The pursuit of ignominy is nondiscriminatory. For it’s with equal opportunity that each individual’s granted the occasion to act a buffoon. Most rare is the man who heeds the calling, ascends to the highest ranks of public office, and preserves his dignity. More often, he takes his cue, steps center stage, and behaves like an utter jackass.
For example, here in the land of fruits and nuts confessions of the former Governator’s secret love child with the family maid were plastered across the Los Angeles Times this week. No kidding…it’s been quite a hoot.
But even more hilarious were front page pictures of the unshaven Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, and who was to be the next President of France, doing the perp walk in a New York courthouse for alleged sex crimes against a hotel maid. What a week… Could a Hollywood screen writer have come up with better cheap entertainment than this?
We don’t doubt it…but no comedic fiction could’ve caused a pother in Paris quite like the images of France’s favorite son handcuffed and jailed. For this alone, the cheap entertainment’s been priceless.
Making a Crooked Man Blush
We don’t bring this up just to make light of Schwarzenegger’s transgressions or Straus-Kahn’s offenses. That is only partly the reason. For after getting a good chuckle there’s a very instructive lesson to be learned from this…
In the whimsical world where money and politics mix, there are dirtbags galore making a mess of things while masquerading as public servants. How else can one explain the outright theft going on by the U.S. Treasury?
On Monday, as we’ve noted for some time, the government burst through the debt ceiling. The United States of America is officially insolvent…they can no longer borrow money. But rather than eliminating the deficit and paying down the debt, the government is determined to keep right on spending.
To do so, however, they’re taking measures that would make a crooked man blush and an honest man’s blood boil. The Treasury Department has opted to steal funds from the retirement accounts of public sector workers in order to keep the trough flowing.
“The Obama administration will begin to tap federal retiree programs to help fund operations after the government lost its ability Monday to borrow more money from the public, adding urgency to efforts in Washington to fashion a compromise over the debt,” reported the Washington Post.
According to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, “Federal retirees and employees will be unaffected by these actions.” The funds will be made whole once the debt limit is increased.
The Magic World of Guaranteed Retirement Accounts
Obviously, Geithner’s a dirtbag. He’s doing to public sector retirement accounts what Congress did to Social Security many years ago. He’s turned it into the government’s personal piggybank. What’s more, it won’t stop there.
If you think your 401K belongs to you…you’re wrong. It belongs to Uncle Sam. In fact, he’s eager to get his fat grubby hands on it help pay for more spending. Moreover, he’ll spend your money for your own good. What is it we are talking about exactly?
Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs). No joke… Vice President Joe Biden and the White House Task Force on the Middle Class released a report in February called the Annual Report on the Middle Class. Take a gander at Chapter 3, Safe Investment Choices, where you will find the following: “Some have suggested the creation of Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs), which would give workers a simple way to invest a portion of their retirement savings in an account that was free of inflation and market risk, and in some versions under discussion, would guarantee a specified real return above the rate of inflation.”
An account that is free of inflation and market risk is an account that is under direct and total control of the federal government. In other words, your retirement account would be nationalized and your paycheck deductions would flow to D.C. just like Social Security.
That is the magic world of GRAs and a degraded republic. A place where irrational raids on the taxpayer rob people who work hard, save their money, and pay their way while dirtbags pretend they are saving them from themselves.
for Economic Prism