Bust your ass and get rich.
Make a boatload of money. Pay your taxes. Lots of taxes. Hire people. Train people. Pay people. Spend money on rent, equipment, services. Pay more taxes.
When you make a shitload of money. Do something positive with it. If you are smart enough to make it, you will be smart enough to know where to put it to work.
I don’t care what anyone says. Being rich is a good thing. Not just in the obvious sense of benefiting you and your family, but in the broader sense. Profits are not a zero sum game. The more you make the more of a financial impact you can have.
I’m not against government involvement in times of need. I am for recognizing that big public companies will continue to cut jobs in an effort to prop up stock prices, which in turn stimulates the need for more government involvement. Every cut job by the big companies extracts a cost on the American people in one way or another.
Entrepreneurs are needed to create and grow companies to absorb those people in new jobs. If entrepreneurs dont create those jobs, the government ends up having to spend more money to help them one way or another.
So be Patriotic. Go out there and get rich. Get so obnoxiously rich that when that tax bill comes , your first thought will be to choke on how big a check you have to write. Your 2nd thought will be “what a great problem to have”, and your 3rd should be a recognition that in paying your taxes you are helping to support millions of Americans that are not as fortunate as you.
In these times of “The Great Recession” we shouldn’t be trying to shift the benefits of wealth behind some curtain. We should be celebrating and encouraging people to make as much money as they can. Profits equal tax money. While some people might find it distasteful to pay taxes. I don’t. I find it Patriotic.
I’m not saying that the government’s use of tax money is the most efficient use of our hard earned capital. It obviously is not. In a perfect world, there would be a better option. We don’t live in a perfect world. We don’t live in a perfect time. We live in a time where the government plays a big role in an effort to help lead us out this Great Recession. That’s reality.
So I will repeat my point. Get out there and make a boatload of money. Enjoy the shit out your money. Pay your taxes.
Its the most Patriotic thing you can do.
60 thoughts on “The Most Patriotic Thing You Can Do”
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When I initially got this post through my RSS feed of your blog, I immediately knew this would be the perfect entry of yours to comment to and doubly plug a project I’m working on called, “The American Entrepreneur Project”. So do I intend for this blog comment to double as a plug for The American Entrepreneur Project? Yes, absolutely! It would be disingenuous to claim otherwise.
Your post is all about what we believe in and our motivation for promoting The American Entrepreneur Project and its importance at this particular time in our nation’s history. Entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit are what built this country, and what will be needed to revive our economy and return to a growth trajectory once again. Moreover, we believe that the definition of entrepreneur and entrepreneurship transcend the traditional notion of a businessperson; rather, it is a mindset for anyone in any field or profession that is committed to thinking creatively to introduce new and better solutions that solve our increasingly complex problems.
I imagine anyone reading this blog has at least some entrepreneurial fire within them, otherwise they most likely would not be here in the first place to heed the advice and words of Mark Cuban, someone who successfully materialized his entrepreneurial spirit through hard work, innovation, and a belief in something greater than ordinary. Those who read this blog post and truly understand what it means, will understand what The American Entrepreneur Project is all about.
We need to create jobs by becoming Entrepreneurs and building agile companies that can respond quickly to market demands not just domestically, but internationally – Entrepreneurs have the ability to bring us out of this mess, re-build our economy, and bring us back as a world economic power in a more expeditious and timely manner than any other means, including government stimulus. I urge you all to take a look at The American Entrepreneur Project at http://www.americanentrepreneur.me – buy a t-shirt, support the movement and entrepreneurship in America. 15% of proceeds go to fund NFTE (www.nfte.com), an organization that teaches entrepreneurship to young people in low-income communities, and the remaining proceeds will go to build out an online community of Entrepreneurs and aspiring Entrepreneurs that will facilitate the ability to go to each other for knowledge and inspiration. We call the community “A.E. dot ME – short for our URL: americanentrepreneur.me – Why “dot ME” and not simply “A.E. dot com”? Because there is an Entrepreneur in all of us, and the “dot me” domain extension confirms that.
Best of luck to all of you in all your endeavors.
