The U.S. economy is fragile at best, yet this administration has been focused on penalizing success by saddling entrepreneurs and small businesses with high taxes and federal regulations.
Now, we find that a new target of the new Obama budget is the management of our money. In the 2014 Obama budget, the president proposes to limit tax-preferred retirement savings, which includes IRAs, Roth IRAs and 401(k) plans. It would be limited to an amount sufficient to finance a maximum annuity of $205,000 per year in retirement.
The budget states that "under current rules, some wealthy individuals are able to accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving."
In reality, this plan by the Obama administration will penalize those who have been successful, including small business owners. According to The American, the journal of the American Enterprise Institute, a cap on contributions to these retirement vehicles will increase revenue by only $9 billion over 10 years, enough to pay down our spiraling federal deficit for about THREE DAYS.
The rate of inflation must also be considered. The $205,000 a year threshold may seem like a large sum today, but not for a long-term retirement. Considering a 6 percent inflation after 30 years, that $205,000 would be worth around $40,000 a year today.
The Wall Street Journal also sees a problem with enforcing the plan, stating that "the budget offers few details on how the government would enforce this cap across a worker's various accounts, but you can bet it would be complicated."
Before going after savings of America's successful businessmen, this administration needs to look at how it manages its own budget. Obama is constantly playing the tax fairness card in building a case against successful businesses in the private sector, yet there are a number of high end bankers and lawyers on the White House staff who are earning far more on Obama's payroll than they would in the private sector.
After Obama entered the White House just over four years ago, the payroll quickly increased from $33 million in 2008 to $39 million in 2009. As the economy floundered, expenses were scaled back a bit but in 2012, the White House payroll was still at $37.8 million.
A review of the salary figures shows 20 staffers making the maximum of $172,000. Some, like Press Secretary Jay Carney, are out in front of the public but others, like senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, are behind the scenes. Working under them are dozens with titles like "deputy assistance" and "special assistants" to the president.
There is a "deputy assistant" and a "deputy director" for the office of Energy and Climate Change. Both make $140,000.
After the sequester cuts, the administration immediately announced it was suspending all public tours of the White House. Many saw this as a political move to put blame on and pressure the Republican-controlled House.
Yet, there were no reductions in the White House payroll, which is weighted down with six-figure salaries, including two Obama "ethics advisors" who each make close to $140,000. Maybe they could explain the "ethics" of how this administration can carry such a bloated payroll while punishing average Americans and small business owners - the backbone of the economy - with such heavy tax and regulatory burdens.
By Jim Zbick