401(k) Options

I had trouble getting the link to the numbers behind their numbers to work in Firefox, so here it is. (via Instapundit)

UPDATE: To be clear:

So far, this has been a September 10 election. Barack Obama’s current lead in the polls is largely a result of the financial crisis which reached critical mass in September and cemented the economy as issue number one. Even though it has gotten slight attention over the past few weeks, national security is more important now than ever because the economy is inextricably tied to it. Anyone who doubts that just needs to be reminded of what the stock market did following the 9/11 attacks — not to mention the individual effects on the airline, oil and other industries.

I don’t want the fact that I posted this little 401(k) widget to imply that I think the economy/financial/tax situation outranks the war in importance. Many people do, and I think that’s not good.

What happens to the economy if Iran starts sinking oil tankers? If North Korea nukes Tokyo? If Russia starts to build USSR II? If China decides to reclaim Taiwan? What if al Qaeda or someone like them somehow sets of a big bomb in LA or New York or Chicago? Those sorts of scenarios would make the housing crisis, the plight of US auto makers, and the rollor coaster stock market look pretty silly, no?

Who sat glued to their television on September 11th, 2001, and said to themselves “My retirement fund is so screwed“?

UPDATE 2: This is, of course, closely related to my post on the question What if Steve Forbes Had Won the Election?


  1. Bram you’re missing the point: that it’s for the greater good.

    You have to give up alot so everyone can have a little.

    See how that’s fair?

  2. So I get it, Obama = I lose everything, McCain = the economy rolls and we all make money just like we have done under GB. It is just that simple. I wonder if the guy who designed this will get a job at the fed under McCain?

    I would contend that some of Obama’s lead is due to the fact that he makes us feel good about ourselves and we trust him as a leader. Just like McCain did the last time around. This time McCain tied himself to the right wing and parts of the party that think that using Obama’s middle name is a put down. Sorry guys the country have moved on. You can’t scare me by calling him a Muslim. There are many good loyal American MUSLIMS fighting for us all around the world.

    By the way, sometimes it is for the greater good. FDR and the new deal saved this country. He put us back on a footing that allowed the US to win WWII.

    On the subject of defense under an Obama presidency rather than a McCain or Bush presidency I really don’t see a difference other than having a bit calmer man at the helm…

    Iran starts sinking oil tankers…(I don’t know why they would)but this would give the 5th Fleet a chance to close down all Iranian exports with the support of the EU and other developed nations. Please give us a chance, the US does not import from Iran. It is important to note that the Mullahs and Ahmadinejad are ruling over the only democracy in the middle east (if you don’t count Egypt). Before you flame me on this look it up and remember that Hitler was elected by the German people once. I am equating Ahmadinejad with Hitler.

    NK nukes Tokyo … NK goes boom and maybe Chevy does not have to buy Chrysler.

    USSR II … Why is this our problem? Let the EU deal with it spending to defend itself. We have got to stop bankrupting our self defending the world. The real task is to build up our relationships around the world so that we don’t need the USSR’s natural resources and can keep them out of OPEC. We don’t need to drill baby drill, we need to invest baby invest in other sources of energy like the Chinese are doing. Hugo Chavez being our 4th largest supplier of oil is a bigger issue to us.

    China V Taiwan… tough one. I still don’t see what we get out of this. I blame McArthur. If we go to war with China they dump our securities and we go down. They lose our export market and the value of our securities. I love the recent news about Taiwan building 300 Hsiung Feng 2E in spite of US (Bush) objections and lack of help.

    AQ attacking the US … It happened once and we blamed the former administration for missing opportunities to KIA OBL. When it gets down to it, Americans can deal with it just like the Brits and Spainards.

  3. JPBaz: “So I get it, Obama = I lose everything, McCain = the economy rolls and we all make money just like we have done under GB. It is just that simple.

    If you can show me where even a meaningful part of what you claim the implied conclusion is is in the post I’ll respond.

    As for your takes on the various scenarios I tossed out there, all I can say is “See? I told everyone that some folks think it’s still 9/10/01.

  4. JPBaz – Here you go. The leftists in Argentina are exploring the outer limits of redistibuition right now. Some of us drive 10-year-old cars and live a frugal lifestyle to save. Silly me.


    “On Oct. 21, Mrs. Kirchner ended the suspense by announcing that the nation’s private pension system — with a stock of $30 billion and a flow of $5 billion annually — would become government property. To put that in words that Americans can more clearly comprehend, it would be as if the assets of all 401(k)s were suddenly swept out of owners’ accounts and into a single government account.”

  5. Murdoc,

    My implied conclusion is that the calculator is bogus like a lot of the rhetoric that has surrounded this election. So much of the republican press (and radio) has been based on fear or trying to blame a social class. “Obama is a commie, Obama is a Muslim (Code for terrorist), Sadaam is in with AQ and has WMD so invasion is the only answer, blame the poor home owners for the crash, blame the immigrants (a big issue with me since both of my grandfathers jumped ship to get here). It is all superficial BS. I think many independents (like myself believe it or not) are voting Obama because they can see through the BS now.

    There are so many factors that determine what the stock market will do. A major factor is faith and expectations. Our currency is so valuable in this world because it is backed by the labor of the American worker and the full faith and credit of the US Gov’t. Bush and the Republicans have squandered much of that faith both home and abroad. Obama has given many folks in this country faith that they can fully participate in the American dream. What dollar value do you put on a young person’s faith and hope for the future? What is wrong with giving a hard working middle class person a tax cut at the expense of the richest Americans? What do those American’s owe the society that made their way of life possible? I don’t claim to know all of these answers but we should be asking these questions.

    The calculator is just another way to create fear based on half truths. Not to pick on Bram but how do you get from a graduated income tax proposal to nationalizing the Argentine pension system? Is Obama part of the world wide communist underground? I am just thanking god that we did not follow the Republicans that wanted to privatize social security 8 years ago.

    I hope everyone votes tomorrow and remembers that no matter who wins we are all still Americans and owe it to our kids to keep trying to get this experiment right. The Roman Republic lasted 500 years and then fell into a corrupt dictatorship. The Greek City states failed due to human weakness. We too will fail someday but hopefully not on our watch.

  6. JPBaz,

    The Democrats are already looking at 401k’s.



  7. JPBaz: Does that mean no, you can’t show me where anyone said anything about what you said was the implied conclusion.

    As for the calculator “creating fear based on half truths” and being “bogus” just look at their methodology and let me know what numbers they have wrong.

    As for the Dems looking at going after 401(k) tax benefits, that is a simple and straight unarguable fact.

  8. Murdoc,

    I saw the methodology but it still ultimately depends on how the stock market does. Tax law is only one factor. Higher taxes did not cause the recent crash. There are so many factors including just plain ol E (expectations).

    I will admit that I misread the calculator the first time I did it, assuming that it said that a 100K would lose 94K not 6K. My point is that the market can lose 6% based on many factors.

    Bram, you are making my point. First you refer to an issue in Argentina then you refer me to an article that is based on a proposal by a professor from the New School For Social Research “a global university in Greenwich Village offering numerous degrees and continuing education opportunities in design, social sciences, management, humanities,and the performing arts.” Sounds like a medical school in Grenada. You are grabbing a insignificant point and making it a smoking gun. All democrats are trying to kill 401 K tax benefits? Source?

    Ok election over, I give in and will resume my role of lurking and enjoying your site Murdoc.

    Both men gave real good, patriotic speeches. As always I am proud to be an American and respect our system (even when Bush won TWO elections).

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