Hands off our retirement savings!
This week, Rep. Jan Schakowsky suggested that President Obama’s deficit panel ought to consider revoking tax credits for retirement savings, including Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) plans. She referred to the tax credits as “tax entitlements.”
Revoking tax credits on retirement savings could cost each taxpayer in our district up to $1,000 per year (or $2,000 if filing jointly). It is an absurd idea that will punish people for hard work and fiscal responsibility. Lower income earners would be particularly hurt by Rep. Schakowsky’s proposal, because they recover a higher percentage of their savings, according to the terms of the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit.
Our economy needs more saving, not less. Saving makes investment possible, and investment makes job creation possible, which in turn raises income and tax revenues. If we take away incentives to save, our economy will continue to struggle and our nation will continue to face enormous debt. Congress should not be allowed to raid our retirement savings simply because government has failed to live within its means.
Furthermore, tax credits for retirement savings are not “entitlements” that we receive from the government. They belong to us and are paid from our own money–the money we struggle to earn each month and which we carefully set aside for the future.
Rep. Schakowsky is targeting retirement savings in order to warn the deficit panel away from considering reform to actual entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security. Yet she was eager to cut half a trillion dollars from Medicare when she voted for Obamacare last month, despite evidence that the cuts would hurt seniors. She is not concerned with protecting these programs from their long-term financial problems.
In fact, though she was appointed by Nancy Pelosi to serve on the deficit panel, Rep. Schakowsky does not take the task of reducing the deficit seriously at all. At the opening session of the panel yesterday, she said that “balancing the budget or reducing in [sic] the debt are in my mind not goals in and of themselves.” She just wants to keep spending.
The people of our district have a clear choice this year: between an incumbent who prefers government spending to individual saving, and a new representative who believes that the government should make it easier for working families to save.
We must send a strong message to Washington: “Hands off our retirement savings!”