Punchinello’s Chronicles

November 20, 2008

So You Think You Own Your Money?

Here’s a story that ought to send a chill through the bones of anyone who’s worked their entire life with an expectation that when they retire they’ll have a pension. From Bloomberg.com financial news:

Argentine Senate Approves Takeover of $24 Billion in Pensions

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) — Argentina’s Senate approved President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s plan to nationalize about $24 billion in private pensions, a move the opposition calls a cash grab and the government defends as a way to protect retirement savings from plunging financial markets.

The chamber last night voted to back the plan after a 12-hour session. The bill was approved by the lower house on Nov. 7. The funds will be transferred to the state-run social security agency, known as Anses, for management and administration.

“Social security can’t depend on the risks of the financial system and speculation,” Senator Fabian Rios of the ruling Peronist party said during the debate. — By Eliana Raszewski

(Full story link…)

If you glance at things casually, failing to notice that the country is Argentina, you might think you were reading about the United States! Here’s a particularly frightening paragraph later in the same article:

“The president said the goal was to protect retirees from the global financial crisis and denied the move was to “grab the cash” as suggested by opposition leaders including former presidential candidate Elisa Carrio and opposition Senator Maria Eugenia Estenssoro.”

Whoops!…you thought it meant “the president” of the United States? Nah…just the president of Argentina.

On the other hand, have you been paying attention to the liquidity of Social Security over the past, oh, I dunno, 50 years? And what about those 401K plans you think you own?

Keep in mind that whenever a government bent on power takes over more of the private sector, shuts down more freedoms, and expands into the daily lives of each citizen, the excuse is always that it’s “for the good of the people.”

Think it won’t happen here? Stay tuned to The Congress Channel. There only are 2 highly volatile seats left in the Senate still up for election, what with run-offs and legal shenanigans. If those go to the Democrats, America will have a federal government totally free from any remaining checks and balances. Even the last-resort fillibuster will be off the table, as it takes a 60-vote majority to override. The Senate is only 2 votes from such a majority in the Democrat’s favor.

Well, but after all, “we” did vote for a fundamental transformation of America, right?

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