– Mike, An American Entrepreneur
Comment by aedotme -
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um. So much misleading information/bias here I don’t know where to begin.
Healthy societies are not the result of getting filthy rich and putting this wealth back into the country. You don’t need to take my word for it, just go read the studies.
“the phenomenon he had observed within his field – that health was driven by relative difference rather than absolute material standards – applied in other areas of social policy”
“they analysed the data from all 50 US states and found the same pattern. In states where income differentials were greatest, so were the social problems and lack of cohesion.”
Countries with higher taxation and a smaller wealth gap are healthier, happier, and suffer from fewer social problems, because they are more equal.
But feel free to continue your collective delusion (where taxes are “bad” and wealth is “good”) at the cost of everyone else and the environment.
Comment by redben -
“Earn All You Can, Save All You Can, Give All You Can”
John Wesley : 1703-1791
Founder of Methodist Church
Comment by bigbobb -
I cannot argue against the advice for everyone to go out and get rich. People creating jobs, paying wages, paying rent…all good stuff and advanced the “invisible hand” of a strong economy. How the hell does that translate into paying taxes is patriotic? If Mark really wants to be ultra-patriotic then he can pay my taxes. I would be happy to be un-patriotic in that sense.
Comment by rsessler -
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THANK YOU MARK!!! for this comment. Please keep them coming. As with any comment you are going to have people that will get it and learn from it and then you will get some people that don’t get it (Because it goes against their programming) and want to bash you about it. Dependent thinking to independent thinking is tough especially due to the fact that most people were trained to be dependent all there lives. Most people have negative associations toward money and being rich…look at what we watch on T.V. and In the News.
Sometimes, (Not always) you post something that is thought provoking for me and it goes against the grain of my current beliefs. Those believes are challenged and I throw out which ones I want to accept and which ones I want to throw away.
Thanks MARK!!! GO MAVS!!!
Oh and buy the Cubbies….They need help BAD!!!! =)
Comment by realestatemind -
I absolutely agree that putting yourself in the best financial/economic position is one of the best ways to contribute to society (and your country).
Comment by cscairns -
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This is the best post so far!
Comment by kirkhomeyer -
The commenters who are focusing on paying more/less taxes need to reread the first three paragraphs of this post:
“Bust your ass and get rich.
“Make a boatload of money. Pay your taxes. Lots of taxes. Hire people. Train people. Pay people. Spend money on rent, equipment, services. Pay more taxes.
“When you make a shitload of money. Do something positive with it. If you are smart enough to make it, you will be smart enough to know where to put it to work.”
Taxes are one part of the equation. More importantly, put your money to work. Make it work hard making more money and making the world a better place.
We solve social problems both privately and publicly. Many huge problems have been solved primarily through private initiatives (Rotary’s efforts to wipe out polio, for instance). Most public problems could be solved if individuals decided to make the necessary investments to solve them. However, they don’t. (And I’m not just talking about the rich taking care of us. The middle class is certainly shirking their responsibility here, as well.) That is where the government (in all of it’s bureaucratic inefficiency) steps in to solve the problem.
The cost of the inefficiency, waste, and corruption that comes from government solutions is the ultimate sin tax: a tax on our short-sighted, zero-sum-gain mentality.
If those of all economic levels would realize that the public good is also in their own self interest, we’d have less government and pay less in taxes. Until then, we pay someone else to take care of our problems and get far less than we pay for.
Comment by COFFEY -
One more thought on this topic:
Because most Americans do not understand their own tax structure, the wealthy use the American anti-tax attitude to manipulate middle and lower middle class Americans into consistently voting against our own best interests, resulting in the middle class paying for almost everything while the wealthy pass their millions and billions on to their trust fund babies. Those trust fund babies are not creating and fueling the competitive edge for our collective economic future. You can find them partying in Scottsdale, AZ though.
