Don’t cut 401(k) ben­e­fits

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - OREN SPIEGLER Up­per Saint Clair, Penn­syl­va­nia

Thanks to the me­dia — the “en­e­mies of the peo­ple,” ac­cord­ing to our president — we know that con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans have been plot­ting to dec­i­mate the abil­ity to save in 401(k) plans, pos­si­bly to re­duce the max­i­mum one can shield from tax­a­tion each year from $18,000 ($24,000 for those over the age of 50) to as lit­tle as $2,400. So much for en­act­ing tax re­form that will ben­e­fit the mid­dle class.

Al­though far too few work­ers take ad­van­tage of it, the 401(k) en­ables one to pro­vide for their re­tire­ment with an in­cen­tive today — pre­cisely what the govern­ment should be en­cour­ag­ing if it wishes to pro­mote self-suf­fi­ciency, par­tic­u­larly in this era of the van­ish­ing de­fined-con­tri­bu­tion pen­sion.

Al­though the president is right to state his ob­jec­tion to rad­i­cally al­ter­ing the 401(k), who knows if he will change his mind? Does any­one be­lieve that he would veto any tax-cut bill that en­ables him to de­clare a vic­tory and make it more likely that his party will re­tain con­trol of Congress af­ter next year’s midterm elec­tions?

We have a govern­ment that re­neges on its word, hav­ing with­drawn from the Paris Cli­mate Ac­cords and the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship, and hav­ing de­manded rene­go­ti­a­tion of NAFTA and the agree­ment keep­ing Iran from de­vel­op­ing full nu­clear ca­pa­bil­ity for years. Now the GOP threat­ens to break faith with those at­tempt­ing to pro­vide for them­selves in their “golden years” — all so that those at the top can ben­e­fit from large tax breaks.

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