Dave Ramsey

My aggression towards the bailout.

Posted on January 13, 2009. Filed under: Dave Ramsey, Money, Politics, Theology |

Recently, someone forwarded me an email that someone sent them that was in favor of the bailout. The following were my thoughts on the bailout, specifically regarding the “big 3” automakers. The basic mantra of the email was that the patriotic thing to do in this time of crisis in our economy is to go get a new car from one of the big three automakers, and finance it, or even lease it! Also, the email stated that they contributed a total of 30 million between the three of them, to charity. Here’s what I had to say:


We’ll call him Jim

Dear Jim,

I feel like I should blog about this. I completely disagree with giving the automakers ANY money whatsoever. Actions require consequences. Period. Many people do not know this about me, but in march of 07, my Toyota Truck was nearly re-possessed. I was behind two payments when I was sent a letter stating that if I did not pay the full balance of 4,250 in ten days, the truck would be picked up because of defaulting on the loan. I called back, begged and pleaded, and worked out a bargain with them where if I paid the to payments that I owed, plus the current months payment, and the next month (a total of four payments) they would let me continue paying on the loan. I paid up, and they reneged on on taking the truck and graciously allowed me to continue paying on the truck for the planned life of the loan. I borrowed money from no one even though this put us in a very hard place financially. We had to make dozens of sacrifices. 

This showed me the harsh reality of where my lack of discipline with money, frivolous spending, and carelessness has landed me: a deficit of nearly 800 dollars a month, hardly any groceries, and some $100 pair of designer jeans. Not to mention the toll that this could have taken on our marriage. I called NO ONE to bail me out. (Keep in mind that there has not been one time in our marriage that Susan and I did not tithe at least ten percent. This was the beginning of the realization that Gods financial provision as promised in Malachi 3 never supercedes bad money management.) We sought financial counseling and it was recommended that we start the Dave Ramsey Plan. We jumped in head first selling the truck, nearly 1/4 of everything else we owned in a yard sale, started delivering pizza, and started knocking away debt tremendously very quickly. We are now closer than ever to being debt free, and even though I have not been hired for the position I have applied for yet, we are living on about $1750 a month, have $500 in savings, have food in the fridge. God honors us when we honor him with HIS resources that he has allowed us to be stewards over. 

Furthermore, the auto industry is the root cause of what I believe is the financial ruin of millions of people through the last 50 years. Practically anyone can get a loan no matter what their credit score is, or income to debt ratio for that matter. People get cars they cant afford, filling them with gas they cant afford, paying insurance premiums they cant afford. Add this to the fact that ANY car you drive of the lot that is less than 5 years old immediately depreciates 10-15 percent, not to mention the new cars that depreciate up to 40% even with all the fancy rebates. I would say that if you asked 100 people who faced some sort of financial difficulty, 90% or more would say that they had an automobile that was too much money for them.

To address the donations that the big 3 gave, which between the three of them add up to 30 million, doesnt even equal 1% of their entire profits from last year. This is sort of like the Pharisees who were praised for their large donations but looking over the woman who gave ten sheckles, I think. What was that for her, as I recall?  It was- one years salary! No ones any more impressed with this than with tiger woods donating 1 million to an orphanage. It is needed? Yes. It is generous? I dont think so. So, I do not praise the auto industry for their giving. I think its nice, but hardly sacrificial. I praise the family who doesnt know how they are going to make it the next week, with 4 kids, that joyfully gives 10% trusting God for the provision. 

If the big 3 didnt crank out another car for ten years, America would have an excess of automobiles to drive. This country became socialist when we did the bailout that 78% of Americans were not for. Ill never encourage bailing out someone for their repeated poor financial management, and for failing to release technology that would save our non-renewable energy. There charitable donations that the big 3 gave dont even come close to the amount of money that they recieved from big oil companies to hold back the current hybrid technology. 

This country needs to learn the value of a dollar. We as a society need to learn to live BELOW our means. If the big three fail, so be it. Maybe it would be a good time or self-examination, and returning, (or coming to, in may cases) to God. What a great opportunity for the church. The Bible is very serious when it says that The rich rule over the poor. The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7. How much longer are we going to allow culture to tell us that in order to be accepted, we must drive the best? I will never be a slave again, God willing! Ill drive my car with nearly 200,000 miles on it that my friends shake their heads at. They ask why would anyone drive a vehicle like that? One of the most hurtful statements that I can remember someone saying to me in my adult life was when I was at my uncle Jeans house in Canton, and his rich arrogant friend looked at me with Susan standing there and he said If thats not a buy-here, pay-here car, Ill kiss your ass! At that moment, I wanted to key his new chevy, and then take a 2×4 to his knee caps. Of course I didnt do that. I told him that when am as old as he is, I wont have all the grey hair he has because I wont be in debt! Ill drive my piece of junk till the wheels fall off!

Jim, on this one I have to disagree. Giving to our country shouldnt be defined as buying a new automobile. Please dont give into the wave of culture that says it is the duty of the taxpayer to bailout big companies for their bad money management. 

Hope this didnt come across too strong, because I dont mean it ill-willed. However, this is something that I am very passionate about. I would love to know your personal thoughts on this.



So, what struck a NERVE with you this week?

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