Friday, November 14, 2008

The Government as Investor

No, this entry is not about the bailout - as ridiculous as it might be. Nor is it about the government looking to take over 401(k)s (as criminally ridiculous as that might be). However, the basis comes from a quote regarding the possible 401(k) Argentina-style debacle. It comes courtesy of Representative George Miller (D, CA). During a hearing on 401(k)s, Rep. Miller commented on the indirect subsidy caused by the non-taxation of the retirement accounts: "We have to start to think about it in Congress...whether or not we want to continue to invest that $80 billion for a policy that's not generating what we now say it should."

Invest! It is an Advil-necessecitating concept. The Government invests when it does not tax. It is the same insane thought process that leads to the Road to Serfdom-esque concept that every dollar actually belongs to the Government, and any dollar left in your pocket is a gift.

George Miller went from San Francisco State to law school at UC-Davis. He then was a legislative assistant in the California Senate, and then into the House where he has served for over 30 years. It is truly scary that the investment line of reasoning can pervade our Government and survive there for three decades. It is no wonder that Rep. Miller is a champion of Indian gaming. I suppose it is prefereable for the public to invest their money into the slot machines and at the craps tables than into a 401(k).

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