No, I don’t think this is an April Fools’ joke. Obama released an official statement on the White House website declaring that April is National Financial Capability Month. It would be funny if it weren’t true. In his statement, Obama said he wants to help young people better manage their finances:
“I call upon all Americans to observe this month with programs and activities to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices….My Administration is dedicated to helping people make sound decisions in the marketplace….Together, we can prepare young people to tackle financial challenges–from learning how to budget responsibly to saving for college, starting a business, or opening a retirement account….My Administration continues to encourage responsibility at all levels of our financial system by cracking down on deceptive practices and ensuring that consumers are informed of their rights.”
I wonder if Obama is planning on leading by example anytime soon. He’s trying to tell young people how to manage their money better, but he manages to rack up over $6 trillion in debt during his time in office.
How ironic that one of the websites that Obama links to in his statement leads to a Federal Reserve webpage that offers tips on “Getting the most from your credit card.” One of the tips is “Stay below your credit limit.” I wonder if the Federal Reserve is ever going to lead by example. They don’t bother trying to stay below their credit limit. They just scare Americans into continuing to raise it. They don’t even feel like they need a credit limit.
Of course, big government proponents argue that if Obama didn’t spend as much as he has, and if the Fed didn’t create as much debt/money as it has, our entire economy would implode. They’ve got to keep spending and pumping money into certain sectors of the economy in order to prop it up. Bernanke even has to give trillions of dollars away to foreign banks to “stabilize” the global economy.
Government officials think comparing government finances to household finances is not fair. They don’t like the comparison, because it makes them look completely irresponsible. But they claim that there really is a distinction between the two. They agree that households should operate on a tight budget. But because it’s government’s job to “spur growth” in the private sector, to “create jobs” and to keep unemployment down, they have no choice but to tax heavily, borrow heavily and print debt-based currency like there’s no tomorrow. That’s how they’re going to get the economy going again.
But that’s not doing the trick anymore. That kind of government is unsustainable. Besides, it’s not government’s job to do any of those things. It isn’t even capable of running the economy.
Obama and the Federal Reserve are great examples of how not to manage one’s finances. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a household or a huge, federal government. If you live beyond your means, you will be destined to live beneath your means