Wyden’s Retirement Arrogance Warrants Rebuke

Talk about rants.

Check out the latest bleat from Senate Finance Committee Chairman (thankfully, not for long) Ron Wyden (D-OR) following the release of a typical Democrat “soak the rich” report by Obama’s GAO regarding Individual Retirement Accounts with large accumulated balances:  “The state of retirement savings in the U.S. is completely out of whack.  On one hand you’ve got people sheltering millions of dollars in mega IRAs, while at the same time nearly a third of Americans have nothing set aside for retirement.  It’s abundantly clear that America needs a better system and tax code that supports retirement planning for all Americans.  I’m committed to working with Treasury and the IRS to implement GAO’s recommendations and help prevent additional abuse and fraud in the tax code.”

Humph.  So much for encouraging folks to save and invest!  But that has never been high on the Democrats’ list, has it.

Seems the GAO is all exercised about the “small number” of taxpayers who have accumulated what is perceived to be an unduly “large amount” in their IRAs.  F’rinstance, founders of companies who use IRAs to invest in nonpublicly traded shares of their start up companies.  With no overall limit on IRA accumulations, GAO whines that the government foregoes millions in tax revenues.

Let us shed a tear.

GAO has the temerity to opine that these robber barons are accumulating balances in excess of what they will actually need for retirement!

Wyden is all worked up over GAO’s finding that for tax year 2011, something like 600,000 taxpayers had IRA balances valued at more than $1 million, and about 9,000 had IRAs worth more than $5 million, while most Americans with IRAs had accumulated only about $21,000.

Sure – punish the diligent.  It’s the Democrat way.

And a few more nuggets from Senator Coburn’s recently published “Wastebook” are in order – more examples of the good use to which Obama and the boys could put all that dough collected from hammering diligent savers.

  • $27 million in HUD grants to the Richmond, California housing authority to support low-income housing facilities crawling with mice, drug dealers and mold.
  • Department of Defense expenditures of more than $9 million in excess payments for military replacement parts, like the $8,000 helicopter gears which really cost about $500.
  • $500,000 Department of Agriculture grant to subsidize the farming of butterflies, under the guise of potential “job creation.”
  • And finally – one of our favorites: State Department payments of something like $55,000 in travel and related expenses incurred by Her Highness, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s European tour to promote the book for which she was reportedly paid some $14 million, including Mercedes Benz “executive limousine vans,” and the cost of a one night stay in a French hovel which cost $3,668 per night – the Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris.

Many happy returns to you, as you pay Uncle Sam this coming April 15!

CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR – This article contains general information about various tax matters.  You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation.

Jeff Quinn, the author of this article, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno.  He can be reached at 831-7288, welcomes comments at jquinn@ashleyquinncpas.com, and invites readers to consider his other commentary at http://blog.nolo.com/taxes.

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