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Kevin McCarthy, “Moneyball” and Private Retirement Savings

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Politico profiles House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy, a fan of “Moneyball,” who is looking for ways to get American corporations using the $2 trillion in cash they have “on the sidelines.”

“What I would do is find out what unshackles them,” he said, “and use that as a stimulus.”

A good search, that, but “Moneyball is about more than metrics. It is also about seeing the same data or sets of facts differently, and that new look should be applied to the $7 trillion invested in privately held retirement accounts. The House Leadership should encourage the Supercommittee to allow the holders of those IRAs, 401(k)s and SEPs to use all or a part of their own accumulated capital to start businesses or to pay down mortgage debt without triggering a taxable event and certainly without a penalty.

One of the immediate consequences would be the availability of the cash necessary to refinance home mortgages or buy houses at the great rates available today, rates which mortgage brokers say are real but which fail to trigger successful refinances because of a lack of equity or a lousy balance sheet.

As the recession drags on under Obamanomics, people will be dipping into their retirement accounts anyway, but with a penalty attached that simply swells the government’s coffers without sparking growth. This is the easiest of all stimulus proposals to advance: Let the people use their own money now to save their houses and start their businesses.

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