Earlier this month the White House launched a Summit on Financial Capability and Empowerment. The goal was to educate Americans of all ages about how to take control of their financial futures.
The irony in all of this is palpable. How can the Obama Administration, which has increased the deficit by $5 trillion and passed a budget that never balances, preach to anyone about how to run their finances? There’s no good answer to that question, but that hasn’t stopped Obama from giving kids lessons on money.
Check out some of these tenets of wisdom from the “Money as You Grow” interactive tool developed as part of the program:
- You should avoid using credit cards to buy things you can’t afford to pay for with cash
- You should use a credit card only if you can pay off the money owed in full each month
- It’s important to save at least three months’ worth of living expenses in case of emergency
- Always consider two factors before investing: The risks and the annual expenses
- Don’t use credit to buy things you can’t pay for? Don’t run a monthly deficit? Save for emergencies? Consider the risks?
Don’t get me wrong, this is all great advice, but it’s also advice that the Obama Administration has completely ignored in attempting to manage its own budget. They’ve used credit – in the form of deficit financing – to make all sorts of purchases that our country can’t afford. Not only does this put our fate in the hands of creditors, but it puts as at the mercy of interest rates.
Should other nations call our debt or should bond markets get spooked by our perpetual deficits, America could find itself devoting money to paying soaring interest payments, rather than investing in its citizens.
One of the main reasons the United States has fallen into such a dire fiscal predicament is the Obama Administration willingness to ignore the risks and annual expenses of its investments. Solyndra anyone? The billions Obama poured into green energy is just a microcosm of a federal government that is really good at writing checks and really bad at investing wisely.
And has anyone in the Obama Administration really cared about the annual costs of their legislation? Obamacare seems to be a pretty clear indication the answer to that question is a resounding no. In fact, they wrote the bill to purposely hide the true annual costs by putting all the revenues up front and backloading the spending. Obama must be made to understand that these types of spending aren’t one time outlays – they are new entitlements that will be passed on for generations, making it more and more difficult to ever achieve balance.
The Obama Administration’s attempt to teach America’s youth the value of thrift becomes all the more ridiculous given the USA Today’s report about the shadow deficit.
“The big difference between the official deficit and standard accounting: Congress exempts itself from including the costs of promised retirement benefits. Yet companies, states and local governments must include retirement commitments in financial statements, as required by federal law and private boards that set accounting rules.
The deficit was $5 trillion last year under those rules. The official number was $1.3 trillion. Liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, and other retirement programs rose by $3.7 trillion in 2011, according to government actuaries, but the amount was not registered on the government’s books.”
Something tells me that hiding the true cost of your spending obligations was not one of the main tenets of Obama’s “Summit on Financial Capability” presentation. After all, it’s tough to get a handle on your financial future, when you act as if that future doesn’t exist.
Given this utter disregard for simple finances is it any wonder than a new poll shows that Democrats are the least likely to realize that spending has risen over the last ten years? Ignorance may be bliss, but man, it’s sure stressing out the rest of us who actually care about our country.