imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Obama's MyRA Proposal: Hold the Cheers

by Stephen Lendman Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 at 7:47 AM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

class war

Obama's MyRA Proposal: Hold the Cheers

by Stephen Lendman

Americans don't need another phony retirement scheme. They need employer-provider defined benefits they once enjoyed.

They need guaranteed pensions. They need safe and secure ones. They need Social Security protected. They need it strengthened.

It's not an entitlement. It's not welfare. It's a contractual federal obligation. It's for eligible recipients who qualify.

It's funded by worker-employer payroll tax deductions. Insurance premiums work the same way.

It's America's most important retirement program. It's not going bankrupt. When properly administered, it's sound and secure.

Bipartisan complicity weakened it over time. It needs strengthening. Its original incarnation needs to be restored and improved.

Today it's not what it was created to be. Franklin Roosevelt's vision needs to be reestablished.

On August 14, 1935, he said in part:

"This social security measure gives at least some protection to thirty millions of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, through old-age pensions and through increased services for the protection of children and the prevention of ill health."

The law "give(s) some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty - ridden old age."

It "represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete."

Its purpose is to "take care of human needs and at the same time provide for the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness."

On January 11, 1944, Roosevelt's last State of the Union address proposed an economic bill of rights.

He didn't live long enough to implement it. He wanted the following guaranteed for all Americans:

• employment with a living (not a minimum) wage;

• freedom from unfair competition and monopolies;




• decent housing;

• proper healthcare;

• education; and

• strengthened social security.

He wanted all Americans freed from the ravages of poverty. Obama is no Roosevelt. He's ideologically opposite.

Obamanomics did more to wreck the American dream than any of his predecessors.

He presided over the greatest wealth transfer in history. He's beholden to powerful monied interests. They own him.

His rhetoric belies his policies. He's pro-business, pro-privilege, pro-war, anti-populist, and against all fundamental values real democracies cherish.

He's waged war on ordinary Americans. He wrecked the lives of millions. His entire agenda is opposite of what's needed. His new MyRA (retirement account) proposal is more scam than solution.

"Today, most workers don't have a pension," said Obama. He stopped short of explaining efforts to eliminate public and private pensions altogether.

"Social Security...often isn't enough on its own," he added. It could be much more than today. It should be. Proper strengthening would improve it greatly.

It's been weakened over time. Bipartisan complicity wants it privatized. Doing so assures wrecking it altogether. Obama's MyRA proposal ignores a problem needing fixing.

On January 28, he said he'll "direct the Treasury to create a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings: MyRA. It's a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg."

On January 29, a White House press release headlined "FACT SHEET: Opportunity for All: Securing a Dignified Retirement for All Americans."

It calls MyRAs "simple, safe and affordable 'starter' retirement savings accounts." Workers earning up to 1,000 are eligible.

Employers willing to participate will make automatic payroll deductions. No employer contribution is required.

Worker contributions are voluntary. An initial is required. Subsequent ones can be as little as .

They'll be used to purchase US Treasuries. Yields fluctuate over time. They're rock bottom now.

Treasury bills earn practically nothing. Five year Treasury notes yield about 1.50%. Ten year notes around 2.70%. Inflation is multiples higher. Money invested today ends up worth less.

Savers can keep the same account if they change jobs. They can roll over the balance into a private IRA any time.

Once accounts accumulate ,000 (or are held 30 years), they automatically roll over into a privately run Roth IRA with no tax loss.

According to Economic Policy Institute economist Monique Morrissey, doing so is bad news.

"The president's plan may serve to channel more savings into a high-risk, high-fee system without first addressing its failings," she said.

His plan is "nothing to get exited about." Savers "already have convenient access to low or no-risk investment options."

They can do it through retirement accounts. They can buy Treasuries or other financial instruments on their own.

Morrissey urges "holding out for a better retirement option." Obama's plan may seem "harmless," she said.

It "distracts from real reform efforts." They're more than ever needed. Obama and Congress ignore them. Obama's MyRA scheme is more smoke and mirrors than needed change.

According to the White House press release, accounts are "offered through an initial pilot program to employees of employers (that) choose to participate by the end of 2014."

Obama claims he's "committed to working with Congress to help secure a dignified retirement for all Americans."

Throughout five years in office, his policies have been polar opposite. Don't expect his MyRA scheme to change things.

According to Social Security Works co-director Eric Kingson:

"Instead of putting forward the MyRA proposal and making some noises about auto-IRAs, I wish (Obama) simply focused on the facts about the impending retirement income crisis, or acknowledged, along with his MyRA and the auto-IRA rhetoric, that these proposals can, at best, only make a small dent in a larger problem."

