Will Obama Nationalize U.S. Pensions?
February 18, 2010 by Robert E. Bauman, J.D.
Will President Barack Obama nationalize United States pensions? That was the serious question I proposed one year ago in my blog—and it’s time to ask that question again.
Why now? Because President Obama has proposed what one of our experts sees as the "first step in stealth nationalization and forced investment of our retirement benefits."
The bad news comes as part of a tax package said to be aimed at middle-income Americans that was revealed in Obama’s State of the Union speech, as reported by Business Week magazine.
Obama’s stealth proposal is billed by him as an "effort to increase retirement savings by requiring all businesses to offer automatic IRA accounts,” but it drew immediate opposition from U.S. small business associations. Obama claims the plan would let employees automatically enroll in direct-deposit retirement accounts and expand matching tax credits.
Dangerous First Step to Nationalization
But Larry C. Grossman, CFP, CIMA, managing director of Sovereign International Pension Services (no relation to Sovereign Society) and a member of our Sovereign Society Council of Experts, sees the Obama idea as a dangerous move.
Says Grossman, "If you read it closely you will see the heart of the proposal is the requirement to keep 10 percent of the funds in U.S. Treasuries. At the stroke of a pen the president has found a way to bolster the declining demand for Treasuries. I believe forcing retirement plans into U.S. government control is the next step."
This alarm was echoed by Ron Holland, editor of the Inner Circle Intelligence Report published by BFI Consulting AG, a Swiss financial advisory firm, and a long-time member of the Sovereign Society Council of Experts.
Says Holland, "I think the mandatory IRAs just proposed by Obama is the first step in stealth nationalization and forced investment of our retirement benefits to support the U.S. Treasury debt market."
Should you be worried about this latest radical Obama move?
There is an estimated $15 trillion worth of private retirement plans in the United States; $4 trillion in IRAs alone; this constitutes 35 percent of all private assets in America. That is what the Obama government is eyeing to help plug the multi-trillion dollar deficit in his big spending budget.
You could call this move Obama’s attempt to "pull an Argentina."
What’s “An Argentina?”
In October 2008, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner—a peronista—confiscated US$30 billion worth in that country’s 10 privately managed pension funds. This was presented as an emergency measure to meet her faltering government’s financing costs. The Argentine congress went along with this radical property grab of individual retirement accounts, 401Ks and the like.
Could this happen in America?
Grossman’s opinion, "There have been several different academic papers published which have given rise to rumors. At least one congressional hearing on nationalizing pensions has been held. It is difficult to decide in what form it would take if something like this occurred in the U.S. Many believe that if indeed this is approaching, the best way to protect your assets is to place your retirement funds offshore now."
Holland says, "I believe we must fight this proposal and similar plans or else the private retirement system and our retirement wealth will be history in a few short years." Ron has produced a special report on this radical grab entitled, The Obama Retirement Trap Has Started!
In my opinion, adopting such a retirement confiscation policy would be another major blow to Americans’ confidence and to any chance of economic recovery. It would further devalue the dollar and it would destroy what little remains of the credibility of Obama and his socialist government.
Folks, I served in the U.S. Congress when Democrats were overwhelmingly in control. I’ve seen what happens when the Republicans are in charge, as well. Meaning simply, anything can happen—so hold on to your wallet… and your retirement account!
—Robert J. Bauman, JD