Do a search here on the DP or your favorite engine on Helvering v. Davis for the Social Security explanation.
401k is the section of law that "allows" you to save that money free from the so-called "income tax" that most Americans really aren't supposed to be paying in the first place.
Congress granted you the PRIVILEGE to save that money "pre-tax."
What Congress giveth, Congress can taketh away.
They could simply revoke section 401k and claim you not only owe them back taxes, but penalties and interest as well.
It is not wise to invest in something because Congress gave you permission to do so. They might want the profitable result given to them one day.
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