Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. How exciting is that?
I’m not a huge Trump fan, I wasn’t a big Clinton fan either. I voted for one of them. None of that matters today; Donald Trump has won the election and will take over as President in January of 2017. I remember something my Political Science professor, Linda Trautman, said back in 2007. I don’t know if she made it up or she was teaching about what someone else said, so I won’t credit her. What she said was “The United States Government is the only place where you can completely overturn the government every 4 years without a rebellion.” She was a pretty smart lady, she could have made it up. I didn’t agree with many of her political opinions, but she knew her stuff.
Anyway, I think we’ll be less concerned with Trump as our president when we see how he views money. First, we know what we’ve got in Barak Obama. He’s been in our lives for nearly a decade. Here are some quotes from him:
“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition… It will leave you unfulfilled”
The president is basically saying that money can’t buy happiness. If you focus all of your attention, all of your focus, all of your life on making money, you will be unsatisfied. Here’s a quote from a philosopher of our time, Daniel Tosh, “Money can’t buy happiness? Really? It can buy a wave runner. Have you ever seen someone sad on a wave runner? Try not to smile on a wave runner.” First off, Tosh is hilarious. Second, he’s right. Money alone won’t make you happy; but, if you do good things with your money, if you give some away, if you buy experiences instead of things, if you have people around you that love you- money doesn’t make you happy, but it does grease the wheels.
“Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference”
Money can’t buy happiness, we know that; but, money is important. Money gives people power and it gives people influence. One of the wealthiest people in the country just influenced 65M people to vote for him to become the president… money is important. A lot of times in our lives, both at work and at home, ‘money’ isn’t the only reason for our decisions, but it plays a major role.
“A good educations is no longer just a pathway to opportunity – it is a prerequisite”
Money is important, and it doesn’t buy happiness. In that same vein, getting money doesn’t just happen. How many stories do you hear about people hitting the lottery then going dead broke? A lot. Too many. Why? Because they weren’t educated on what to do with that money. Education gives us the ability to understand money, to earn money, and to grow money. Education isn’t just found in college. Education is in books, education is in newspapers, education is in people around us. Take time to learn things and opportunity will abound.
“I think when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody”
This is a founding principle of the Democratic agenda. Money is needed by everyone. The way it’s spread out is by taxing those that have it so that the government can provide things that the less-fortunate, less-able, and less-willing cannot provide for themselves. This is a controversial topic and it’s probably the most divisive thing in our country. Republicans believe that they’ve earned their money and they don’t owe it to the poor. Barak Obama believed the wealthy had an obligation to take care of the bottom 15-30% of the population. Barak Obama raised taxes over 20 times during his presidency (most were sin taxes like liquor and tobacco, Obamacare taxes, or Capital Gains taxes for people making more than $250K annually). I didn’t feel many of the effects of either president, but here’s a quick infographic about Obama’s record vs his predecessor, George W. Bush:
-infographic from newhairstylesformen2014.com
“When it comes to the budget, we know that we shouldn’t be cutting more on core investments, like education, that are going to help us grow in the future”
Obama did have a goal in mind to balance budgets, he failed at that goal, but I believe he used this quote as his guide. Obama knew that some things couldn’t be cut- things that are core investments, like education. Obama increased the national debt by about Four Trillion dollars in his first term. I think his definition of ‘core investments’ is probably different than ours. That said, his overarching point was that there are investments we need to make- we need to invest in a place to live, we need to invest in educating ourselves, we need to invest in transportation or a way to make money (computer if working from home, for example). There are pieces of budgets that we could cut, but we probably shouldn’t.
All Obama quotes from Azquotes.com
“Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game”
Money is a pretty good score keeper. I sat in an accounting seminar over the summer. The lecturer said that a company’s income statement is really a list of that company’s decisions. I think that’s what Trump is saying here. When you make a decision in regards to money, the most telling scorecard is your bank statement. If you decide to purchase a new vehicle, then did you notice your monthly surplus decrease? If you decide to invest in a mutual fund, did you notice an increase in the fund’s value (over time)? If you decide to tithe with the church, did you notice an increase in your bank account or an increase in the church’s ability to accomplish their vision? If the answer to those questions is “yes” then you know it was a good decision. Now- you can measure HOW good of a decision it was. Did getting a new car reduce the yearly/monthly/daily maintenance costs of your old beater? How much? Are you saving $15/month in comparison? That’s awesome.
“Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make”
During the 2016 election cycle, I’m sure you weren’t thinking that Donald Trump was a well-calculated, decision-maker based on the things he said or was accused of saying/doing. However, if you look at his “score card” (bank account) you’ll see that he made a lot of smart money decisions. What we don’t see is the number of decisions he made by NOT investing money into a project. The takeaway from this quote is that decisions, investments, and spending decisions need to be approached with caution.
“It doesn’t hurt to get more education”
I think Mr. Trump and Mr. Obama agree that education is important. Make yourself more intelligent by learning. Read a book, take a class, get on Lynda.com and learn a skill. Education will bring opportunity according to President Obama, and it won’t hurt according to Mr. Trump… seems like a good way to go.
“There’s no such thing as an unrealistic goal, just unrealistic time frames”
This is an interesting quote to me. I used to tell my boss “Anything you can think of, I can do.” I got fired from that job; maybe he didn’t believe me. I never told him that I could do what he wanted in the way he was thinking of it. But anything is possible. I sat on a task force that was given the mission of developing a new distribution model for the organization. The directive was that we needed to save $2M annually on the project. After months of research, we came to the conclusion that we could not save $2M on the project in the way it was given to us. We redesigned the project and asked why we needed to save $2M- the answer was that we needed to get payback on an investment. Instead of saving money on the distribution model, we saved money by re-allocating labor from an expensive market into a less-expensive market. We ended up pitching a possible savings of $1.8M annually. The leadership of the company was ecstatic- they believed the goal was unrealistic. What turned out to be unrealistic was the constraint they put on us. Once we removed that constraint, we solved the problem.
Time is usually the constraint that makes goals unrealistic. I want to be a millionaire tomorrow. I know what you’re thinking, “Jeff, stop being dumb.” And you’re right. I can’t become a millionaire tomorrow. However, I can become a millionaire.
“I like to think of the word FOCUS as Follow One Course Until Successful”
Trump ran a “university” and he wrote some books. Both the book and the classes were more motivational than they were strategic. This quote is very motivational, but it’s also a good reminder. The human mind doesn’t multi-task well. I know that YOU think YOU’RE a GREAT multi-tasker. You aren’t. When you try to do more than 1 thing at a time, one of those things will suffer. Imagine this: you get home from work and you see your babysitter sitting on the couch scrolling Facebook on his/her phone. What are you thinking? It’s happened to me before, I wasn’t happy. “You’re supposed to be watching the kids, where are they?” the answer was “Um…I think…” my response “You’re Fired” (You see what I did there? I stole that from Donald Trump, clever, right?). I didn’t fire her… she’s my wife. But it goes to show that YOU CAN’T MULTI-TASK. If she would have been watching the kids, she wouldn’t have been paying attention to Facebook. I think that’s pretty clear.
All Trump Quotes from Searchquotes.com
Trump and Obama aren’t the only politicians that had quotes about money. Here are a few of my favorites and a link to over 100 money quotes.
Joe Biden- "Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value"
Winston Churchill- "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"
Eleanor Roosevelt- "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan"
Thomas Jefferson- "Never spend your money before you have it"