"Income can, under the present system, be quite apart from
personal effort or service. The owner of capital can earn without
working. The essential human function of exchange of effort for
income can become the abstracted manipulation of money for
more money. This is most obvious in the case of the absentee
owner of an industrial enterprise. It does not make any difference whether he owns the whole enterprise, or only a share of it.
In each case he makes a profit from his capital and from the work
of others without having to make any effort himself. There have
been many pious justifications for this state of affairs. It has been
said that the profits were a payment for the risk he takes in his
investment, or for his self-depriving effort to save, which
enabled him to accumulate the capital he can invest. But it is
hardly necessary to prove that these marginal factors do not alter
the elementary fact that Capitalism permits the making of profits
without personal effort and productive function." -Erich Fromm.
Mitt Romney retired from Bain in 99 at the age of 52. He received handsome compensation from that point forward, and will as long as Bain is in existence.
I don't hear conservatives complaining Romney has been making millions for the last thirteen years without doing ANY work in Bain at all (assuming Romney is truthful about when he left), and paying a lower rate than the middle class to boot. Since he is 65 this year, the criticism only applies to the last 13 years, before he reached the traditional retirement age.
However, a welfare recipient receiving food stamps is demonized as lazy and unmotivated.
What is wrong with our society? A corporate fat cat being paid millions of dollars for NO WORK should be an issue in this election, especially when many people are having to rely on government assistance just to survive, due to the weak economy.
You have a point. It is the people who have the money that make the rules, not only for their ilk, but for all of us. They promote the lies that make society blame the poor for the conditions their greed has created! While we are blaming each other, black, white, Hispanic, the unions, teachers, the 99 etc...they are laughing all the way too the bank!
What is it that Romney says, "no free stuff". It makes the case why he consistently hides his income tax data and his desire to protect lower tax rates for capital gains income.
He is a plutocrat trying to protect his tax advantages using the law, a reason why the Romney Ryan juggernaut needs to be stopped and stopped hard!
Come on, this is basic economic stuff.
Everything in a market has to do with scarcity, and factors of production. Land, labor, and capital are the factors of production. To say that contributing capital doesn't contribute to production means you disagree with all economic theory.
Setting aside economic theory, common sense dictates that if somebody creates a business, they have every right to pay themselves whatever they can afford to and feel is proper, for as long as they deem. After all, without them, that business wouldn't exist.
As for taxes... how many lifetimes would you have to live to pay as much into taxes as Romney paid last year? Sure, he pays a lower income tax rate than ~2% of Americans, but he supports the federal budget more in one year than you likely will in your entire lifetime.
Do you really think it is unfair for someone to make money off of creating and saving jobs?
There are some interesting assumptions here.
"common sense dictates that if somebody creates a business, they have every right to pay themselves whatever they can afford to and feel is proper, for as long as they deem. After all, without them, that business wouldn't exist."
Does it really?
Just because I create something does it give me total right and control over it? There are plenty of times when that is not the case, if the owner is simply a drain on the business and the wages of those who actually work there at what point does it cease to be moral to simply leech off their labors based simply upon initial investment?
Your constant assumptions about tax paid and the way you look at tax paid are wrong, #1 I presume you know very little about Sooners and his economic position and you made the same comment to me quite recently in which case it's simply not true but aside from that value paid is not how we measure tax burden nor should it be. The key is right there in the term tax burden, taxation is a sacrifice everyone who can afford to makes from their personal finance to aid the country as a whole.
The aim is not equality of percentage or quantity but equality of sacrifice, Romney is making a smaller personal sacrifice for his country in his taxes than say I do and than do many many people, that is wrong and Sooner is quite right to criticize it.
Yes, it does. Really.
If I decide to pay myself too much from MY business... MY business will fail. The decisions I make with MY business belong to me, because I own it.
See, my argument is based on an objective fact. Ownership. Your argument is based on a subjective opinion, 'morality'. There is no way to objectively define a point where 'it ceases to be moral'. But, you cling to that slippery, sliding, gray line, instead of simply accepting fact. If I decide that my business will pay into a family trust forever, I have that right. If I decide to sell my business, on the contigency that my posterity is paid X%, I have that right.
