Tim Dunkin: The Underwear Drawer

I remember once when I was a wee lad, my mother was telling me about the evils of Communism. This was at a point when the Soviet Union was still extant, Ronald Reagan was our President, and everyone who had any sense knew where the lines were drawn, and which side they should be on. Because I was so young, one way that she used to explain it to me was this, “The government can just come in and take your money from you, and it doesn’t matter what you think about it.” Even at my young age, this struck me as quite unjust. They can just take what they want from you, even though it’s yours? Even though you worked for it? In my juvenile way of thinking, I formulated what I thought would be the perfect way to keep this from happening, which would be to hide the money in a place where nobody would ever want to look for it. So I blurted out to her, “I’d hide my money in my dirty underwear drawer!”

Looking back on it – and this is one of those odd things from childhood that you sometimes recall, but are never quite sure why – I sort of laugh at the childishness of the response. Sure. Hide it in your dirty underwear drawer. Whatever kid, like that would work.

Yet, one cannot really laugh at the sentiment itself. After all, it is fundamentally unjust to use the police powers of the state to hold a gun to somebody’s head and rob them of their hard-earned wealth and savings, especially when you intend to distribute that money to people who refused to work hard themselves. And this is, when you get right down to it, what government-run health care, TARP, Porkulus, cap’n’trade, and the rest of the big government agenda are all about. Taking money away from those who earned it – those who worked and sweated and went to school and gave years of their lives to some company or to their own business and delayed gratifying their wants and desires – and giving it to those who can’t be bothered with little things like “personal responsibility” or “gainful employment.”

Let’s face it, this is what the Obama agenda will do. The plans that Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the rest of their gang have for us are pure Marxism, pure wealth redistribution designed to entice ever greater numbers of Americans into dependency upon the government for their support. This, in turn, guarantees an ever-expanding pool of voters through whom “democratic socialism” can be more firmly implemented, until we finally reach a point, such as Sweden is at now, where the nation has been so thoroughly socialized that even when the “Conservative” Party has a rare opportunity to lead the nation, they dare not touch any of the “entitlements” for fear of electoral backlash. Obama and Co. are merely the “democratic” wing of the Marxist movement, using ballots bought with tax monies stolen from the productive classes to secure their power, rather than the bullets of overt revolution.

And steal from the productive classes they are doing. ObamaCare, which does not “officially” begin to operate until 2014, will begin this year to collect the massive tax increases needed to fund it. So, the productive classes get hit with a double whammy – higher taxes and the unconstitutional mandate to purchase health insurance from Obama’s cronies in the insurance industry at inflated prices (what else do you think will happen when insurance companies are guaranteed an oligopoly over a captive consumer base?) or pay a huge fine. And just wait until they get cap’n’trade pushed through, and your energy prices (and taxes) go up. And just wait until they start raising taxes to service our ever-increasing debt. And don’t forget that the Bush tax cuts expire this year, and won’t be renewed – a golden opportunity to raise taxes without voting to do so. Oh, and did I mention that Obama and the Dems have quietly rolled back all of the welfare reform that the Republicans had forced onto Clinton back in the 1990s? Get ready to pay for more lazy bums on welfare, too.

And now it looks like the Democrat coalition is getting serious about coming after your savings, too. MoneyNews reported recently that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) – a public-sector union which provides a lot of monetary and manpower support to the advancement of the Obama agenda – is working with other left-wing groups to push for the federalization of our 401(k) savings accounts. The idea, apparently, is to roll everyone’s retirement accounts into a federally-controlled retirement program, similar in many ways to Social Security. This way, everybody who retired get their “fair share,” even though they hadn’t bothered to put anything back during all the years that they could have.

This plan is, of course, just another wealth redistribution program. As Ross Eisenbrey, a union wonk cited by the article, notes, “The failure is broad and deep. It's not just a few people falling through the cracks: most of us already are in the ravine. Three in 10 have only a 401(k) or similar savings plan, and the rest of us are totally out of luck.” Hence, the obvious answer is to take from that 30%, and redistribute it to the other 70%. Because, as we all know, the only reason that 30% had savings in their 401(k)s is because of “luck.” It had nothing to do with, you know, “hard work,” or “foresight,” or “financial wisdom.” It’s all about luck. They had it, “the rest of us” didn’t, and that’s just unfair and needs to be rectified by theft and the threat of government violence. That’s what is in the works when you decide to federalize something had by 30%, and roll it all together into a program that will be accessed by 100% when they retire.

Oh, and guess what, once your money goes in, it stays in. Benefits can only be accessed when you retire. Until then, it’s in a government “lockbox” that you can’t touch. At least with current private plans, you can get your money if you need it, even though you may pay an early withdrawal penalty. With this federalized plan, you are flat out of luck, should you ever have a life-changing event that would require you to have to come up with a large sum of money at once. Sorry bub, can’t have you stealing your money back from the proletarians who need what you worked hard to earn.

And I think we can all see this coming: said “lockbox” will be anything but. Just look at Social Security – it’s a lockbox full of little white slips of paper that say “IOU” on them. Originally, Social Security was intended to be set apart from the rest of the federal budget – money goes in, and it is paid out to retirees (nevermind that it was all a Ponzi scheme to begin with). It wasn’t supposed to be touched for other spending. We see how well that worked out. There’s no reason to think that this new federalized “savings program,” if ever implemented, wouldn’t go the same way. Our 401(k)s (and other savings, most likely, as the program is “expanded” to “encompass more needs,” such as the need for your savings accounts with your banks, which are also largely under federal control already) will just end up providing hundreds of billions of dollars available for more big-government spending, while sparing Congress the political hit accrued from actually having to vote to raise taxes to get revenue.

By hook or by crook (mostly by crook), they are bound and determined to get their hands on our hard-earned money.

That underwear drawer is starting to look like a better and better idea all the time.