Politics
Photo from Jan. 2012 report of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. Photo from Jan. 2012 report of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability.  

Obama’s financial advice site for kids yields GOP jibes

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama is offering financial tips to kids, even though he has racked up $5 trillion in new debt and has put every American $16,000 deeper in debt since January 2009.

Arkansas Republican Rep. Tim Griffin is using the #MAYG hashtag to ridicule the 20-point list of financial tips at moneyasyougrow.org. 

“It is a light-hearted way of reminding people about the president’s record,” Griffin told The Daily Caller.

“#1 thing @BarackObama doesn’t want your kids taught: their share of the national debt ($50K),” he tweeted.

Another piece of advice on the list prompted this message from Griffin, “#3 You may have to wait b4 you can buy something you want. (But govt ignores affordability every day.)”

Advice item number 20 spurred another taunt. “Consider 2 factors before investing: risks & expenses,” to which Griffin added “(Unless taxpayer money & #Solyndra are involved.) #ObamaEconomics #MAYG.”

The incongruity of the advice is highlighted by Obama’s decision to ignore the financial advice about the nation’s overspending that was provided by top-level Simpson-Bowles panel, Griffin said. The panel, formally titled “The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform,” issued its report December 2010.

The site, however, also warned people against using its advice. “The information and materials provided in this website are general in nature and are not to be considered the rendering of legal, tax, accounting, financial, investment, insurance or other professional advice,” said a disclaimer at the bottom of the main page.

The site is authored by the “President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability,” which is hosted by the Department of the Treasury.

The website’s advice is tailored for children, teens or adults. For example, the tips provide to kids aged 3 to 5 include “There’s a difference between THINGS YOU WANT and things you need.”

The site also pushes Obama’s health-sector bill. “You need HEALTH INSURANCE,” the site tells people aged over 18, even though states are required to provide basic health services to everyone — including illegal immigrants — who arrives at emergency rooms.

The financial advice council was created January 2010 “to assist the American people in understanding financial matters and making informed financial decisions, and thereby contribute to financial stability,” said the council’s website.

A Jan. 2012 report from the council showed Obama meeting with the council members, and highlights a March 2011 quote attributed to Obama. “As we recover from the worst economic crisis in generations, it is more important than ever to be knowledgeable about the consequences of our financial decisions… We recommit to improving financial literacy and ensuring all Americans have access to trustworthy financial services and products,” said the quote.

The council’s members include Democratic-affiliated non-profit professionals, such as John Hope Bryant, founder of Operation HOPE, and Samuel Jackson, founder of The Economic Empowerment Initiative, Inc.

A spokesman for the Treasury Department did not respond to The Daily Caller.

The national debt is $15.7 trillion.

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