Monday, September 7, 2009

This Is Going Too Far, In My Opinion

This actually pissed me off when I saw this on CNN this morning: "Obama announces policies to encourage more savings." So it doesn't sound like much until you get into the meat of the story. And why am I amazed that I really had to search to find this story online?

Okay, so this is good: "President Obama said yesterday that the Internal Revenue Service would start making it easier for companies to automatically enroll workers in retirement plans, and that his administration would help individuals convert their tax refunds and unused vacation pay into savings." I know that at my current job, I have to be there for a YEAR until I can start up for 401(k) again. I can't even contribute to it myself yet. That's a bummer.

But this is what really pissed me off, as reported by The Honolulu Advertiser: "Another change will allow people who get tax refunds — more than 100 million families, by one estimate — to direct the IRS to directly deposit them into a savings plan." Yahoo! News reported it as this: "One initiative that President Barack Obama outlined in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday will allow people to have their federal tax refunds sent as savings bonds."

I think the reason this really had me so riled up is because CNN didn't make it sound like an option, but that it was probably going to happen. And you know what, I can't find it anywhere on the CNN site now.

I think doing our taxes and keeping up with receipts through the year is kind of a hassle but it is a necessary evil. However, the government DOES NOT NEED to start dictating how I receive my tax refunds (if I get one). Hopefully, if this option comes to fruition, it will remain just that: an option for saving money. I can only speak for myself, but I do feel like we do rely on our tax refunds each year. We might use it to pay off a credit card bill and then whatever is left over, we have some fun with. I don't need to have Big Brother Government telling me how to use my money, and I hear about this option now and it feels like a giant red flag.

And I do feel like if this is going to be an option, then Obama needs to carefully schedule this kind of tax refund policy changes (or whatever you'd call it). People across the country are already pissed off about health care reform. Do you want to throw something else into the mix? If he's not careful, he's going to wind up with a low approval rating and be a one-termer.

For an interesting daily take on Obama's rating, check out the Daily Presidential Tracking Poll. I don't know how accurate it is, but it is interesting.

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