We already know that Dave Ramsey is not exactly a Christ-like figure when it comes to running his faith-based financial ministry. But an interview with FOX News only confirmed that fact, because he attempted to dismiss the need for people to receive stimulus checks during the pandemic or forgiveness on student loan debt:
Fox News guest Dave Ramsey: "I don't believe in a stimulus check because if $600 or $1400 changes your life you were pretty much screwed already. You got other issues going on." pic.twitter.com/6r1kTCxt8E
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) February 11, 2021
… Well, I don’t believe in a stimulus check. Because if $600 or $1,400 changes your life, you were pretty much screwed already. You got other issues going on. You have a career problem, you have a debt problem, you have a relationship problem, you have a mental health problem.
Something else is going on if $600 changes your life. And that’s not talking down to folks. I’ve been bankrupt, I’ve been broke, and I work with people every day who are hurting. I love people, I want people to be lifted up. But this is — again — it is just political rhetoric and it’s just throwing dollars out there. It’s peeing on a forest fire. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
The problem is some people just don’t have money. Ramsey thinks poor people did something to deserve their lot in life when the sad reality is that some people, through no fault of their own and despite their best efforts to the contrary, are struggling right now. If a $600 check changes your life — and it would for so many people — it says a lot more about the country we live in than every single recipient of that check.
Consider our healthcare system, for starters. It’s dreadful compared to that of other western countries. No one should ever have to go bankrupt due to a medical emergency, but for a good number of Americans, that’s how their poverty begins — not because they bought a few too many Starbucks drinks. For others, it’s crippling student loan debt based on a lie from Ramsey’s own generation that you absolutely must have a college degree in order to do anything useful with your life.
There are so many factors beyond personal responsibility that keeps people poor. A stimulus check won’t lift people out of that hole, but for some, it could mean not having to choose between rent or groceries for a month or two. It could help people stay afloat just a little while longer until the COVID vaccine is more readily available and society can slowly start to return to normal.
Ramsey doesn’t want to admit any of that because his entire ministry rests on the assumption that changing your mindset and priorities can make you wealthy. If Democrats are able to help people’s financial situation through the passage of a bill, why would anyone rush to buy Ramsey’s products?
By the way, don’t buy into Ramsey’s own claim that he knows what it’s like to be poor because he’s “been bankrupt.” The Daily Beast summarized that story well:
Ramsey’s story about going broke, meanwhile, is a tad different than the average American’s experience, which typically revolves around a lost job, personal crisis, or medical emergency. After amassing a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio in the 1980s, he found himself overleveraged as he acquired properties and couldn’t sell them fast enough, eventually filing bankruptcy.
Not exactly a guy struggling to get buy on minimum wage.
Ramsey is simply out of touch with America’s poor. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone because he’s never been in touch with them. Several years ago, he even published an article on his website suggesting poor people needed to adopt the habits of rich people if they wanted to join the latter group… never acknowledging that many of those habits were the result of having money in the first place.
When critics pointed that out in 2013, Ramsey responded with a sincere apology.
I’m just kidding. He blamed readers for twisting his intentions and told them to “grow up.” Eight years later, he hasn’t changed a bit.