Why Do People Blame Presidents for Their Money Problems?

The concept of personal accountability is something that makes sense to me.  I’m not saying I’m perfect at applying it at all times, but I do believe in it and try to follow it.

That being said, sometimes people do like to blame others.  Blame their career, blame their spouse, blame their parents, blame the dog, blame anybody.  To the person who makes excuses, it’s always somebody else’s fault when things don’t go according to plan.  Sometimes, people even blame the President (regardless of his poitical party) for their problems – or any money problems!

A few examples:

Sold-Out Holiday Gifts are the President’s Fault?

I was at a retailer recently, where I was doing a little bit of shopping for a few household items as well as holiday gifts.  I was walking by the toy aisle, when a store employee told a customer that they were out of a certain toy, and that they might not get any for a while since the company might not be making (or shipping?) as many this season.

The customer, a 30-something lady, said (paraphrased): “well, that’s what we get when we re-elect Obama…companies don’t make enough toys for the holidays because they think people want handouts!”

Huh? I’m missing the connection between who our president is, and why this lady wasn’t able to buy the right gifts for her kids. Maybe you can try to help me with this one.

Expensive Food is The President’s Fault?

I was talking recently with somebody who we’ll just describe as somebody I come into contact with frequently.  We were discussing how expensive lunch was becoming, and how it seemed like just a few years ago you could easily buy one for just $3 or $4 without it being unhealthy junk.  The guy said (again, paraphrased): “After 4 more years of Obama, I’m not going to be able to afford to eat lunch anymore!”

So tell me….why is it the President’s fault that you’re not able to eat lunch outside as often as you would like?  Could it be that your salary is modest? Or could it be that you spend money on other things that take away from available funds to spend on eating out?  Not sure how the President gets the blame here.

Your Home Losing Value is the President’s Fault?

For this one, we go back to before the current President was elected, to the George Bush days.  There were plenty of people out there who lost money on their homes, or at least saw the market value of them decline.  Frankly, I was one of them.

Luckily, I never took on an excessive mortgage at the wrong time.  However, there were people that stretched to buy their homes, and ended up underwater or at least burned badly on their purchase.  Some people learned their lessons, and realized that a basic home should have been good enough, instead of the dream home they bought by stretching for a big mortgage.

However, others looked to blame somebody.  I remember one person who saw his home value decline at the time saying that “Bush drove my retirement into the ground.  All this money spent on problems outside our country…”.

Sure, the guy was probably losing money in the market too, but why blame President Bush for that?  Why not just admit that he thought he was entitled to a dream home with all the bells and whistles, and that he made a bad decision to take on a massive loan that gave him very little room for error.

Politicians are not primarly to blame or credit for our individual financial situations!

I’m not saying that there aren’t specific circumstances where leaders can impact our respective person situations.  National debt, anyone? However, isn’t it better to accept full responsibility for our own actions? We can choose to get an education (or not), we can choose to work hard (or not), we can choose to live frugally (or not), and so on.  Sometimes we do legitimately find ourselves in bad situations out of our direct control, but life goes like that sometimes, and can occasionally be quite unfair.  Then again, we can choose how to respond.

Maybe I’m a little detached from some things in the political world, or maybe I’m just not sensitive enough to certain things.  Who knows? But I just think that it’s comical when some folks want to blame their own financial decisions on the leader of the free world.  After all, if they make good decisions, will they take credit for them or will they give all credit to the President?

Just live our lives, and try our best no matter what.  And try to take responsibility for our own sucessess and failures!

My Questions for You

Do you see it the same way, that many people tend to attribute too many financial problems to the President (regardless of political affiliation), or to whatever party is control at the time?

Have you ever heard anybody go overboard or be irrational in this way?