I don't pretend to know anybody's tax situation. It's just a fair guess that someone on HP probably doesn't pay $50,000/year in taxes.
If it's all about sacrifice, then how is it fair that some people don't pay taxes at all, but get free money from their federal taxes? Shouldn't they have to sacrifice too? Getting free money isn't a sacrifice.
And in the end, taxes aren't about 'fairness of sacrifice'. Taxes are about revenue. Taxes are about paying the federal bills. Taxes are about dollars.
You're sounding like Obama... admitting he would raise capital gains taxes 'in the interest of fairness' even if it reduced revenues and hurt the economy.
I am not debating the fact of the legality, of course it's legal I am debating the morality and yes I know morality isn't clearly defined but that does not make it irrelevant, indeed morality is crucial. It's a fact that he can do so legally it is not a fact that it is ethical. No one was questioning the legality.
Yes it's about sacrifice for the country, some people cannot afford to give at all, (well they do pay all sorts of taxes but income tax anyhow) but when and if they can afford to pay they will be expected to make the same sacrifice, the reason we have drawn the line with them is the amount that could be taxed to be called fair sacrifice is so insignificant as to be not worth taxing.
Again its an ethical and moral line (this conversation revolves around ethics and thus might not suit you) I pay a much larger percentage than Romney and I don't pay that much less, that's wrong, it means he is making a lesser sacrifice in his taxation that many Americans and that is ethically wrong in the view of many which is why most want to change it. Simple as that.
You were saying he doesn't have that right, not that it is immoral to do so...
But if you just want to say it is unethical, fine. We disagree, there's nothing else to say there.
It shouldn't matter if it is insignifcant... because it's not about the dollars. It's about the sacrifice.
You didn't actually explain why they don't have to make a sacrifice? Why can someone who makes $30,000/year actually get back over $5,000 from federal taxes? What kind of sacrifice is that?
I call it unethical to try and tell somebody that they don't have the right to direct the finances of a business that they own.
First point is fine
For the second point, the money is not collected because it effectively isn't worth it or possibly because it doesn't exist, the tax burden that say I suffer affects my quality of life not at all, you take say $50 from someone struggling to get by night by night and you will have a much bigger impact on their quality of life so it's a combination of #1 it would cost more to collect it than it's sum value and #2 the figure may barely exist.
As for your second point I don't know sufficient about the tax requirements of someone making 30 000 and getting a 5000 return to comment on it being ethical but I am not saying it necessarily is, what I am saying is what Romney is paying is unethical which does not by extension make what everyone else is paying ethical. That seems rather obvious to me.
As for your last point I think the issue here is simply rule ethics vs utilitarian ethics, I am utilitarian which means I believe "the greatest good for the greatest number" is the right course, now as proved by recent factory seizures by workers in Argentina (as an example) when a business is joint owned and run by the people working there, when they do not have to pay for the dead weight of the owner and all the staff he employs purely to make sure the rest of the staff work their wages go way way up and so does productivity as people begin working for themselves and their workmates not a non functional owner and then workplace safety and happiness rise enormously due to better wages, workers having a say in what it's safe to do and the absence of bosses insulting them or mistreating them.
So from my perspective an action that would improve the quality of life of most without really affecting Romney's, that would be a boon to the country as a whole due to the increased productivity and that would make people happier is the moral option and the action taken by Romney is the immoral action. So in my view the company no longer being his is the ethical option, if you are a rule morality sort of guy you will say he made it therefore he should keep it regardless of the effects but to me that is foolish and short sighted.
Can't reply to the actual post. The limit ran out.
However, if he is going to do good things with his money, why not give it away what he isn't using for sustenance NOW? It will be replenished, and then he can donate it again.
Donate the rest to charity, his kids, businesses, whatever the case may be. Also, why must it be after Romney dies, and why does he have to be the middle man?
You can do more with money by investing it and only donating the interest, or a portion of the interest, than you can by simply donating it all.
Doesn't it make sense to do what will do the most good?
Romney could give his business to the staff with the condition of a certain percentage of profits going to charity or pass whole ownership of the business to a charity trust or spend the funds directly to create new jobs not for his profit.
Don't try to play off Romney's actions as being motivated by charity or the desire to do the most good they are actions of self interest for self profit, now we can argue whether that is ethical or not but it's certainly not charitable.
No, it's not ridiculous. It's math. Compound interest, have you heard of it?
You can invest a sum in bonds, and donate a portion of the interest you get back. Your principle will grow, your donations will grow, and you will eventually donate far more than you ever could by just donating the principle. Not to mention, if you do that by investing in treasury bonds, you are essentially forcing the government to donate to the charity of your choice. Isn't it nice to be able to control part of the federal budget?
Again, donating the principle isn't as effective as simply donating interest
Yes we all know what compound interest is, no one says you have to hold the funds while the interest is collected (there are a whole variety of charity trusts for this purpose or you can simply create a trust to collect interest) of course that isn't what he is doing, he is keeping the money and excuse me if I doubt the vast majority of it will ever see a charity. He is keeping it out of self interest simple as that.
Actually he donates a large percentage every year, so it makes sense to think that he will continue to do so.
As for creating a trust to collect interest, that's what I said. But apparently, unless he gives away all his money, somehow he is a bad person. All I did was point out ways that people can do good things with money.
This hate of the wealthy is ridiculous.
Maybe is because the hate of the upper class is that the feeling is mutual? Trending to get much worse with more and more income inequality.
You do not need to keep ownership of funds for them to collect interest and be used for charitable purposes, that is what a trust is for, but the money isn't going to trusts he is keeping it and donating some, out of self interest.
No I don't hate the rich I just believe that Romney's actions are immoral and from the utilitrian perspective I have already covered I can prove it.
What does it matter who owns the funds? Whether they are in a personal account, a family trust, a blind trust...
By your standards, every 'rich' person(probably, 10 million +) is immoral, correct?
It matters because it shows the money is actually for charity, if the money is simply going into his personal finances then it shows the opposite.
No I don't at all believe that rich people are all immoral, I do believe the propensity goes up and there is significant scientific data to back that conclusion as reasonable but no I certainly do not believe that everyone with more than 10 million dollars is immoral. Thinking on it it appears Jesus came to a similar conclusion (irrelevant I know).
And the 13.5% that they donate to charity every year for the last 20 years isn't an indication that a large amount of their money is going to charity?
Hilarious, you can't honestly believe that. If someone donated 5% of their wealth to charity every year, would you say that the fact that they are in control of their wealth proves they aren't going to donate it?
All this is moot anyway, you don't have to donate all your money to be a moral person.
But, by your standards, anyone with a large amount of money in their control is immoral. Or, is it only if Romney has a large sum of money? How can you say he is immoral and other wealthy people aren't?
Well firstly 13.5 is disappointingly low, I thought it was more than that.
Secondly no, you are twisting the question and mixing two points. You made the statement earlier that Romney keeping the money and investing it into charity himself was done for a greater purpose while I stated it was done out of self interest (while not claiming that was immoral) my point is if someone is taking money earned and putting it directly into their personal finances that is not a charitable act but one motivated by self interest, if it was an act of charity the money never need be in his personal finances but would go directly into a trust or some other charity arrangement.
No I never said you did, certainly helps though, that was not the point of the argument at all nor am I claiming that. Again you are mixing up the two debates.
No I never said anyone with a large sum of money is immoral (please find and quote where I make these stupid claims you constantly claim I make) my point about immorality referred purely to how Romney was running his business (the argument was whether it's moral to make money off a business while doing nothing for it) not to people having money.
You are just raising constant straw man points on things I never said and arguments I never made.
You said Romney's actions of keeping money instead of just donating it or turning it over to a trust are immoral.
"Romney's actions are immoral"
"Romney's actions are immoral"(different post)
"what Romney is doing is immoral."
If Romney is immoral for keepign his money, then so must every other rich person who doesn't donate the majority of their money to a trust out of their control, right?
No not if you are a liberal. There is a clause that states to look the other way then.
Really not getting this huh? There are two arguments here. Argument #1 making money off a company you do nothing for is moral/immoral. Argument #2 Romney taking money himself into his personal finances is for the greater good/ out of self interest.
For #1 I believe what Romney is doing to be immoral or less than morally optimal.
for #2 I believe the actions are motivated by self interest but I am not claiming that is immoral.
