For John, BLUF: Something like "no man's wallet is secure as long as the legislature is in session". Nothing to see here; just move along.
From Business Week we have this article on Russian Pensions. The headline is "Unlike Russia, the U.S. Government Won't Take Your Pension Outright". Here is the lede and following paragraph:
Earlier this month, the Russian government seized its citizens’ pension contributions. Normally, 6 percent of Russians’ salaries is invested in financial markets, earmarked for their retirement. This year that $8 billion in contributions will finance Russian spending instead. Russia is not the first country to confiscate pension assets to pay its bills, and it probably won’t be the last. Argentina, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, and Bulgaria have all done the same in the last six years.A double whammy.
This is not only a setback for Russians’ retirement accounts; it also harms Russia’s financial markets, which count on a steady flow of pension assets each year. The move is expected to further weaken the already fragile Russian economy. Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin spoke out against the move, saying “today we are getting a government policy that lowers economic growth, plus a ‘shrinking’ of the economy’s possibilities and increasing uncertainty.”
Think of this as a tax on those rich enough to have pensions.
Regards — Cliff