The federal government appears to have declared war on retirement. Unlike other wars, this one isn’t only undeclared, it wasn’t even intended. But, intended or not, the federal government has taken a series of steps that have given us a war nonetheless.

Ironically, this war began with Social Security in 1935. Rather than establishing a forced savings program wherein people would save money during their working years and withdraw during retirement, the government established a Ponzi scheme wherein later participants paid off earlier participants.

As with all Ponzi schemes, the program was sustainable only so long as there were more people paying in than were drawing out. By the early 1980s, too few people were paying in, and Congress fired its first salvo at retirees by making previously tax-free retirement benefits taxable. This bought the scheme a couple of more decades of life, though current estimates have the trust fund becoming insolvent by…

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