Comment by bmialone -
I live in Alaska. Alaskans do not like to pay taxes, and we suffer for it. Anchorage, our largest city, is ugly, sprawling with no real planning, starved of resources for the basics that create a vital, lovely, livable city. Our streets are terrible, often without even painted traffic lines and so rough they damage our cars. We much too little regulation and what little we have is poorly enforced so even our most expensive neighborhoods look trashy and God forbid one lives next to a home with aggressive dogs or a neighbor who decided to erect huts, use their yard for a parking lot, or turn it into a junk yard. We have homeless people all over the city and drunks wandering into traffic so we must be on the alert for them when we drive around the city just like we must be on the lookout for moose. Outside of Anchorage, in the bush, it is even worse. Last winter, after energy prices spiked so high, people were practically starving with the state government seemingly unaware and uninterested until it became a national embarrassment to Sarah Palin. Despite all of this this, we just a elected an anti-tax Mayor who is balancing the budget on the backs of municipal employees and programs because he wants to cut the only tax (other than federal) that we pay, property taxes. (The position of Mayor is an unusually important one because close to half the population of the entire state resides in the Anchorage bowl.) State agencies are also starved, so they are too slow and some are out right incompetent. They just do not have the people to get the job done adequately. Alaska’s schools are a mess with a horrendous drop-out rate and very low college enrollment rate after high school.
Salaries for public professional employees are laughably low compared to the cost of living, with plumbers and contractors, regardless of their low quality, making MUCH more money, so between the too heavy workload for too few employees and the low pay, imagine how hard it is to find and keep high quality professionals? Our entire state suffers from this unwillingness to contribute to the collective good. If our grandparents were so selfish and self-centered in their attitude, we would not have won WWII and our country would never have become the great nation that it did.
Our friends and relatives in Canada, England, France, and Australia pay higher taxes, but still take home good salaries and live with less stress. None of them would trade their system for ours, and are amazed we accept our system, especially when it comes to health care and secondarily, education. Our friends in Paris, with their sky high taxes (by USA standards) live in a beautiful home, travel, live well, and have never once worried about how they are going to pay for their healthcare or find healthcare for their young adult children. They’ve never worried about how they are going to pay for their children’s college educations, and before they even reach college years their children are better educated than most American children.
Since we do not want to contribute adequately to investing in our people and infrastructure, we are living on the memory of our past glories as though we are still earning them, but we aren’t. Other nations, nations with governments pouring resources into encouraging their private sectors, are kicking our butts in the technologies and sciences of the future and manufacturing. How do they do it, with tax monies.
Comment by bmialone -
I love your attitude and advice! Too many people are trying to sidestep money issues in today’s society. From your post, there is no doubt where you stand.
Comment by wrfox -
Ashamed you wrote this Mark ” a recognition that in paying your taxes you are helping to support millions of Americans that are not as fortunate as you” . Taxes support bureaucrats which distribute what is left of tax money to those in need.
Ayn Rand would be displeased with you as well.
Comment by kctinman -
You are right, Mark Cuban. I have not made a boatload and may not ever do that. But I have made a billfold full and then some. It helps me, it helps others, even after I shell out for taxes. Write on, Mark Cuban, write on!
Comment by lotlot32 -
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The entrepreneur will be rich while the corporate guy becomes a slave to the wage.
Comment by afrobillito -
Whenever I read a post like yours, I think of two quotes. The first is the oft repeated “Anyone that says that money is the root of all evil doesn’t have any.” The second is “I believe the struggle for financial freedom isn’t fair. I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires.”
We put a lot of emphasis on personal responsibility in this country. Maybe too much, in my opinion. We, as a nation, like to believe that anyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make something of themselves. That all you need is The Big Idea and somehow everything else falls into place. In the Real World, it’s not enough to just have a great idea. You have to find funding for it, market it, sell it, and then keep improving it, because someone will take your idea, outsource it, and sell it for half as much at twice the profit.
As you yourself once said, “All that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” It’s better to be lucky than good. If you’re good, you’ll take advantage of the breaks that go your way. But without luck, you’ll never get those breaks to begin with.
