A local DFL (Democratic for you non-Minnesotans) candidate for state Senate recently sent out a campaign flier that explained how he, as a lawyer working as a public defender, knew what it was like to have the end of the paycheck arrive before the end of the month, and use credit cards to make up the difference.
In other words, the guy is saying that he could not make ends meet on a lawyer's salary, and he's decided to patch things up in the stupidest possible way save going to payday loan company. Yes, law school is not cheap. Yes, public defenders aren't richly paid. Even so, if this well paid gentleman thinks that borrowing money at 24% interest is a good way to make ends meet, I don't want him anywhere near the state budgeting process.
If he'd said "I know what it is to manage a tight budget in a tight economy without going into debt, and I'd like to apply what I've learned to the state budgeting process.", then I might be a bit more willing to listen to him. I have to suggest (again) that one big reason for our current debt malaise at the state and federal level is that too many politicians--Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Norm Coleman, Byron Dorgan, and a host of others come to mind--simply have never learned to live within their means. As such, it never occurs to them that state or federal government ought to do the same.
And, again, it also ought to be noted that when someone needs (Dodd, Dorgan, Conrad, Obama, Biden) to get sweetheart deals from loan companies to maintain their lifestyle, they're also pretty likely to listen a little more closely when a lobbyist "suggests" something. If you wonder why (Barney Frank, Dorgan, Pomeroy, etc..) those banks and other large companies get such sweetheart deals from Congress, there you go.
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