COVID-19 diagnosis of an auditor

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COVID-19 diagnosis of an auditor
COVID-19 diagnosis of an auditor

I’ve spent nearly 30 years guessing Americans how to spend less and save more. I started no less than half a dozen companies that do the same thing, but even if I could convince the 210 million adults in this country to live debt free, we would still be deeply in debt – because the federal government cannot (or does not want to) live within its means.

If you add up all of the consumer debt in this country – from mortgages to student loans to credit card balances – The total is an astonishing $ 15 trillion. However, this is only 60% of the federal deficit, which exceeds $ 25 trillion and continues to grow.

The COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered some profound shortcomings and weaknesses in consumer spending and federal spending habits. Until we resolve both problems, this country will continue to limp and never regain its former glory. Let us examine it.

Unemployment benefits


Although it’s difficult to give a specific number, The New York Times has reported that “workers in more than half of the states receive more unemployment benefits on average than their normal wages.”

Another recent study shows that “11.8% say they will stay home and collect unemployment even if they have the opportunity to return to work.”

While this means that nearly 9 in 10 US workers want to make a living, it does mean that many Americans prefer to sit down and basically get paid with their tax dollars.

I understand that many young people welcome socialism. A Gallup poll last year said: “Since 2010, the general opinion of young adults about capitalism has deteriorated to such an extent that capitalism and socialism are becoming increasingly popular in this age group.”

Young Americans also like to travel, wear trendy clothes and eat out. You can’t do that long when other people pay you for doing nothing.

As Margaret Thatcher once said, “The problem with socialism is that it ends up running out of other people’s money to fund it.” And as I said: “You cannot benefit from capitalism without contributing to it. You have to get what you put into it. “

Small business loans


The problem with government programs is not their intent, but their execution. Democrats and Republicans are proposing laws that they believe will help people. Of course, the money doesn’t come out of your own pocket, and that’s important.

As I wrote in my second book, Power Up …

Learning to live without a credit card is an essential part of financial support. The lessons you discover are added to your knowledge base, which ultimately leads to your financial independence. Those who do not use credit cards take money much more seriously than credit card users. The physical handover of the dollars to a cashier or waitress creates a sense of loss. The money is gone.

The same applies to heads of government. If the President and Congress had done something similar during this pandemic and spent their own money on stimulus packages for small businesses, They would have wondered if they had made a good investment – because he was not the only financial expert who expected problems.

He Wall Street Journal He reported that 13 large public companies returned money to help smaller companies under the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Act, but only because they received public pressure and poor public relations, not because the government insisted.

While the House of Representatives recently convened a committee to demand that large companies return the money, The simple fact is that government programs can never predict what opportunistic and amoral men and women will do. Humans have a skill above everyone else and that is to find a crack in almost everything. It bothers me a lot when governments try to fill all the gaps with a flood of useless regulations that overwhelm law-abiding entrepreneurs, and then turn around and distribute the money without regulating their own behavior.

If you take it to a level of personal finance, ask your kids exactly how they’re spending their money, have them fill out forms that promise not to buy too many sweets, and then buy a used car without seeing it and try it out.

What the government needs

Photo: Ashraf Ali on Unsplash

With an average American household with more than $ 26,000 in debt, there is no shortage of personal finance professionals like me to help those households get out of debt. Unfortunately, there is no one who trains the federal government.

The last time the federal government had a budget surplus was in 2001, which means that there will be voters in the fall presidential election who were not alive when our nation’s leaders last had money in the bank.

Ultimately, debt reaches everyone, be it individuals like us or governments like ours. This pandemic has exposed some big holes in our amazing way of life. We can and will close these holes, but not if our government does not show the way. Stop stupidly spending the money we don’t have.

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