Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Working for Charity

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced that if elected, he'd donated his annual salary of $400,000 to charity.

I appreciate seeing this kind of altruism in a politician. It's not a trump card that makes me want to vote for him on this single promise, but I do like it.

$400,000 is more than lots of annual budgets for some nonprofits in the country. So, that kind of money, while not the millions Romney is worth, can make a huge difference. No doubt, if Romney is elected and he keeps his promise, there will be quite a few nonprofits lobbying for his handout.

But, here's the interesting thing. So far, Romney's raised over $20 million for his campaign. Clearly, even with 8 years in office, he'll never make what he's raised so far.

So, Mitt, why not just call it quits right now and donate that money to charity? $400,000 is nice, and lots of folks will take it. But why not write a larger check with the current cash in your campaign coffer?

In fact, when you look at all of the candidates currently in the race, over $130 million has been raised.

We could debate all night about what's 'worth it:' One of these people in the White House making decisions that affect countless lives, or this cash in the hands of nonprofits serving the world in a different and important way.

So, Mitt, I appreciate your generosity. Best of luck with the election. But, please consider how you can better serve humanity: as a President who works for free, or as a master philanthropist who shows people where to give the money they work for.

Comment (1)

If you focus on charity and nothing else matters then your statement is true. He could and has made lots more money in the private sector than any salary the government offers. But the thing he is focused on isn't charities, although he does give to charity. His focus is on serving his country and when you truely serve you don't do it for the money. That's why he got into politics, because he believes he can help and with a track record like his, I believe him.