Did Mitt Pay His Taxes?

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There has been much bloviating this election season about poor Mitt Romney’s tax returns. (you don’t see poor and Mitt Romney in the same sentence too often) I don’t blame him for not wanting to share his tax returns with the public, I mean, who would. However, nobody made Mitt run for President of The United States and he ought to just put up so his opponents will shut up. When you run for that office people just want to know… they have a right to know too.

Harry Reid, the US Senate Majority Leader has flatly stated that Mitt has not been paying taxes for at least some of the last ten years. Never mind that good old Harry doesn’t have a shred of proof, the media will make it front page news and he knows it. Mission Accomplished!

Mitt and his backers say of course he has paid his taxes, every cent that was legally owed.

Here is the beauty of the United States tax system: they could both be telling the truth! It kind of depends on what you mean by taxes. Mitt, like every American pays plenty of taxes, he may not however owe income taxes each year, just like many, many Americans. I don’t personally know a single person that would willingly pay more than they had to so if Mitt found a loophole, good for him.

I pay a lot of taxes, every year, income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes and taxes I likely don’t even know about. Just like most Americans. To me, the mere fact that it could be true that a person of Mitt Romney’s wealth might not legally owe income taxes is a big problem. Whether Mitt owed and payed his taxes is not the point, the point is, he SHOULD owe taxes.

I wish Harry Reid and his fellow “leaders” in Congress would quit the screwing around, quit trying to mislead the American people, quit trying to cover their own rear ends and just fix the tax code.

You’ll notice that Harry isn’t saying that Mitt broke the law, he didn’t say Mitt owes back taxes. THAT is the problem Senator! If anyone that earns that kind of money even has a chance at paying no income taxes then Harry and the entire Congress, along with every President the last 100 years or so, ought to be ashamed of themselves.

A flat tax, a consumption tax, a national sales tax, almost anything would be better than the crummy system we have today. If Congress fixes the tax system then most of their petty bickering would be unnecessary – they might even get some work done like the rest of us.

What Won’t You Do To Succeed?

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Years ago, while attending a Dale Carnegie convention I was watching a speaker explain the complexities of playing the harp, while playing the harp. He gave a complete talk on discipline and work ethic while playing classical music on the harp! It was and still is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

I commented to a colleague sitting next to me that “I would give anything to be able to play a musical instrument.” He immediately replied that since I couldn’t currently play a musical instrument it was apparent that in fact, I actually wouldn’t give anything at all.

I disputed his viewpoint by saying that I knew what I wanted, not him. He calmly replied that if I would in fact “give anything” to play a musical instrument then I would be able to play the musical instrument of my choice.

I said I saw his point but said that I was just too busy to be able to commit to lessons, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to learn, I just didn’t have the time to learn.

It was then that he said the most amazing thing, he said “then actually it’s not that you would give anything to be able to play a musical instrument, it’s really that you won’t give anything up to be able to play a musical instrument.”

He went on to say that it was really a question of priorities. He said that if learning a musical instrument was truly a priority then I would stop doing something that was a lower priority so I could start doing something that was a higher priority.

I don’t really remember much of what the speaker said, I don’t recall the songs he played on his harp. But I do recall the lesson I took from my colleague seated next to me: What you don’t do will have as much impact on your success as what you do.

When was the last time you did a daily activity check to see what you could eliminate from your busy day? When was the last time you stopped to ask yourself is what I’m about to do going to keep me busy or make me productive?

Stop doing the low productivity things that we all do at times. Stop doing the urgent “stuff” that prevents you from doing the truly important things.

There is no question about whether you have the time to succeed, you do. You’ll just have to stop doing something so you can do something else. That means the real question is: What won’t you do to succeed?