I've been privileged to know a few men of great wealth. Small-town guys who you'd never know were wealthy. As a general rule, they drove battered old pickup trucks and wore working-man clothes. They got rich the old fashioned way, working hard, being shrewd in their business, and taking care of customers and employees. They gave money away because it helped their goodwill and they had more money than they needed. These guys turn problems into opportunities. One fellow would give land to employees, turning a working-class stiff into a more comfortable working-class stiff. Another fellow would shower cash on an unsuspecting local charity, allowing them to do truly wonderful work. Another guy might be in a diner for breakfast and pick up the tab for everyone in the place. Another fellow had an employee who was basically homeless, so the guy bought a house, let the employee live in it, then sold it later when the employee got back on his feet.
When it all boils down to money, you have folks who realize that once their basic necessities are covered, and their comfort is assured, the best thing to do with money is to spread it around. Personally. Take care of the folks around you, do good works. Each of the truly rich people that I have known later died after a long, prosperous life and in the little communities where they lived they are regarded as patrons of the community for helping the little folks. They were good people, deserving of the accolades of their neighbors and helping folks that may have never realized where the money came from for their churches, their community parks, their fund-drives.
I see that Mitt Romney has released his tax returns. They show that for just last year along, the Romney family gave away more money than I'll probably ever earn. He earned $13.6 million in 2011 and paid $1.9 million in taxes. He gave away over $4 million, about a third of his income. Additional records released show that over the past 20 years, the Romneys have paid their taxes every year, but more importantly, have given away over 13% of their income.
For me, personally, this changes everything. Yesterday, I was not voting for Mitt Romney so much as I was voting against Barack Obama. Now, knowing what I know, I'm voting for Mitt Romney.