What if you were forced to use a money manager who:
- Rarely asked for input from you before investing your money.
- Had a track record of poor investment performance for many years.
- Took money from your account and gave it to colleagues and friends.
- Never said thank you for keeping them in business.
You would probably do everything possible to rid yourself of this relationship and begin to look for someone with integrity, intelligence and a sense of stewardship. After all, it’s your money, not theirs.
Well, if you are a taxpayer, you have such a manager, our politicians. This occurred to me while I was reading about the debate regarding the pending increase in the interest rate for Government Student Loans. (More on that subject later.)
If you asked most taxpayers if they thought government subsidized student loans were a good idea, most would probably agree and not give it a second thought. But what if you asked a taxpayer if they would like to pay part of the college expenses of their neighbors’ kids- they might have a different answer.
The point is, we, the taxpayers, are becoming less connected with our government as each year goes by. Governments have become, in essence, the investment manager, for a significant part of the wealth we create. Whether or not you agree that government subsidized student loans are a good idea, you need to start thinking of the taxes you pay as your money. It does not belong to the politicians.
We need to think of the words “taxpayer” and “government” as synonyms. We need to substitute the word “taxpayer” for the word “government” when debating how our tax dollars should be spent. Instead of a “government bailout” we should debate whether or not to have a “taxpayer bailout.” Instead of “government subsidized student loans” we should be talking about “taxpayer subsidized student loans.”
Simply changing the language would make the whole process a lot more personal, and perhaps we would start to pay more attention. If we don’t, the poor performance of our “government money managers” is going to take us down the road to bankruptcy. You would not put up with an investment advisor or a money manager with such a poor tack record. You would hold them accountable which is precisely what we need to do with our politicians.