Mr. Cuban, I’m 25 years old; I graduated from your alma mater, Indiana University; I’ve been out of school for three years, and in that three years, I’ve had three jobs in two cities, and moved five times. I had to leave my dream job because my best friend was dying of incurable cancer and he and his family needed help. I was laid off from my last job simply because I was the youngest person on the team by nearly a decade. That was last October. In the almost ten months since, I’ve gotten better at what I do, but the market has gotten worse. So, with about two months before I exhaust my unemployment insurance, having already exhausted my savings, I find myself applying to jobs that don’t exist, talking to people who can’t hire me, and just generally doing everything short of outright groveling to find work. It sucks, but try telling that to a Board who are more concerned about their individual investment than the long term health of the company they invested in. Who cares if you have to lay off 30,000 workers, if it makes the stock tick up a half a point?
It’s easy to say “Bust your ass and get rich.” You busted your ass, and got rich. But sometimes, you have to be in just the right place at the right time and recognize the opportunity to take that extra leap and go from “Busting your ass.” to “Busting your ass and getting rich.”
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that your quote should be “Get lucky, bust your ass, then get rich.”, because luck without hard work is a wasted opportunity, and hard work with no lucky breaks is wasted effort.
Comment by monkeybusinessiu -
Kudos to that! Someone should start a “The entrepreneur in (your) residence” program.
Comment by Ron Vergis -
Mark, love ya, but I think you’re only half right.
From my blog:
I think it’s better to say “Get rich, and then pay the absolute barest minimum amount of taxes legally possible, because what you do with what you keep — spending it, investing it, starting a business, donating it — is better for America than anything the government could do with it.
America wasn’t made great by taxes and government. It was made great by people pursing their own happiness. The positive externality of pursuing your own happiness is a better life for everyone.
Remember the words of Judge Learned Hand:
“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.”
Comment by treygarrison -
Thanks for taking time to blog. I wish you continued success in your family life, businesses, and health.
Comment by darryl3 -
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And this data seems to indicate that there’s very little “spreading of the wealth” going on:
Comment by Dave Johansen -
I have develop a fantastic business that may meet your qualifications… It is unique and has amazing potential for rapid growth with a very low cost to market and a relative small operating cost in proportion to the revenue stream. I don’t know about it making profit in 90 days, but we will generate revenue form the get go. I don’t want to post the plan on an open platform, although I have a patent pending that may protect us, to risk competition. I am in Los Angeles and will love to come pitch it to you where ever you are. I can also post the plan on a secure server that you will be able to access.
I don’t know if this is the right way to approach you, but I am certain that you will embrace the project, I have a few VC’s sniffing around, but no one has the chops to make this happen sooner that later, besides,my project has great synergy with your business. I need some seed money to launch the company, all the R&D and the infra structure is done… i just need to go to market and hit the street to make us some money.
If i can interest you in anyway, please send me a link or address where i can send the project or a link to the server.
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope to hear from you. It is a great company you’ll see”
Comment by lasamurai -
Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family.
– George Bernard Shaw
Comment by Dave Johansen -
It’s offical …Mark found the crackpipe Rodman left when he spent the night.
I disagree MC.
Example: In 2006, the State of Texas enacted an increase in the “franchise tax” for all businesses who make over $300,000 a year in gross sales. This tax was due whether you were profitable or not. So this tax , due on May 15th, took money out of my marketing budget at the peak of bug season. I would have normally spent that money in the Dallas economy for direct mail pieces, local news ads, etc. So by paying taxes 1) I lose out on potential new customers 2) Minuteman Press looses $3,000 in local billings…
Instead , the money goes to what ? . . . a feasibility study by an out of state consulting firm to examine ( insert your pet project here ) and it’s effect on the environment.
Now that I pay more taxes I am more frustrated than ever about how the nimrods in government use it. Dems and Repubs are drunk with power.
Comment by maydaymike -
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I have said the same thing for a long time. You live in the United States and you should pay taxes for being here. We have it pretty good compared to most places in the world.
Avoid paying too much, use every legal method to do so, but pay your taxes.
Certainly there’s waste in government, fight that.
Certainly there’s inequity in the tax structure, fight that.
But pay your taxes. And while you’re at it, serve in the Armed Forces.
Thanks to those that do both.
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Thanks Mark for having an intelligent blog to read
Comment by michaelcompton -
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The thing is, the world is changing in nature and it’s becoming exponentially harder for someone, no matter how good or smart or fast he is, to gain enough ground to be able to carry his own weight instead of working for a corporation.
