Mitt Romney says he will not apologize for being a rich guy who lives large and can buy whatever he wants by writing checks from his offshore bank account in the Caymans. The former Governor of Massachusetts believes what he and his father before him accomplished—that is, raking in big bucks—is to be celebrated. Perhaps Romney's campaign slogan should be "I'm rich, deal with it."
As a rich guy myself, I completely understand Mitt's mindset. Somehow, I have managed to become a one-percenter, and while I don't care very much about material wealth, I am proud that I've made my money honestly through hard work. When I graduated from Boston University in 1975, I was broke. I had to borrow money to travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania for my first job in television. Over the years, I sacrificed much to become a proficient TV news guy and I also took some big risks. That has paid off.
Class envy is a fact of life everywhere. That's what drives socialism and communism. Why should one human being have more than another? That is a divisive moral question which is certainly relevant in this year's presidential election.
Barack Obama apparently believes that the fix is in, as far as American capitalism is concerned. The president thinks his Republican opposition wants to help greed-heads at the expense of working folks. That is what Mr. Obama is putting out there. Maybe his slogan should be "Greed is good, just ask Mitt Romney."
According to the polls, most Americans believe the wealthy should pay more in taxes, and I don't disagree. The United States must bring down the record-breaking $16 trillion debt, and this one-percenter is ready to help out. But, like any reasonable investor, I want to see exactly where my money is going. So far, President Obama has not told me that.
Here is a partial list of things I DO NOT want my tax money going for:Vegas junkets featuring hot tubs and $4 shrimp appetizers for federal bureaucratsSeed money for the president's environmental friends and donorsThe Chevy VoltA swanky condo in London for the corrupt Afghan leader KarzaiHillary's hairdresserUnlike Mitt Romney, my father did not succeed in building wealth. He was a spaghetti-and-clam sauce guy who counted every penny. In his entire life, my dad never bought a new car or a big-screen TV.
But I do believe my late father would be proud of my success and would not be supporting the class warfare tone that President Obama has embraced. William O'Reilly, Sr. had no use for the swells, openly mocking material show-offs. But he admired honest accomplishment and, I believe, would look Mitt Romney in the eye and tell him he has nothing for which to apologize.
But he'd also tell the governor to go easy on the Cadillacs.