Thursday, January 26, 2012

Show Me The Money!

With all the recent political hoopla about tax returns and how much money the candidates are worth, I came upon an interesting article asking the question: Who is the richest President?
Hands down, it is George Washington, our first president! Read the following interesting statement taken from an article by William P. Barett from Forbes:

"In the largely tax-free environment that characterized colonial America, the father of his country was one of its richest residents, a product of his shrewd business sense, a marriage to a wealthy widow and several inheritances. He benefited from an older brother’s marriage into a powerful family, while early work as a surveyor helped give him a keen understanding of land. His Mount Vernon plantation grew to 6,500 acres, and he had other acreage in Virginia and what became West Virginia. Washington ran farms, started businesses and owned lots of slaves.
Our pick for No. 2: Herbert Hoover, perhaps the last true businessman to be elected (and, given the Depression that ensued on his watch, maybe not such a great reason to choose a business leader). Nearly two decades before taking office in 1929, he was earning $2.5 million a year in today's dollars from the mining business. He served as president without pocketing a salary.
The pre-presidential Thomas Jefferson gets our bronze. Due primarily to inheritance, Jefferson was considered one of the richest citizens in his native Virginia. But after he left office, his income was not commensurate with his spending. He died essentially broke."

Of course, times were different as well as the scrutiny of those seeking political office. Would they be elected today, or would they even want to run? Today's political landscape is a mine-field, to be ever-so-careully tread. Few can manuever through without losing life or limb, metaphorically speaking.

In the early days of our nation, wealth was considered an asset; these days it has become a potential political liability. Who would have known, when the premise of this nation is the ability to rise; the sky's the limit! Or, well it should be!

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