounts. But I just don't think they would ever be able (politically) to tax existing Roths. Can you imagine the outcry of millions of people who paid taxes in order to convert traditional IRAs? Just not politically feasible, IMHO.

I have seen others raise very valid points about the benefits of Roths being undermined in indirect ways... abolishing all income tax in favor of a national sales tax, for instance. But I just don't see Congress retroactively taxing all Roth withdrawals.

Just my .02 (U.S.),

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