The White House, careening down the road to bankrupting an entire nation with more spending than can possibly be repaid in our great-grandchildren's lifetimes, is going to force YOU to save?
The central idea behind the Obama administration's effort to protect the personal finances of Americans boils down to this: put laziness to work.
Tell people to set aside part of their paychecks every month and they'll usually ignore the advice. But start the saving process for them -- automatically siphoning off a raise from a paycheck into a bank account -- and perhaps that will help them avoid the financial trauma that has affected millions of Americans in this recession.
As part of its financial-regulation overhaul, the Obama team is encouraging more responsible use of credit cards, savings and even mortgages. Using tactics ranging from a light nudge to a hard shove, officials are turning theories about behavioral economics into practice to reshape how Americans make personal-finance decisions.Some of them may prove controversial as the government brings a heavier hand to personal finance. To help people who don't save, for instance, the government would create accounts -- unless they opt out -- to redirect part of their salary or tax refund into savings.
And I know you'll be shocked to hear this, but it will all come with a new agency! Yes, friends, to ensure that you make the decisions the government believes are in your best interest, we will now fund the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Don't worry..."behavioral economics" is very scientific, and it will save us all from the consequences being foisted on us by the very people who are teaching us what to do when it all collapses.
I'm feeling better already.
A Personal-Finance Workout