The Cynicism of the Obama Savings Plan

President Barack Obama in his SOTU speech offered a new “investment” plan for all those workers who don’t have access to a company sponsored 401(k).  His MyRA (My Retirement Account.  How cute.) would be available to anyone who has a job.  Sort of like traditional and Roth IRAs.

With those other IRAs, the owner can choose from a plethora of investment vehicles: stocks; mutual funds; bonds; even Treasury Bills, Notes, and Bonds.  And a bunch of other items, as well, but you get the idea.  The choice of investment, the choice of risk level, every choice of interest to an investor or a retirement saver, is that of the IRA owner.

MyRAs, on the other hand, have a single—count ’em—investment option: Treasury Bonds of the same type that Federal employees get if they enroll in the government’s Thrift Savings Plan Government Securities Investment Fund.  These bonds had an annual rate of return of 1.47% as recently as 2012, and a 10-year rate of 3.61%.  Talk about your wonderful employee discount deal down at the car dealership…..  At least the investor would be relieved of the burden of all those choices, though.

No, the truth of this wonderful Obama boon is that it’s just another way to con people into lending money to a spendthrift Federal government, this time with special emphasis on the targeted young and poor.

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