Hope for your financial life and beyond

The Government Won’t Solve Your Money Problems

In case you didn’t know, tomorrow is a mid-term election day in the U.S. If you live here I really don’t understand how you could not know it’s a voting day given the emphasis placed on it by the news media and advertising groups for months now. It should be interesting given the frustration many people in both parties are having with functioning of the current government.

Capitol Hill Everyone has their reasoning for why they chose to vote or choose not to vote. That reasoning can easily turn elections to one side or the other. In the past presidential election, we now know that 4 million conservatives stayed home, choosing not to vote. That groundswell of opposition and apathy towards their candidate followed by their subsequent inaction when it came to voting turned the election for the incumbent.

Whatever your political persuasion, I hope your beliefs are deep enough that money isn’t the only consideration when it comes to choosing an elected official. Too often voters only vote with their wallet, casting a ballot for the candidate they think will improve the economy, thus making their financial life better off than it currently is. I’m not saying the issue of improving the economy should be ignored. We just can’t base our entire decision on that one factor.

Money isn’t everything.

The Government and Your Money Problems

I’ve voted in 5 presidential elections. When it comes to the issue of money and economic progress, I’ve always ranked that issue as third most important behind 1) the sanctity of life and 2) a strong and free America. In my opinion, those two issues outrank money because they speak to the precious nature of human life both young and old and to our historical roots as a beacon of hope and freedom for the entire world.

I know not everyone agrees with that but here’s the thing…the government can’t solve your money problems and they don’t control how you live your daily life. Sure, they can put policies in place that might impact our wallets but they don’t spend our money or hinder us from pursuing our dreams. Those choices are our own to make.

Some of you are no doubt really squawking right now. “Haven’t you seen my new healthcare premiums? They have skyrocketed!” Listen, I get it. I just found out mine are going up by 75%. We don’t know yet what we will do to stay covered.

The point is that we are still the biggest determinate of our success. Our effort dictates how well off we become. Our financial progress is more about what we do to and for ourselves than what the government does for or to us.

I know because we’ve lived it out through arguably the highest spending (stimulus plan), freedom crushing (vis-à-vis mandatory healthcare) and bungling (Benghazi, ISIS, Ebola, etc.) administration in my lifetime.

Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

In 2011, my wife and I took a radical step to change our lives. Mrs. Luke1428 left her career as a high school math teacher in an attempt to become a certified public accountant. To do so she had to return to graduate school to earn a new degree and I had to step down from my principal position in order to direct more of my attention to family responsibilities. The ultimate goal was for us to make more income and reduce life stress by her working full-time and myself becoming a stay at home dad.

It seemed like an audaciously crazy goal at the time. We didn’t know for certain if it would unfold as planned. How could we? It’s impossible to project into the future and know what will happen down the road with 100% certainty.

The transition would end up taking 3 years. My wife obtained a Master’s in Accounting, an add-on MBA and a job working for one of the largest public accounting firms in our local area. This past May I was able to quit my career in education to take care of the family at home. Life has certainly changed and it’s better than we had dreamed it would be when we started the journey.

And you know who didn’t help us one lick?

The government.

The government didn’t subsidize us and help us pay our way through grad school.

The government didn’t assist with the countless hours of study and test preparation.

The government didn’t manage our family budget to adjust for the changes in income.

The government didn’t counsel my wife on where to find a job.

The government didn’t lend me a helping hand with increased household responsibilities as I still held down a full-time job.

All this was up to us. No elected official came by to offer an encouraging word or volunteer to help. The burden was on our shoulders and we were happy to bear it, all in the pursuit of a better life.

Vote For Yourself

Elections are important. The issues are important. A candidate’s character and their vision for the country are both important.

However, elections are about what happens at a macro level. Those macro level policies can have a trickle down affect as we are seeing with healthcare. But if you are looking for real life change you don’t need the governments help.

You can make those changes by voting on yourself.

You possess the keys to change. You have the willpower to push through difficult times. You can control what happens with your life and money as you pursue happiness.

Forget about relying on the government to solve all your problems. History has shown us that’s not their strong suit. You on the other hand know exactly what you need to succeed. Vote for yourself today and go make it happen.

Who do you think is more responsible for your success – you or the government? Do you look to the government to solve your problems? Do you vote based on how well you think a candidate can facilitate economic growth or is another issue more important to you?

Image by Arend at Flickr Creative Commons

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Comments

  1. While I agree that the government won’t help you solve your money problems, do they really need to work so hard to put obstacles in your way? They have their hand in your pocket at every opportunity and it’s almost like they don’t want you to succeed.
    Myles Money recently posted…Monetizing Your BlogMy Profile

  2. Brian, you firmly stand on your point there! I believe the government is just there, it just exists to function minimally. That being said, it’s really on people whether they climb up the ladder or stay down there. Our success depends on how we see ourselves and what we do. Thus, if you have a debt, government would never take you out of debt. It is you who can.
    Jayson recently posted…Online Business Update 2My Profile

  3. I hear what you’re saying, Brian. Individuals will almost always have a bigger impact on their own lives than a government could. But it’s not a true dichotomy. Legislators have great power to impact our lives, too. While people always have free will and can make their own choices, it’s sometimes shocking to think of the widespread impacts of government: public school policy (and even the idea of public school), economic policy, foreign policy (including when to go to war), the war on drugs, the tax code, etc. etc.

    We’ll always be autonomous operators in our society, thank goodness. But the more I read about human behavior, the less often I notice that it’s really “deliberate”. We’re on autopilot most of the time.
    Done by Forty recently posted…House LustMy Profile

    • “…not a true dichotomy.” That’s true…our lives are intertwined with government policy. And the impact government has on society is huge. I think too many people though are looking to gov’t to solve their micro economic issues. It still remains up to us even within the framework we’ve been given.