The way things work is like this : first, someone with a streak of genius gets The Idea. Not just any idea but The Idea that will, for the moment, make a revolutionary change in his immediate realm. He goes ahead and implements it. Now the idea has turned into a process and it’s working constantly producing something good for the society. Since it’s something good, it’s obviously worth money so for all intents and purposes the process is producing money.
Next thing you know, he gets noticed. Noticed by the System – the people who would’ve not in a hundred years came up with idea like that, but who surely would like to tap the process’ outcome. Never mind that they don’t really get how it works. So what they do is they come up with plans, regulations, taxes, laws and so many other ways by which they can all sustain themselves off the original idea. And as all these things keep growing around our process, there is less and less money left to go around. So all our bureaucrates, project managers and other leeches (whose work, to be truthful, does have some value in it) throw their hands up in the air and sigh – what a stupid idea it was to begin with ! Never mind that it kept a whole army of them and some more fed for some years.
But by then, our little guy who started the whole thing has moved on – there are way more great ideas in a great mind then the time can ever allow him to accomplish. And such is the cycle of progress – those on top, blessed with a brain, have to keep on churning out, so that the rest can sustain itself – even when the outcome doesn’t look very pretty at the first sight.
To the blog author : I’d agree with much of what you say; but bear in mind that the taxes we pay are just one side of the monetary story and serve more purposes then just patriotism and support of government’s efforts. If that was the case, they could (simply speaking) just print themselves additional 25% or so of total income of the potential taxpayer and do away with IRS completely.
Comment by highfreq -
I remember a great and famous boxer who once said “I like to make a lot of money because I can do more good with money than without it.”
Comment by hirecules -
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I used to worship money, obsess about it, dream about it, labor for it,….
Who’s to say that being as *patriotic* as one can – however it’s defined – is even remotely close to ideal living.
However, I agree that hard work is a virtue unto itself, with many positive side effects.
Comment by captiousnut -
The argument rich = good is child-like binary thought. Take the example of a drug kingpin, the AIG exec or the corrupt politician. The ends do not justify the means, ya feel?
What a j-hole post.
Comment by prfx -
Just wanted to point out to the first commenter that you might be a bit confused about how our income tax system works. You don’t lose money by making more than 250k. It’s a marginal tax system. If you make 300k, only 50k is taxed at the new rate. Of course it would be a dumb tax system if it really worked the way you thought it did. But it is in fact always better to make more money.
Comment by nutster5 -
I totally agree, I cant understand these greedy billionaires, they wont share money with family, let alone pay their fair share of taxes as they are always looking for a loophole to “F” this country.
you sir area patriot, and if I actually could land a damned job, I would be too, no matter how little my contribution is,I would still be too.
Comment by raphac -
People…don’t be negative. The thought is the right thought. Don’t ask about tax opportunities….he’s in a position to have those. You’re missing the BIG PICTURE!!! Mark has the drive, initiative, and goals….things fall into place. Hit the floor running every day…..and then stop to smell the roses, along the way.
Comment by emmathinker -
Would you please run for President? You are a true Patriot and always come up with great ideas how to run this country.
Comment by tdenna -
Surely you don’t blindly pay the max tax but take full advantage of every opportunity to minimize your taxes, right? So, is it more patriotic to bend over and pay the max amount or to minimize the amount you pay?
Comment by darrenward68 -
hey mark…excellent post. i do quite well (which i have never taken for granted) and i pay a LOT in taxes. i more or less accept this as part of the deal for making a lot of money. but isn’t there a point where enough is enough? isn’t there a point where the government needs to do what smart business does and tighten the belt a little when times are tough (maybe freezing entitlements for a year?) instead of just asking those of us who already pay a sh*tload in taxes for more? i don’t want to sound like a whack-job limbaugh follower, but enough is enough on the tax side.
Comment by calibadger -
Please consider meeting me for coffee whenever you have an hour. They say it takes money to make money, and I have an extremely low-cost idea that just needs a supporter, someone who will believe in me when I try to convince large corporations that they ought to consider taking a different approach in regards to a certain topic. Hear me out, brother. I’m 24 and don’t know how to get my foot in the door.