Get it now?
The qoutes you list are from my argument referring to section #1.
http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/104181? … ost2216517
If you are going to change the subject, maybe you should mention that you are doing so.
Fair enough, I should have noted more clearly that the paragraph change indicated a different topic.
The thing is I thought it was actually you who mixed the two topics. Romney's actions are/are not charitable was mixed in somehow with "you think the rich are evil" which is such a ridiculous jump from the point being discussed that I assumed it must pertain to argument #1.
Nope, I meant that anyone who holds onto money instead of transferring it to a charitable trust is in the same camp as Romney, by your standards.
No. Which is not to say I believe everyone to do what I do, I have personal views which affect what I do but regardless I think what Romney is doing is immoral.
So it isn't necessarily immoral it's just your belief?
Sorry I don't really understand what you are asking, rephrase?
It is your belief that it is immoral. It isn't necessarily, but you believe it is.
Yes, morality is subjective because people have different moral systems, my ethics differ radically from say a radical Muslim's, I defined my terms as within the scope of utilitarian ethics (making it clear that it did no apply to people who believe in rule ethics) and then showed that within the utilitarian system Romeny's actions were immoral or less moral than the alternatives.
Oh good because I am not in that system so obviously it isn't immoral.
Depends how you classify immoral which is entirely subjective, for every atrocity you can think of there are people willing to call it moral.
Of course the next question in the sequence is what ethical system do you follow (presumably rule ethics) and how can you justify it as superior to a utilitarian system.
But yes as I made clear, from the perspective of: "the greatest good for the greatest number" Romney's actions are immoral or less than optimal form other ethical standpoints opinions will differ.
I know he gave 4 mil to charity so I think he gets a gold star, don't you?
Nope. Personally it's not an impressive sum that it is to some but more to the point within the context of relative wealth it's a smallish donation.
Giving to charity does not make one moral or otherwise, my point on morality referred purely to making money off a business that one does nothing for and the effects of that.
I am certain the charity that received it wasn't looking at the check and thinking it was small. I feel certain if Barack Obama, or any other liberal, had given such a donation you wouldn't have the same opinion of it.
Actually I have never paid any mind to how much people donate but my point is simply this.
I know someone who makes 30 000 or less a year and donates the majority of it about 60%, that person is far more morally praiseworthy than I (in this particular context anyway) though I donate firstly far far more in raw numbers and secondly more in percentages. See?
So actually you would be happier had he donated nothing at all than the mere pittance of 4 mil?
Get a grip man.
Never said that. Seriously when will you stop throwing around dumb accusations?
Of course giving is better than not giving but that has nothing to do with the point I made.
I know someone who makes 30 000 or less a year and donates the majority of it about 60%, that person is far more morally praiseworthy than I (in this particular context anyway) though I donate firstly far far more in raw numbers and secondly more in percentages. See?
In context it's not a particularly noteworthy charitable action.
Josak I am in that bracket and my charity is my kids. 60% of my income?
Which type of cardboard box do you want me and my family to live in so I can bear the burden of that donation?
I am having a hard time picturing someone with a family and a home donating 60% of 30k. That's 18K?
He may be morally praiseworthy but he is eating cat food.
It's very praiseworthy and he does live frugally I am not saying others should do the same (though it is admirable) I am using it as an example of the fact that charity is dependent on it's context for example.
You say Romney donated 4 million and my friend only donated 18 000 so obviously Romney is more moral right? But obviously that is not the case because the person donating 18 000 is making the larger sacrifice.
Well, he would get probably $1k to $2k back in tax refunds... still...
14k to support yourself and a daughter? Hopefully he has some wealth, or own his home?
Josak......no one donated 18k out of 30 k unless they were homeless to begin with. Let's get reality flowing here shall we?
http://wizbangblog.com/2012/08/22/chari … ue-states/
No he does, he lives on 12 000 a year simple as that.
How is that link relevant I am not debating if liberals or conservatives give more to charity.
Again I said no such thing and I specifically said that I don't expect anyone to do the same, I didn't/wouldn't do the same myself, I was using his example to show that charity is relevant to income not to suggest you should do that.
