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April 02, 2013

Barack's Rules for Responsible Financial Management

As the old saying goes, those who can, do. Those who can't, preach:

President Barack Obama, who has increased the national debt by $53,377 per household, has proclaimed April “National Financial Capability Month,” during which his administration will do things such as teach young people “how to budget responsibly."

“I call upon all Americans to observe this month with programs and activities to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices,” Obama said in an official proclamation released Friday.

...The proclamation on the White House website links to two other government websites: the site for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and MyMoney.gov, which includes materials from 21 federal agencies.

Listed among the “popular topics” on MyMoney.gov is “Managing Debt and Credit,” which includes a link to a page on the Federal Reserve’s website called “Getting the most from your credit card.” Tip 2 on that page is: “Stay Below Your Credit Limit.”

To help young people manage their money responsibly and avoid excessive debt, the White House has released the following guidelines. Each one has been thoroughly tested by the administration:

1. The only sure way not to exceed your budget is to avoid having one in the first place.

2. If, year after year, you continue to spend money you don't have and borrow to make up the difference, you don't have a spending problem. You have an inequality problem.

3. The remedy for spending more than you earn is not to cut back and live within your means. You simply need more revenue (and that neighbor who just bought a fancy new car seems to have plenty of money he doesn't need). Have you ever thought of asking him to fork over some of his ill-gotten gains?

4. If your college loan balance is so high that you can't make your payments, don't blame yourself. "Someone" should have forced you to read those papers you signed - you know, the ones that spelled out exactly what your payments would be. "Someone" should have prevented you from signing on the dotted line, and you are completely within your rights to stiff those corrupt Wall Street types who loaned you other people's money on nothing more than your word that you would pay it back.

Granted, defaulting will make it harder (and more expensive) for other students to obtain credit, but that's hardly your problem. You're a victim! Pay no attention to naysayers who try to tell you that adults honor their promises. Whatever you do, don't work two jobs so you can make your payments. Accountability is for suckahs.

5. IRS regulations and tax bills should be treated as optional guidelines for purely voluntary contributions that promote the common welfare. Economic patriotism is only for the rich - it doesn't apply to victims people who are having trouble making ends meet. When in doubt, follow the example set here at the White House.

6. In a pinch, talking about financial responsibility goes a long way towards ensuring that you'll never have to actually practice it. If your parents, friends, or spouse begin to nag you about the gaping chasm between your actions and your rhetoric, try the old divide and conquer routine. Mom didn't really need that new purse, did she? She should have asked Dad before spending all that money. And how about that new car Dad just bought? Mom wanted an economy model, didn't she? Keep at it, and they'll be at each other's throats in no time (leaving them no time to confront you with your serial irresponsibility).

7. If all else fails, there's the old "priorities" scam. You can't pay attention to your finances right now! First, you have to deal with the crisis du jour. It's your number one priority!

8. In the unlikely event that none of the preceding tactics work, you can always blame your parents. Your failures are never your fault - you inherited this mess from those who came before you. Remember: the best defense is a good offense.

We hope you take these lessons to heart, America. They've worked well for the President of the United States, and there's no reason to think they won't be just as effective for you.

Posted by Cassandra at April 2, 2013 07:06 AM

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Posted by: MikeD at April 2, 2013 08:23 AM


Posted by: Barack Obama at April 2, 2013 11:26 AM

The era of Big Government is back, Baby! Yeah!

Posted by: Bill Clinton at April 2, 2013 12:51 PM


Posted by: Bill Clinton at April 2, 2013 12:58 PM

Move along, Old Man. You had your time in the spotlight.

It's time to make way for someone with real, rockstar status.

Posted by: Barack Obama at April 2, 2013 03:51 PM

9. Don't Spend a Lot of Time Planning for Contingencies. Just like buying life insurance makes it more likely for you to die, planning in case of failure just makes it more likely you'll fail. Don't do it.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 3, 2013 09:22 AM


    Do Buy Insurance To Cover Every Eventuality.
If your health insurance covers every cent of every doctor visit, you can go as much as you want. You say the cost of such insurance is greater than your entire annual salary? Demand subsidies! It's your right to enjoy complete coverage against any risk at all.

Posted by: Grim at April 3, 2013 10:26 AM

I love both of these!

Here's another one:

11. Depressed by all this talk of fiscal responsibility and living within your means? Take a few vacations! A million here, a million there.... in the long run, it's all trivial.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 3, 2013 11:43 AM