PS – When I was in 10th grade (Fall 2000), my friends and I e-mailed you just a few hours before a game to see if the deal was going on where -if we painted our bodies and cheered on the Mavs- we’d receive free admission. Indeed it was, and you said you’d even meet us outside the gate if we arrived early enough. This particular instance occurred in the first days of that promotion. When we arrived a little later than we expected, your assistant said that -at the last minute- you couldn’t meet us (understandably; we were late), but he directed us where to go. In that game, we were really loud. And in the third quarter, your assistant brought us a pizza. He then called you and said he was giving us the pizza. You said hello to us, and we thought it was the coolest day of our lives. I never wrote to say thank you very much, though I’ve changed that practice since.
Comment by colorcartoon -
Excellent post. I think 95% of the people I come in contact with on a daily basis don’t understand that being rich is a good thing! I still get many people who tell me that “money is the root of all evil”, but they’ll gladly accept handouts from the government. I want to be rich for the reasons mentioned above. Actually, I don’t “want” to be rich. I WILL be rich. I’m on my way.
Comment by justinbartz -
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I don’t know what business to get into. Should I build a website that survives off ad-revenue? Develop applications for Windows, Mac, iPhone, etc? Try to sell PCs like Dell? Programmable handhelds like TI? An OS with developer tools like MS? Or repair PCs like Geek Squad? I’d manufacture cigarettes if they weren’t dangerous.
Truth be told, I’m a college student without experience. I’d like to pull a technology business out of my back pocket, but I haven’t done squat.
Comment by growhappy -
Some companies may cut workers ‘just to up their stock price,’ but most if it is done because it is a necessity.
When the Fed manipulates the interest rate and causes a miscoordination of savings and investment many people get jobs doing projects that should not have been created. So they need to be laid off so their labor can be used more efficiently.
The government taxes, regulations and other interventions are what caused the vast majority of unemployment right now – there were no business cycles before paper money, and every business cycle can be traced back to a huge increase in paper money or fake credit.
Also, with the history of welfare in this country and all the bad incentives its created why would you want to contribute to it?
Comment by rightpriceinvesting -
Brilliant post – I’ll add a corollary:
All other things being equal, I’ll always hire the person “between jobs”. Lowering unemployment makes the economic outlook better, meaning people are more likely to buy whatever you sell, and contributes back to the overall good.
Success is a combination of drive, opportunity and brains.
Comment by dmaz3 -
Amen. Capitalism is *not* a zero sum game. I’ll take patriotism one step further. Be accountable and don’t contribute to inefficiencies: don’t litter it costs us money, don’t steal it costs us money, pay taxes – it keeps us safe (mostly) but add rather than subtracts from our efforts.
Comment by tshort63 -
Taxes should be minimal. You have brain to easily make money you have brain to know where to spend it wisely.
Comment by kpurfield -
Kudos to that!
Comment by seant23 -
And then there is my Ayn Randian argument: Is it really patriotic to prop up those who lack the personal motivation to achieve? Should we with the motivation to achieve be responsible for supporting not just the personal failings of individuals but failures in business *cough* General Motors *cough*?
Is aiding government hand-outs and reducing incentive for personal achievement really all that patriotic? Wouldn’t it be MORE patriotic to make a bundle of cash and then go hide out in a canyon in Colorado?
From MC> My Ayn Rand argument is that you do all you can to get rich, then you do something really, really selfish, like take a ton of joy in knowing you are doing something great for this country and your fellow American
Comment by benrice23 -
I agree with most of your post, but my main question is how? How do I make a boatload of money? Where do I start? What do I do?
Comment by darkfu -
But who is to say that patriotism is always a good thing?
Comment by Rodibidably -
Comment by marioparedes -
And then I look at the Obama healthcare plan (or his plans on taxation in general) and think: “Well I want to be rich just so long as I don’t make over $249,999/year or over $999,999/year or whatever line is drawn.”
From MC> My suggestion is to think that you want to be rich “so it doesnt make a damn bit of difference to me what they do on Healthcare”
Comment by benrice23 -
Comments are closed.