Who is Dave Ramsey? Finance guru says if $1,400 stimulus check ‘changes your life you were screwed already'
President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan would provide a third round of federal stimulus checks to millions of Americans. The earlier rounds of government stimulus checks provided $1,200 for the first round and $600 for the second round to Americans.
Yet while lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for the proposal, debating on who should be eligible for the $1,400 direct payments, on Thursday, February 11, during an interview on Fox News, Dave Ramsey remarked that people who need COVID-19 relief checks have "a mental health problem."
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
On the show, when Ramsey was asked what level of relief the American people should receive in the next COVID-19 bill, he said, "I don't believe in a stimulus check. Because if $600 or $1,400 changes your life, you were pretty much screwed already. You've 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," he added. "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. It's just peeing on a forest fire."
Who is Dave Ramsey?
Ramsey is an American personal finance advisor, author, and businessman, and he’s also the host of a radio show called ‘The Dave Ramsey Show’. According to a New York Times profile, the son of a builder, Ramsey grew up in Antioch, Tennessee, and then worked his way through the University of Tennessee in the early 1980s.
By the age of 26, he had become a real estate investor. But then bad luck hit him. His $4 million portfolio of properties was financed on various short-term loans, all of which came up for renewal at the same time. Ramsey was then forced into bankruptcy. It reportedly took him six years to pay off the $500,000 they owed the I.R.S. and friends they had borrowed from.
Following that, in 1991, Ramsey started a company, The Lampo Group, to counsel people on financial matters. A year later, he began giving advice on WWTN radio in Nashville. Ramsey, an evangelical Christian, now travels around the country to conduct six-hour seminars in more than a dozen of his biggest radio markets, attracting large audiences.
The Times profile notes that Ramsey's teachings hold the notion that “debt is a moral weakness, a failure to embrace Protestant values of industry and restraint. To a degree, Ramsey is resurrecting an idea that until the 1950s remained central to American life: owing money was sinful.”
Writing about Ramsey’s book ‘A Total Money Makeover’ in The Times, Paul B. Brown says that some of his ideas make no sense. He was talking about Ramsey’s idea that if you have any debt, even if your employer will match the first three percent you put into your 401(k) annually, you should not take advantage of the match, saying it is better to put that money toward what you owe. On his website, Ramsey says, “I have an unusual way of looking at the world. My wife, Sharon, says I'm weird, and, truthfully, I am weird. But there's a reason.”