  4. This was, hands down, your BEST blog yet!

  5. Now, Luke, you don’t know what you are talking about! Both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton have clearly pointed out that you did not do that yourself. So according to them, the government obviously did it for you. (Wink, wink). The thing is, though, that those of us who vote for personal responsibility, liberty, making our own way etc., are becoming fewer and fewer. And unless something drastic occurs to make the other group change, they can out vote us and thus take our money away. I’m afraid the U.S. has reached the tipping point where the majority will always vote to redistribute our money into their pockets.

    • The two “you didn’t build that” comments you referenced are offensive (and I don’t get offended easily). They diminish and disrespect all the effort put forth by millions of people who have helped make this country great since it’s inception.

  6. Good points Brian! I take charge of my own life…the government makes it just a tiny bit easier or harder to deal depending on the issue. Totally with you on healthcare. It’s really punching us self-employed people in the gut, but still I don’t blame or feel bitter about anything. I vote putting social issues at pretty much the top of my list, which to some might seem crazy, but that’s where my gut wants to go. Other people balance voting out in other ways.
    Tonya recently posted…Simple Living and Saving MoneyMy Profile

    • “…still I don’t blame or feel bitter about anything.” That’s an important thing to point out. I hate the decisions made by government officials sometimes but I don’t let it affect my day-to-day attitude about what is going on around me. There is no victory in letting bitterness take hold of your life.

  7. Good points. The government isn’t responsible for how you live your life. It’s up to us how we work, spend, and manage our finances.
    MMD recently posted… Niche Website Update 23 – $1,052 Income – Finally Growth for My Amazon SiteMy Profile

  8. Ha, we are most definitely not waiting around for the government to fix our problems! Quite the opposite, in fact. One of the reasons why we are working as hard as we are on our finances is that we expect to likely be getting less help from the government in our old age than the boomers for example- less SS support, possibly Medicare picking up less of the healthcare tab, etc. We feel like we need to be able to fend for ourselves much better than generations before us who may have had pensions, full SS benefits, etc.
    Dee recently posted…10 Smart Tips for Decluttering Your HomeMy Profile

    • In my opinion America is great more based on what the people have done throughout history more than what the government has done. People and small businesses drive the economic engine of the country. The government should facilitate that in any way possible. Kudos to you for working hard and taking care of yourself.

  9. Too often now we are not voting for someone as we are voting against someone else. I think that’s a big shift although it can seem subtle, and it shows why we’re never happy with our politicians, because as soon as the election is over, even if the person you voted against didn’t win, the person that you technically voted for probably isn’t going to impress you or be someone you believe in. The system is very broken. I will be voting tomorrow but it’s kind of crazy how much things have shifted in the 22 years since I first became eligible to vote.
    Money Beagle recently posted…The 10 Types of Yelp Reviewers, Which One Are You?My Profile

    • “…we are voting against someone else.” While I don’t know what will happen, it seems from all the press coverage this is the likely scenario for tomorrow. It’s a shame it’s not the other way around (voting for someone or some ideal). It makes you realize how poorly both parties have truly articulated what they stand for.

  10. I couldn’t agree more Brian. Sure, who wouldn’t want a chicken in every pot – but it’s just not practical or reasonable to expect on a variety of levels. Sure, there are instances where help is needed and that is more than fine but the government is not going to solve your problems nor are they meant to.

    A candidate’s view on economic policy is important to me, though place it likely around where you do if not a little lower. I will echo Holly’s comment in that it gets a little old choosing between the lesser of two evils and is much of why we changed to non-partisan prior to the last election. I think voting requires us, on one level, to think as consumers and really find the candidate the holds to the same general views as we do while also with the full understanding that our success is not up to them but up to us.
    John recently posted…What I Learned About Life Working in Show BusinessMy Profile

    • “…find the candidate that holds to the same general views…” That’s what I’m looking for. I don’t always find what I like but have to go with what’s available. I won’t stay home and not vote.

  11. This is exactly why I’m not trying to work for the government in order to get my student loan debt forgiven after 10 years. The government is not going to solve my money problems. I value money in terms of economic, fiscal, and monetary policy when it comes to who is in office, but for me it comes behind social issues. Social issues go to the heart of integrity and human rights. No way my money is more important that that.
    Natalie recently posted…Which To Measure: Working Income Or Net Worth?My Profile

    • As you read, I look to social issues first also Natalie. Those speak to the fabric of our society. It’s been shown throughout history that when values fail great societies fail. I don’t want that for America.
      Brian recently posted…Moving On After FailureMy Profile

  12. I agree wholeheartedly that individual success is up to the individual. On the other hand, I am actually pretty tired of voting between the lesser of two evils. I will still vote, but I am never happy about it.
    Holly recently posted…Do the Changing Seasons Affect Your Budget?My Profile

    • I know what you mean Holly and it’s a shame it’s come to that. Why can’t either party produce an attractive candidate that can articulate clearly what they stand for? I don’t get it. Well, I do but don’t want to get into it now. 🙂

  13. Personally I want to be in charge of my own destiny. Some folks just wait around to see what happens and others make things happen. I try to eliminate as many outside influences as possible. I can’t control everything but I try to do my best because I can control me and my finances, I can’t control what everyone else decides to do. No excuses, no regrets….and go vote.
    Lance recently posted…Money Advice From the Future: “What Are You Waiting For?”My Profile

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