Basically for you to be happy with Mr. Mitt he must donate oh say 1.5 billion?
I specifically said that I don't consider charity to be particularly relevant to morality (outside of extreme examples).
The argument is the other way round, you said he donated 4 million therefore he must be moral, I am refuting that, not claiming he has to donate all his wealth to be moral.
But it's public information that he donated that and all the blather before that came out was that he did nothing.
So now the something is nothing. Basically it would matter if he did give all his wealth away he would still be considered immoral by the left.
As I said charity is not the requisite of morality. If he did donate everything I would consider that a very moral choice but I would still consider him immoral because he want's to change the constitution to make marriage only between a man and a woman and thus deny people equal rights.
Charity is only a small part of being a moral person. His charitable donation was in context rather small and certainly does not prove he is a moral person.
Basically you don't like the man so it really won't matter you will find an immorality somewhere...
"Just because I create something does it give me total right and control over it? There are plenty of times when that is not the case, if the owner is simply a drain on the business and the wages of those who actually work there at what point does it cease to be moral to simply leech off their labors based simply upon initial investment?"
You don't believe in private ownership do you?
Because that statement sounds an awful lot like"You didn't build it".
If I start a company it's mine. If I can make a widget for a dollar and charge what the market will bear that's what I intend to do.
No its absolutely nothing like "you didn't build this" in fct I am saying even if they did absolutely on their own build it.
My wife and I made a child, we don't own him, the founders made a country, they don't own it.
The balance is this, we weigh the "good" of Romney to continue making huge sums of money from a business, he does nothing for against the good of higher wages for the employees, lower rate of workplace injury and death for the employees, better workplace safety for the employees and higher productivity for the whole country.
We balance those two things and to me the ethical choice is obvious. But as I said, rule or utilitarian ethics define the difference in opinion.
So the President should stop earning because he, too, is a wealthy man you know.
Yes I agree, Romney was the person the debate was based around but it goes for everyone in my view.
See the problem with this always is that your argument is that he has earned enough.
Who gets to decide that?
Who is the little nimrod bureaucrat that will walk up....or get the IRS to inform me...that I have earned my quota for the year or the decade or my life?
Who is it that will instruct him on the formula that will determine if I am over the line or what I an continue to earn?
In other words my future gets to be determined by someone else as far as my worth and that is unacceptable.
And now you are just blatantly attacking a straw man because I said nothing of the sort.
Which is basically because you haven't got an actual argument.
My point was the ethical balance between the greatest good for a large number and the greatest good for one person as clearly stated repeatedly.
Which simply stated is you believe he has earned enough.
Not at all. Straw man argument, I said nothing of the sort and my argument does not rely on or touch on that at all.
Josak you speak of the morality of it ergo he has earned enough and earning more is unfair or harmful to others.
Do you believe people should actively work for their money JS?
For the most part yes i do. Then you have some who live on capital gains.
Living on capital gains, not doing any of the actual work to make the companies run? He had a sweet retirement package from Bain, and it came when he was only 52. Under capitalistic assumptions, it would be a little bit different if he had invested in a company, and it wasn't paying him not to work. CEO retires at 52, and gets a steady income forevermore.
My dad has worked manual labor all of his life, and he is 55 and still forced to work. Romney couldn't survive a month working an actual job.
Yes, he has earned enough. That isn't relevant to the point of this forum, but since you asked directly, I will give you a direct answer.
How much money does one individual need? He has more than enough for retirement and living a life of luxury. It's pure greed.
Do you think it is greedy to want to establish financial security for your posterity? Think about it... Even with large Mormon families, Romney can now secure emergency fallback money, business start-up money, and incentive trusts(for instance, giving $20,000 for getting a master's degree) for many generations. If I had the opportunity, I would do that, and I fail to see how it would constitute greed?
Do you think it is greedy to earn a lot of money, and consistently contribute a portion of that money to charity?
Do you know that you can donate more to charity by earning a large sum, investing it, and donating only part of the interest, than you can by simply donating it all?
Does donating your money in the most effective way constitute greed?
Does that include retirement pensions too? Should retirees continue working to "justify" receiving the pension check?
I posted in the forum that 65 was the age of traditional retirement, so I had no beefs with anything past 65, in terms of passive income anyway.
