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I've been thinking about Rambler's Comment a couple of days ago, and Jim's and all the others.

It seems to me that taxation issues need to differentiate between principal and interest. If I invest money, the interest income, in my opinion, should be taxed. If, however, I withdraw the principal (or part of it), it should not be taxed if it came out of taxed monies in the first place.

Thus, I pay interest on my retirement income, because it was paid out of my paycheck before taxable income was calculated. It makes sense, therefore, for me to be taxed on it as I use it.

By the way, I am not getting "free" money from retirement fund; I paid into it for 34 years, pension and social security both. Thankfully, I wasn't able to take the money that went into social security and invest it in the stock market. Like my husband (who did invest in the market), I would have lost my shirt in the Great Recession. I'm a gambler by nature and that sort of risk would have appealed to me.

I suppose, if I live long enough, I will eventually use up paid pension and social security, and get into the general fund, but that is years in the future. I am thankful beyond words for the safety net.

Meanwhile, I don't sock that money away in a Swiss bank account or an offshore fund. I use it for my house, for food, for living expenses, thus putting it back into the local economy, keeping people employed.

My view may be considered naive, but perhaps common sense would make more sense than high finance based on predatory capitalistic individualism.

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