Any time the government says it wants to “help you,” you should be worried...
As reported in Bloomberg, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering whether or not it should take on a role in helping U.S. citizens manage their retirement savings.
Folks, this reeks of yet another government scam designed to screw taxpayers.
Bureau Director Richard Cordray told reporters the agency is exploring this option and is interested in terms of what authority it has.
Translation: We're looking for some kind of loophole that allows us to get at even more of your hard-earned money.
Sniffing Around the Catnip
Desperate to scrape up a few more bucks, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) claims it's concerned about retirees falling victim to financial scams.
How frighteningly ironic that the same folks responsible for building personal legacies with pilfered Social Security coffers are now worried about financial scams. I guess they just don't like the competition.
But it really is no wonder the government is sniffing around this patch of catnip right now. After all, as of September 30, 2012, Americans held $19.4 trillion in retirement assets. That's a major score for any criminal.
So the question is: Can they actually move forward on something like this?
Although the SEC and the Labor Department regulate retirement funds, the CFPB claims it can promote policy. In other words, it can lay out its plans for any lawmaker looking to get in on this heist.
As well, the bureau could use its Office for Older Americans to claim jurisdiction. That office was initially created by the Dodd-Frank Act and comes with a mandate to enhance financial literacy.
Of course, while the bureau insists it's only looking out for retired Americans, it's also been very active in “protecting” college students. After all, it's good to get their meat hooks in today's younger generations, too, as baby boomers begin to go gently into that good night.
What Would Thomas Jefferson Do?
According to Cordray, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to find out whether students using college-endorsed banking products are getting a good deal.
Are these guys serious? So now they think the government's job is to make sure people are "getting a good deal"?
You know, last year the bureau published an advisory for college students on the potential pitfalls of financial products... certainly a 19-year-old kid on his own for the first time is going to put down his red plastic cup of stale, warm beer long enough to give that a solid read.
Look, the truth of the matter is that college students represent a very lucrative market for the credit card companies.
Why? Because college students, for the most part, are dumb. Give one a credit card with a 22% APR or a debit card that will likely be used so much with little oversight, overdraft fees are not only expected, they're counted on.
Now, I'm not saying it's right to maliciously target those who aren't particularly responsible with their money. And I'm certainly no cheerleader for the banking industry, which has been in cahoots with the government while gutting our collective wealth. The fact that these guys have basically gotten away with the blatant theft of trillions of dollars is not only despicable, but should be cause for rioting in the streets.
But think for a moment how some of the actions of this Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would look like to the founding fathers of this great nation...
Imagine someone presenting a bill to Thomas Jefferson that called for the creation of a government organization to make sure college students are getting good deals on financial products — or a bill that charged the government with managing the retirement accounts of retirees (like George Washington, for instance).
Have we lost our minds?!
At what point did we decide it was OK to pay the government to micro-manage our own personal finances?
In any event, the very real possibility of the government “managing” your retirement should be a cause of great concern. And it's yet one more reason you have to take responsibility for your own wealth creation and protection. Because mark my words, if you put that responsibility into the hands of the government, you're going to end up broke and hungry.
So protect yourself. Eliminate your debt, buy gold and silver, plant a garden, and if you're looking for some extra revenue generation on the side...
Find yourself a solid recession-proof Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).
Live honorably, live free...
Jeff Siegel for Wealth Daily