You know things are getting bad when your government begins to stick its hand into retirement accounts just so that it can remain solvent for a few more months.
With the debt limit about to come back into full swing at a staggering $18.1 trillion this week, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has undertaken drastic measures to kick the can down the road until later this year.
One such plan to fund the government includes raiding the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a 401(k)-style retirement savings plan set up for federal employees.
Specifically, the Treasury wants to go after the G Fund, the largest fund in the plan, which contains Treasury securities that help to finance the national debt. As of last month, those securities in the G Fund make up $193.3 billion of the $451.7 billion of investments in the TSP.
According to Lew, the government currently has $25 million left to spend before it breaches the imposed limit without these actions. Hence he’s urging Congress to fill the purse:
“I respectfully urge Congress to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by acting to increase the statutory debt limit as soon as possible,” Lew wrote in a letter.
So what happens come November when these ‘temporary’ measures leave us facing the precipice of the debt ceiling once again? Who is going to have their money taken next?
These proposals by the Treasury Secretary are no more than vain efforts to delay dealing with the giant elephant in the room: There is no plan in place to deal with the underlying cause of this nation’s rampaging debt – a debt that continues to skyrocket with each passing year.
The fact of the matter is that our government is insolvent and can only stay afloat through further debt creation, or, in this case, stealing from whatever it can get its hands on. Right now, it has found its (temporary) solution in the retirement accounts of government employees.