“I do think at some point you’ve made enough money,” President Obama said in 2010.
Here’s that attitude about wealth at play, with President Obama’s budget calling for a cap on savings in IRS and 401k plans:
Obama’s budget seeks to prohibit investors from accumulating over $3 million in tax-preferred retirement accounts. “Individual retirement accounts and other tax-preferred savings vehicles are intended to help middle class families save for retirement,” according to the budget. “But 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.” The budget proposal would limit an individual’s total retirement account balance including 401(k)s, IRAs, and similar types of tax-preferred accounts to an amount sufficient to finance an annuity of not more than $205,000 per year in retirement, or about $3 million for someone retiring in 2013. An Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis found that approximately 0.06 percent of account owners had more than $3 million in assets in their retirement accounts at the end of 2011. Among people age 60 and older, about 0.11 percent of retirement account participants surpass the threshold. “Time, which allows savings to accumulate in these accounts, tends to increase the probability that younger workers will reach the inflation-adjusted limits by the time they reach age 65,” according to the EBRI report. The White House projects that this proposal would raise $9 billion over 10 years.
In other words, President Obama wants to effectively cap retirement income at $205,000/year. If you were more successful than that, if you worked harder and achieved more and socked away more than that in your retirement accounts, you get punished.
And more so as time goes on and inflation makes $205,000 worth less and less in terms of real purchasing power.
But I suspect President Obama sees that as a benefit. Financially-independent retirees aren’t acceptable to our friends on the left, who would much rather see more dependence on government programs.