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Author: CCinOC Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 744943  
Subject: Re: 401K to Roth 401K conversions Date: 1/13/2013 6:06 PM
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Regardless of the investment (whether it is retirement accounts or insurance products), Congress can change the tax laws regarding the investment.

Claim: Bank robber Willie Sutton gave as his reason for robbing banks: "That's where the money is."

First, though, some definitions. Generally speaking, wealth is the value of everything a person or family owns, minus any debts. However, for purposes of studying the wealth distribution of America, economists define wealth in terms of marketable assets, such as real estate and stocks/bonds, leaving aside consumer durables like cars and household items because they are not as readily converted into cash and are more valuable to their owners for use purposes than they are for resale (see Wolff, 2004, p. 4, for a full discussion of these issues). Once the value of all marketable assets is determined, then all debts (such as home mortgages and credit card debts), are subtracted, which yields a person's net worth. In addition, economists use the concept of financial wealth -- also referred to in this document as "non-home wealth" -- which is defined as net worth minus net equity in owner-occupied housing. As Wolff (2004, p. 5) explains, "Financial wealth is a more 'liquid' concept than marketable wealth, since one's home is difficult to convert into cash in the short term. It thus reflects the resources that may be immediately available for consumption or various forms of investments."

[As telegraph pointed out], we also need to distinguish wealth from income. Income is what people earn from work, but also from dividends, interest, and any rents or royalties that are paid to them on properties they own. In theory, those who own a great deal of wealth may or may not have high incomes, depending on the returns they receive from their wealth, but in reality those at the very top of the wealth distribution usually have the most income. (But it's important to note that for the rich, most of that income does not come from "working": in 2008, only 19% of the income reported by the 13,480 individuals or families making over $10 million came from wages and salaries. See Norris, 2010, for more details.)


Wolff, E. N. (2004). Changes in household wealth in the 1980s and 1990s in the U.S. Working Paper No. 407. Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College.

Norris, F. (2010, July 24). Off the Charts: In '08 Downturn, Some Managed to Eke Out Millions. New York Times, p. B-3.

What percentage of the average American's wealth consists of retirement accounts? Enough that the Obama Administration is setting its sights on them. This is no longer in the realm of conspiracy but public record.

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/government-sets-its-si...

A recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury and Labor Departments marked the beginning of the Obama Administration’s effort to nationalize the nation’s pension system and to eliminate private retirement accounts including IRA’s and 401k plans, NSC is warning.

The hearing, held in the Labor Department’s main auditorium, was monitored by NSC staff and featured a line up of left-wing activists including one representative of the AFL-CIO who advocated for more government regulation over private retirement accounts and even the establishment of government-sponsored annuities that would take the place of 401k plans.

“This hearing was set up to explore why Americans are not saving as much for their retirement as they could,” explains National Seniors Council National Director Robert Crone, “However, it is clear that this is the first step towards a government takeover. It feels just like the beginning of the debate over health care and we all know how that ended up.” [...]

A representative of the liberal Pension Rights Center, Rebecca Davis, testified that the government needs to get involved because 401k plans and IRAs are unfair to poor people. She demanded the Obama administration set up a “government-sponsored program administered by the PBGC (the governments’ Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation).” [...]

Such “reforms” would effectively end private retirement accounts in America, Crone warns.

“These people want the government to require that ultimately all Americans buy these government annuities instead of saving or investing on their own. The Government could then take these trillions of dollars and redistribute it through this new national retirement system.” [...]

“This effort ultimately is designed to grab the retirement nest eggs of America’s senior citizens. This new government annuity scheme, even if it is at first optional, will turn into a giant effort to redistribute the wealth of America’s older citizens,” explains Crone. “This scheme mirrors what I expect the President will try to do with Social Security. He wants to turn that program into a welfare program, too.”

Source: National Seniors Council
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