Posted by: adoseofliberty | December 31, 2009

“Financial Literacy”

The Politico reported on an educational measure included in the Senate health bill that passed last week on Christmas Eve:

For critics of the Democrats’ $849 billion health care bill, this may be the ultimate irony: millions of dollars set aside so the government can help teach citizens how to handle their own money better.

The funding is part of a broader, $375 million program aimed at promoting responsible lifestyles — a five-year plan to fund state efforts to educate adolescents on abstinence, contraception and other “adult preparation subjects” such as healthy relationships, increased child-parent communication and “financial literacy.”

You can imagine how Sen. Jim DeMint feels.

“The federal government is never going to encourage personal responsibility and never has,” the South Carolina Republican said. “Personal responsibility is a good principle — but not the government doing it.”

In a document circulating in the hopes of defeating the measure — and the health care bill in general — aides to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) say: “The federal government, which is now $12 trillion in debt and riddled with hundreds of billions of dollars of waste, management, duplication and ineffective programs, has little credibility educating Americans about financial responsibility.”

Perhaps he’s referring to the largest deficit in the history of the United States? Or maybe a 10-year budget outlook that sends the national debt to unprecedented levels?  Does anyone remember the wildly “successful” cash-for-clunkers?  Or the “stimulus” bill that did what exactly?  Oh yeah, lose money and create jobs in non-existing districts.

Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas recalls the most recent reasons why Americans need to have someone set them straight:

“Financial literacy is one of the biggest problems we have in this country.  Look at what happened in our stock markets, look at what happened in our economy with mortgages; people are indebting themselves into something more than what they can afford.”

We all know that people can’t be trusted with their own money.  Or that “deregulation”, the market “running wild”, Wall Street “greed”, the failure of capitalism, etc. caused The Great Recession.  Or do we?

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