Sorry if I wasn't clear enough on that point. I'll repost it.
"Since he is 65 this year, the criticism only applies to the last 13 years, before he reached the traditional retirement age."
I can't reply on the early retirement response directly under it due to hubpages making it impossible, so I am replying on this.
If you are willing to lower the retirement age for SS, then I'd be more in line with it.
Yes...my argument is that if we have to decide how much someone earns there is no free market. Nowhere in the world...
All I questioned was why he was earning money for doing nothing. There are other issues that could be addressed, but that was my only point here.
He also didn't create the business on his own, and it made a profit whether the companies were turned around or not!
It's a double charge. Romney gets paid to do nothing, and when he was in charge, Bain would get profit even if the companies they took over ended up failing.
Sense of fairness and being angry about being treated unfairly is displayed in primates/dogs and is an innate instinct that has nothing to do with a sense of morality, ...evolutionary progress has in part been fueled by cooperation and an ability to recognize the efforts of others in a given community and analyze the resultant payoffs and costs of said actions."
Vikings taxed based on the girth of your belt, if you were a fat cat - paid more.
During Eisenhower, top tax rate was 92 percent.
In Germany today the punishment fine is based on income.
A flat tax such as sales tax on food is inherently unfair because everybody has to eat. And yeah - I feel entitled to food and Romney thinks I should eat road kill & insects if can't afford meat.
“A chicken in every pot” was a Republican promise of better days ahead in 1928.
Greed is related to personal behavior, wanting to help others through increased taxation is in no way greed and from a wider political perspective liberals are statistically wealthier and thus are not taking money from someone else for their own benefit (which would be greed) but using taxation to help the poor which is the opposite of greed statistically at a greater cost to themselves than to anyone else.
See the problem here is you assume the liberal......because he is such......will give to the poor.
My viewpoint is someone will either give or not regardless of the ideology.
Looking at these things as you are assigns a stereotypical behavior to an individual. Therefore one WILL or WILL NOT act in a moral manner depending on his political ideology.
.... That is completely irrelevant.
The point refers to taxation, the liberal does not get to choose whether to give the money or not that happens automatically though the engine of the state.
You were talking about a charitable donation and your argument was a liberal gives more. My argument was it will not matter what his ideology his he will either donate or not.
No I was replying to your image by Thomas Sowell that relates to progressive taxation.
It relates to that or anything having to do with the liberal/conservative money argument.
I wonder what charity he donated to. The "Romney for President" fundraiser? Probably not that obvious. Most likely a reciprocal donation into each other.
Also Josak, by your standard 'the most good for the most people', then YES every wealthy person with more money than they need for themselves to survive is immoral, because that money would do more good for more people if they gave it away.
You know we really should just take it from them don't you think? That would be the moral thing to do.
Certainly in a capitalist system that is not the case, taking all money from the wealthy would mean no individuals with concentrated wealth to create business/jobs thus not being the greatest good for the greatest number. In another economic system perhaps.
I thought you argued that the wealthy didn't create jobs with their money?
Where did I say that.... This is one of the reasons I refrained from saying it's immoral to have money. Take someone using their money to create fair paying jobs with decent conditions, that isn't immoral at all.
I would prefer a system where that isn't necessary but within the scope of the system we live in and given the man can't actually change that system anyway, it's certainly not immoral.
I just thought it was an issue you have argued before.
We need a dose of reality folks. There is not a politician in or around our government who is not wealthy.
I keep hearing about the morality of their wealth but only as pertains to one party.
Now are we all or are we all SUPPOSED to be that naive?
Do we know 7 out of the ten wealthiest in Congress are Democrat? Not Republican? Used to be 8 then Teddy passed?
I wouldn't worry about that but it seems the wealthier the liberal the more they crow about Conservatives who have wealth.
When did this conversation become if it's ethical to have money because I certainly don't believe that it's unethical to have money. The question was whether it's ethical to make moeny off a bussiness you do nothing for.
Because the public argument has gone from a man they claimed donated nothing to the fact he has donated millions yet that is now meaningless. It's all focused on one man of course and to be fair we should wonder what others have donated as well shouldn't we?
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