6.16.2008

Politician's personal finances

Does the way a presidential candidate handle their personal finances reflect how they'll run the country? Do their personal priorities reflect policy priorities? With foreclosure rates high and savings rates low, should a president set a good example? Or does it matter?

A New York Times article reports on a recent financial disclosures by the candidates:
Senators John McCain and Barack Obama released their Senate financial disclosure statements on Friday, revealing that Mr. McCain and his wife had at least $225,000 in credit card debt and that Mr. Obama and his wife had put more than $200,000 into college funds for their daughters.

Credit card debt. This twenty-four-year-old who isn't vying to be in charge of one of the richest countries in history knows better than to keep a balance on a piece of plastic charging more interest than I could ever expect to earn. One of their cards charges 25.99% interest. I've heard of cases where it makes sense, or is necessary, to use credit cards... but never $225,000 worth. When you have assets in the tens of millions of dollars. But maybe they have a good explanation.

And, I think it's interesting that the Obamas are saving for their daughters' educations so early and so aggressively- though, I'd expect it's something they keenly know the cost of since they only recently paid their own college debts off. I don't think it's a bad idea, especially since they have the money available from Mr. Obama's book royalties.

Here's hoping our student loans will be paid off this fall. Sooner, if I get a big book deal. :-P

10 comments:

Melissa said...

I think the way the candidates handle their money matters at least some. These are the guys who are going to be making decisions for us.

Something that might not matter as much, but still bothered me, was McCain's answer to the question "Mac or PC?":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--mMyoDZGYk

Marie said...

Dear lady, you are straining at gnats and swallowing camels.

(who supported the Infants Born Alive Act? who opposed it?)

How can the amount on someone's credit card affect your opinion of his character in the light of this?

Is either man a deadbeat, behind on his bills? If not, I don't see where it's relevant. Cindy McCain is a multimillionaire. I'm not surprised they charge a lot.

Marie said...

Dear lady, you are straining at gnats and swallowing camels.

(who supported the Infants Born Alive Act? who opposed it?)

How can the amount on someone's credit card affect your opinion of his character in the light of this?

Is either man a deadbeat, behind on his bills? If not, I don't see where it's relevant. Cindy McCain is a multimillionaire. I'm not surprised they charge a lot.

Marie said...

Doug Groothuis on recovering from fetus fatigue

It appears that millions of evangelicals, especially younger ones, are experiencing fetus fatigue. They are tired of the abortion issue taking center stage; it is time to move on to newer, hipper things--the sort of issues that excite Bono: aid to Africa, the environment, and cool tattoos. Abortion has been legal since they were born; it is the old guard that gets exercised about millions of abortions over the years. So, let's not worry that Barak Obama is pro-choice. That is a secondary issue. After all, neither could do that much damage regarding this issue.


Evangelicals (if that word has any meaning), for God's sake, please wake up and remember the acres of tiny corpses you cannot see. Yes, the Christian social vision is holistic. We should endeavor to restore shalom to this beleaguered planet. That includes helping Africa, preserving the environment, and much more. However, the leading domestic moral issue remains the value of helpless human life. Since Roe v. Wade, approximately 50 million unborn humans have been killed through abortion. Stalin said, "One death is a tragedy. A million dead is a statistic." Too many are now Stalinists on abortion. The numbers mean nothing, apparently. The vast majority of these abortions were not done to save the life of the mother, a provision I take to be justified. Things have reached the point where bumper stickers say, "Don't like abortion, don't have one." It is simply a matter of private, subjective taste. But how about this: "Don't like slavery, don't own slaves"? Two human beings are involved in this matter, inescapably. . . .

Evangelicals, for God's sake, please wake up. Remember the least, the last, and the lost: the millions of unborn human beings who hang in the balance (Matthew 25:31-46). No, this is not the only issue, but it is a titanic issue that cannot be ignored. Rouse yourself to recover from fetus fatigue. God is watching.

djwhitt said...

marie,

I would wager a good deal that if McCain got into office he would do little or nothing to change US abortion policy (just like most other "conservatives").

Also, I suggest that perhaps evangelicals should start thinking more about why people get abortions (hint: might be because they're pregnant when they don't want to be) and how to avoid those situations.

Anonymous said...

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Marie said...

djhwitt,

I'm not sure on what basis you say that.

McCain has a long record of pro-life voting activity and statements. He is an adoptive parent, as well.

Obama has 100% rating from NARAL, and not only voted against but agitated for the defeat of the Infants Born Alive act.

Their positions and histories are night and day.

djwhitt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
djwhitt said...

Marie,

McCain is a senator from Arizona. As such it costs him nothing to vote that way. As president his situation would be a bit different.

FJ said...

Today on the TODAY show on NBC, there was a lady who said that having some credit card debt is not bad if the interest rate is below a certain % (I think 10) as it builds a credit report.
Also, if you get 0% balance transfers, why not keep the debt and pay it off slowly. If only more important debt could be 0% (student loans perhaps?)

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