Tuesday, February 14, 2012

One Question

When I evaluate local, state, and federal political candidates I ask myself one question – Which candidate do I most trust to run my personal finances? In most cases the answer is none, but this is my litmus test when I evaluate the resumes of politicians. After all, if I do not trust a person to run my personal finances than how can I trust them with taxpayer money? And this question should not be limited to politicians, but other people who hold public jobs that are required to balance a budget. Hence, this question should also be asked of principals, superintendents, and the folks that run public retirement accounts. For instance, far too often we appoint good educators into the role of superintendent or school principal, but they fail to grasp how to run a school district like a business because they have a budget that needs to be balanced. Therefore, a good educator is not necessarily the right person for the job if they lack good business acumen. The same can be said of state and federal bureaucrats running retirement systems that have amassed trillions in unfunded liabilities.

I very rarely view a federal political candidate’s record on social issues as important. Most importantly, political candidates need to be both business and financially savvy. It is not because I think social issues are not important or that I do not have a strong opinion about them. It is because I view social issues as “state” and not “federal” issues that should be resolved independently by each state. The federal government or Supreme Court has no business making laws or decisions about gay marriage, capital punishment, legalizing marijuana, or abortion unless the Constitution is amended. There simply is nothing in the Constitution to support federal government interference in these matters. However, social issues are more important when I am deciding between candidates in local and state races.

A recent poll indicated that fewer than 1 in 5 politicians have a background in business or economics. Over half have college degrees in humanities or some government related field. And what’s worse, nearly all of these candidates are mathematical illiterates. This means they are incapable of performing a simple statistical analysis to determine what economic indicators are the most pivotal for a strong economy nor can they determine which economic parameters correlate. Politicians do not understand the math and science behind global warming nor do they understand the math behind the economics of determining the effects of raising the taxes on the wealthy. I am not only talking about liberals, but conservatives too. Case in point, Tea Party favorite Tom Tancredo was duped by Bernie Madoff. Because of this it very hard to find a candidate who passes this one simple question. Let’s face facts, most politicians are not qualified to write laws and manage budgets on economic issues or controversial issues such as global warming. Simply put, they are not experts in these fields they merely pretend to be experts.

It is no surprise that most elected Presidents are generally governors and not congressional members. The reason for this is simple; governors have practical experience running a state budget, whereas congressional members merely write legislation, but do not run a budget. And congressional members who are responsible for a budget have no problem deficit spending and running up trillions of dollars of debt.

So it should come as no surprise that the Obama administration is failing to fix the economy. Obama and over 90% of the advisors in his administration have no practical business experience. Many are lifetime educators that have failed to try their ideologies in the real world. Hence, most of the Obama administration is not qualified to run a McDonalds let alone a nearly 15 trillion dollar economy. Therefore, I would not trust them to run my finances, nor should anyone else.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)


  1. Interesting, Patrick. But isn't it possible (with help) that a candidate who comes down on the side of social issues you favor to learn relative to finances? Or have we conceded that given the rapidity with which we are heading toward fascism, of one form or another, that speed precludes that elected official from learning?

    What a sad state of affairs. Oh that's right, we don't have State's any longer, just departments in the UNITED states. (Sorry, had to get the shot in there.)

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and your Mrs.

  2. Good Point Mrs. AL, a person with the right family values is probably going to be better at running finances (makes better decisions).

    And Yes, the states no longer exist.

    Thanks for the valentines wishes and hope you and your husband have a good one as well.