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Just for a moment, let’s put aside questions of economic policy. Let’s also put aside questions about how Mitt Romney made his money, or about the moral legitimacy of the system that allowed him to make money in the ways that he did. For just a second, let’s focus on the money itself and what it might mean.

Mitt Romney has a quarter of a billion dollars.

If you have that much money and you’re doing anything other than giving it away  or thinking about how to give it away, then you have been overrun with greed and self-absorption.

I don’t say this in order to bash Mitt Romney. We all have our weaknesses, and I suspect that the greed and insecurity that drive him are at least as painful, somewhere deep down, as many other forms of suffering. But that doesn’t mean that he’s ready to be president, either. Because with this kind of greed and self-absorption comes a weakened capacity to see the world around you. If you have $250 million and you’re doing anything other than giving it away or thinking about how to give it away, then it’s hard to see how you could have the compassion and concern for your fellow human beings that is the starting point of a decent presidency.

[Note: this post originally appeared on my blog, The Wheat and Chaff.]

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Comment Preferences

  •  you are so wrong (4+ / 0-)

    it's not how much money he has, it is his heart.

    Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

    by jlms qkw on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 05:01:39 PM PDT

  •  John Kerry has millions. And (6+ / 0-)

    he was a Dem nominee. I'm not even going to discuss JFK whose Dad was John Paulson of the 20s. Several other Dem politicians are multimillionaires (Jared Polis, Mark Warner and quite a few others).

    •  Look We Run Pretty Rich Dudes On Your Side (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, Victor Ward

      I mean that is just a fact. I might argue that Kerry's money was his wife's. Or that both Kerry and JFK inherited their money. And in the case of JFK, well he kind of devoted his life to public service. But pretty much you have to be rich to run for President and have a chance to win. That is kind of sad.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 05:07:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's just easier to win if you're rich. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward

        Self-funding, having a lot of friends who can donate the max, donating to other candidates... And people who made their own money bring the skills they used to do so into politics and it often works.

  •  You Hit On Something I Think Is Important (7+ / 0-)
    Mitt Romney has a quarter of a billion dollars.

    If you have that much money and you’re doing anything other than giving it away  or thinking about how to give it away, then you have been overrun with greed and self-absorption.

    I wrote, the most popular things I've ever written here, that my parents are really rich. And in the sad day when they are no longer here I will have more money then I could spend in a lifetime.

    They got this money when my dad's father passed away. When the estate was settled, and this was more than 15 years ago, I was flown into town to have a sit down with a lawyer, CPA, and estate planner.

    They asked me if I was given, say $20M what would I do with it. I kid you not I said something that didn't seem to make anybody in the room happy.

    I'd head to REI and an Apple Store. Buy a few things. Travel the world. Give the rest away.

    I have what we call in my family a "last to die" insurance policy. It will cover any taxes I have to pay on the money, stock, property I get. I know how you can take a few million, invest it, and make enough to live a very nice life.

    I don't need it all ...... I don't need more "things."

    If I had the money Mitt had I'd be giving the stuff away.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 05:05:01 PM PDT

  •  FDR was no pauper nor was Kennedy. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Except when you show your tax returns (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kif Kroker, Chi

    You can be President, no matter, your purse but you must show your 1040

  •  Romney is a tax cheat (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marty marty, OldDragon, Chi

    It's long past time to RICO him and his ilk.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 05:29:55 PM PDT

  •  Some people say he has (at least) 4x that (0+ / 0-)


    Have we ever had a billionaire for president before?  Just saying, we're this close (it's difficult to see over the intertubes, but I'm holding my thumb and index finger a certain distance apart) to breaking yet another barrier for those who are able to make it to this esteemed office.  

    Yay, he might very well succeed (the horror, the horror) where the likes of C. Montgomery Burns crashed and burned.

  •  I partially agree, because I believe we have so (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marty marty, OldDragon

    Perverted the point of money in its form, which is as a means to facilitate trade of goods and services. The inherent problem with our current finance and tax system is that it completely ignores this fact of what money is meant for. Mitt has never contributed a tangible good to society, but made great wealth on perverting loopholes in our monetary system, as do most of our modern day moguls. Agree or disagree, at least his backers the cocks (sorry, meant Kochs) actually have produced something to justify some of their wealth

  •  Malarkey (0+ / 0-)

    That is all

    !! Four more years !!

    by raincrow on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 05:50:48 PM PDT

  •  What a ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

    overly simplistic pile of hooey.

    Ten Richest Presidents:

    Teddy Roosevelt
    Andrew Jackson
    James Madison
    Lyndon Johnson
    Herbert Hoover
    Bill Clinton

    OK, Hoover was a total putz, and Jackson was, even for his time, a really racist a**, but these 10 seem to be better that the average

  •  Unbelievably stupid proposition (0+ / 0-)

    Bill Gates is the richest man in the world.  He was worth about $50 Billion.  He created a company (Microsoft) that revolutionized information technology and allowed the whole PC revolution to occur.  Literally creating - millions of jobs and improving the lives of billions - based on what the author is saying when he got to say $100 million he should have quit and given the cash away to Unicef or maybe the SPCA?

    Instead he, and lots of others (Steve Jobs, etc) stuck it out became truly filthy rich and created products, services and jobs that make all of our lives better.

    But they are shallow idiots disqualified from holding political office.


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