Retirement Reservations

Some people will not set aside money for retirement (and hard times) ["Obama Retirement Proposals Tell a Sad Story," usnews.com].

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Some people will not set aside money for retirement (and hard times) ["Obama Retirement Proposals Tell a Sad Story," usnews.com]. This has been true in all of history. When the time comes when retirement hits, they expect someone else (government) to take care of them. That is why all my savings (retirement money) is in Roth IRAs. Government can raise tax rates all it wants; it is not going to [cost] me a night's sleep. You could see this coming a long time ago. Comment by Lewis of TX 

I am all for the politicians (all of them) taking a pay cut and having wages frozen. Let them see what it is like to be told take a forced vacation and don't get paid, or the raise you were going to get has been cut, or no cost of living in your Social Security check this year, even though that was promised. I think all the politicians need to have their health insurance cut to the basic PPO, their wages cut back, their vacation cut back, and their raises frozen. Then we will see something done about what is happening in this country—and not before then.

Comment by Sue P. of SC 

Instead of blaming our current president (in office for one year) for the state of this country's economic climate, we need to look at ourselves. Most everyone here is angry because they have took a hit in their IRAs. The people of this country have an "all about me" attitude. We try to pass health insurance, and those that have it, say 'hey, I got mine—who cares about you—I'm not going to pay [for] you." This is what is wrong with this country. We don't care for our fellow Americans; we just want ours. And, if I can't get mine, you can't either. So all of you who want to blame our president for the economic state this country is in, look at yourselves first. Look at how you voted for the last eight years. You didn't care for eight years that our deficits were skyrocketing. You didn't care for eight years that we were spending trillions on an illegal war, that the top 2 percent (richest) got a huge tax break. No problem then, as you had our credit cards, a phony housing bubble (induced to replace the stock bubble), 0 percent financing, ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) that you could tap so you could buy your Hummer, take trips, etc. My parents live on Social Security; they live within their means and have all of their lives. My mom has Alzheimer's and is still home (goes to day care two days a week to give my dad (the 24/7 guy dealing with this) a break. Day care costs $50 per day—$100 per week. Thankfully, our state provides funding to assist, or we couldn't afford it.

Comment by Danielle of NH 

You've hit the nail on the head. My retirement and your retirement is not the government's responsibility. It is mine, yours, and everyone else['s responsibility]. We've had an increasingly intrusive federal government since FDR, and Americans have come to accept that intrusiveness, some even seeing it as a good thing. Because the government has no money of its own, it must rely on taking money from all individuals in order to fund its "retirement initiatives." Note: I leave corporate taxes out of the equations because they recoup those taxes in the price of goods and services sold. Only individuals have money; all other entities get their funds from individuals. But only government takes it by force (of law). Americans! Wake up! Take back responsibility for your own lives; don't let government rob you of it any longer!

Comment by Doug of GA 

I have been on pension for eight years, and this was the first year that I am going to get less per month than I did the year before. They say its because no inflation index, but my prescription plan cost more and my supplement plan increased. You can say what you will about the Bush regime, but I didn't get a decrease during his tenure. Its about survival, folks, and this president doesn't care weather we survive or not—just tax and spend.

Comment by Danny of OH 

I covered Congress and the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board from 2005 to 2008 for State Tax Notes ["8 Sneaky Ways to Raise Taxes," usnews.com]. [Rick Newman's] characterization of taxing online purchases as a sneaky way to raise taxes is disingenuous and misleading. It's not a new tax. It's really a way of enforcing that Americans pay sales tax on everything they buy. Every state requires its citizens to pay a "use tax" when they file their annual tax returns. The "use tax" is for online and remote (such as mail-order catalog) that the purchaser did not pay sales tax on at the time of the purchase. Most Americans don't pay their use tax and are therefore in noncompliance. The states don't have the resources to enforce this, which is why they have been pushing for the legislation that Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass.) introduced in every Congress since 2003. Given, some states like New York have chosen to go their own route, and others are having difficulty reconciling "origin-based" and "destination-based," but the underlying problem for every state is the same—they need a better way of enforcing sales and use tax law. It's the little-known use tax part that few Americans are aware of that is the issue ... but it's not a new tax or a means or raising taxes. It's not sneaky. When you buy something on Amazon.com that you could get at a brick-and-mortar store within five miles of your house, you don't pay sales tax on the Amazon.com purchase, but you do at the brick-and-mortar. Amazon.com is willing and ready to collect sales tax from its online customers, but eBay is not. That dispute and how members of Congress are misinformed about the issue are why we still have this discrepancy—and why most Americans are technically breaking the law by not declaring their use taxes while the states cannot afford to enforce it.

Eric Parker


Virginia
Former Reporter for State Tax Notes

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