Don’t cut 401(k) benefits
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We have a government that reneges on its word, having withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accords and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and having demanded renegotiation of NAFTA and the agreement keeping Iran from developing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.