Fear not, retirees! Donald Trump knows how hard it will be for you to get by on $205,000 and he’s standing up for you! And, you’ll be happy to know that while Fox hates Social Security, the “fair and balanced” network is right behind those “middle class” folks who would have a tough time living on $205,000 a year from their tax-advantaged retirement accounts under President Obama’s budget.
In reality, there's nothing to prevent people from having larger nest eggs. It's the size of tax-advantaged nest eggs that President Obama wants to limit. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
In his budget proposal released Wednesday, President Obama would limit the amount of money a person could accumulate in all tax-advantaged retirement plans combined – including regular and Roth individual retirement accounts, 401(k) and defined benefit plans – to about $3 million.
The limit would not apply to Obama’s own pension, which is worth at least $5 million, because it is not in a tax-advantaged account, according to Brian Graff, executive director of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries.
But you could have easily missed that detail in a segment that FoxNews.com gave the salacious title, “Is Obama coming after your 401(k)?” Host Greta Van Susteren said, “The president’s proposed budget has a cap on the size or contributions to retirement accounts.”
Donald Trump - still being treated as a legitimate pundit despite his bogus and utterly discredited birtherism - was on hand to play the role of an economic expert. On behalf of the wealthy. He said, "Well, I’m very surprised. It really discourages savings. And a lot of people that have worked all their lives and they wanted to save and they’ve been really productive people." Then, after that Romney-esque "47%" sentiment, he added:
Now, $205,000 in certain areas is a lot. And in places like New York or California, it’s not very much at all. It really depends. You’re looking at regions where it’s so different.
To her credit, Van Susteren challenged that, acknowledging that $205,000 "is an awful lot of money" for "most Americans." But, she still made a point of knocking the plan by saying that the issue is the "ideology" of the government “telling you what your annuity can be.” Actually, nobody is telling you what your annuity can be. The budget proposes to tell you what portion of your annuity can come from tax-advantaged accounts. Or, as the New York Times put it, the measure is aimed at "wealthy individuals who have been accused of using the accounts to shelter large amounts of money rather than for simple savings."
Meanwhile, nobody had a word to say about seniors who will be asked to sacrifice their Social Security cost of living increases under the proposal. Maybe Trump doesn't think any lower-income seniors are living in New York or California.
Instead, Van Susteren moved on to probe Trump’s thoughts on North Korea. Only on Fox News would this discredited birther/huckster be presented as a credible expert on foreign policy. And it's not the first time.