Crisis looms for millions approaching retirement. Most people haven't saved enough. Many accumulated nothing. They're more indebted than secure.

Obama's so-called "good start" is more sham than solution. It does practically nothing to resolve a festering crisis.

Longtime Chicago financial adviser, Terry Savage, reports the "Savage Truth." She discussed Obama's MyRA proposal.

"What a creative idea," she said. "It sounds so familiar. Wait. We already have that account. It's called SOCIAL SECURITY."

It's how it "was promoted when...enacted in 1935." In the 1980s, "growing surpluses (became) a tempting target…"

They were looted to fund government. Wall Street crooks benefitted. So did war profiteers and other corporate favorites. Super-rich elites got wealthier. The trust fund became their piggy bank.

Then Reagan National Commission on Social Security Reform head Alan Greenspan recommended it.

He lied claiming a Social Security "financing crisis." He wrongfully claimed the trust fund could run out of money "as early as 1983."

Congress acted irresponsibly. In April 1983, Reagan signed the Social Security Amendments of 1983 into law.

Doing so claimed to "resolve short-term financing problem(s) and (make) many other significant changes in Social Security law."

The public was scammed. Payroll taxes were raised. Rich Americans were exempted beyond a woefully low maximum limit.

Low-income earners today pay more in payroll than income taxes. Greenspan's commission was supposed to make Social Security fiscally sound for the next 75 years.

People were lied to. They weren't told no problem existed. Changes made transferred wealth to rich elites. Multiple income tax cuts benefitted them more. At the same time, the bottom 11% rate rose to 15%.

It was America's first ever tax cut making low-wage earners pay more. Their income and payroll taxes rose. Transferring wealth to corporations and super-rich elites continues. Inequality today is unprecedented.

"...Social Security was (meant) to be a tax-free return on your contributions," said Savage. It was so until "1983 reforms."

"(W)e've seen this movie before...In offering his new 'MyRa' proposal, the President said: 'MyRA guarantees a decent return, with no risk of losing what you put in.' "

...(A)nd you can keep your doctor, too," remember?

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on the voters! That's the Savage Truth!"

Social Security Works co-director Nancy Altman says "(s)trengthen Social Security." It didn't cause the federal deficit. It shouldn't be used to reduce it.

It didn't become law to fund government. It shouldn't be privatized. it shouldn't be means tested. High-income earners should pay the same percentage payroll tax as others.

Benefits should be increased, not reduced. Annual inflation adjustments should be real, not based on phony numbers. Low income Americans should be helped most.

In 2010, Professor James W. Russell discussed America's retirement crisis," saying:

"The great 30-year experiment in 401(k)s and similar retirement financing schemes that depend on stock market investments has failed."

"Even before" 2008 crisis conditions erupted, it was clear. "(V)ery few workers...accumulate enough wealth through these accounts to insure" secure retirement futures.

Until the 1980s, each generation since the 19th century was better off financially than earlier ones.

No longer. Inflation adjusted wages are worth less than decades earlier. Benefits steadily eroded. Inequality is the new normal.

Secure retirements are more myth than reality. Untampered with Social Security works as intended.

Strengthening it makes it work better. Russell calls it "the federal government's most successful and popular domestic program."

The 1978 Revenue Act changed things. Its sections 401(k), 403(b), and 457 let retirement plan contributions be made with pretax dollars.

Employer defined benefit plans became defined contribution ones. They offer no assurance of retirement income. Marketplace uncertainty becomes costly in crisis times.

Financial services industry predators profit hugely through large commissions and fees. They benefit. IRA holders lose out. They're scammed.

Privatized plans often don't deliver on promises. Secure retirements require strengthened Social Security, employer-provided benefits and personal savings.

Russell commented on Obama's MyRA proposal. He called it a "token response" at best to today's festering retirement crisis.

It "perpetuates the very myths and fallacies that caused the crisis." Its roots go back to when defined contribution plans replaced defined benefit ones.

IRAs guarantee nothing. They return "dramatically less retirement incomes than the pensions they replaced," said Russell.

Obama said "most workers don't have a pension." He failed to say they deserve one. Instead of recognizing a failed IRA experiment, he "implied that" crisis conditions only affect non-IRA holders.

He lied claiming they're much better off. MyRA's are another gift to financial predators. "The program will do little to benefit retirees," said Russell.

"No one ever obtained retirement security with savings bonds. Once more," Wall Street crooks stand to benefit most.

"The need remains urgent for a comprehensive public program to address the retirement crisis." Throughout five years in office, Obama proposed nothing to do it.

His MyRA scheme falls woefully short. It bears repeating. It's more scam than solution.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
A potential attack on social security johnk Sunday, Feb. 02, 2014 at 6:25 AM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy