Yesterday, I “helped” my second-oldest open her first credit union checking account. I say that I “helped,” but my only real contribution was telling her it’s okay if she doesn’t buy checks but keeps the 5 temporary checks she got from them as backups. “You won’t need them,” I said. “It’s 2017. Money is easier now than ever before.”
She’s still in high school but I put her one one of my credit cards to get her established. Having her as an authorized user gives her credit history while protecting her from making silly teenager mistakes. Every thing she uses it on must be approved, documented, and accounted for in the end. Now that she has a debit card, I’ll be using it to pay the expenses she accumulates on my card every month. If she’s ever short, I’ll work out a plan to cover it for her temporarily, but I anticipate she’ll never be short. So far she’s just used it for teenage essentials: gas, food, and an occasional pair of shoes when she’s worked extra hours.
As an active high school senior, she holds two jobs. I disagree with this particular choice but I support her right to make it. I wouldn’t say she’s overworked, necessarily, but it does create scheduling problems from time to time. She will learn from now until graduation one of two things: overextending herself brings challenges that she’ll want to avoid in the future or she’s capable of managing her time even when split between school, home, and work. Either way, it’s a great lesson I wish I’d have learned at her age.
Spend only what you can afford. Pay all of your bills on time. Work hard to generate enough revenue. Don’t go into debt unless absolutely necessary. These lessons are easy for a parent to teach a child, but they’ve clearly gone unlearned in Washington DC. More accurately, they’ve been ignored. The Democrats abandoned any semblance of fiscal responsibility a hundred years ago. The Republicans seem to ebb and flow in their understanding. Unfortunately, the current GOP-controlled Congress seems to have let those ideas completely fall to the wayside.
Obamacare must be fully repealed. Any replacement for it should be designed to systematically remove the federal government from the insurance business altogether. Defenders of the current plan will say that it’s a repeal that’s fixing the problem the only practical way going forward. The reality is that it’s the only way they imagine being able to pretend like they’re doing the right thing while still being economically irresponsible for the sake of votes.
One thing is guaranteed: if a Democrat were president today (God forbid), Congress would pass full repeal and either a conservative replacement or no replacement at all. Why? They’d know it would get vetoed. The fact that whatever they pass will likely be signed has forced them to reveal their real intention of continuing down the path towards big government fiscal failure just to avoid political losses in 2018.