February 28, 2012

If you had to trust one of these individuals to handle your personal financial affairs...

Let's assume you've got complicated, extensive financial affairs. We're talking about all your life's savings, all the contingencies of a long retirement for you and medical care for you and your family, and all of the wealth that could be preserved for your children and grandchildren, and all that you might be able to contribute to various causes.

You have to choose one of these individuals to take care of everything:
  
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69 comments:

TMink said...

I really appreciate the question. It was clarifying for me personally. And my answer was quick and in the majority: Romney.

Prior to this question I was more of a Santorum guy.

Trey

Capt. Schmoe said...

From the paltry 58 votes so far, it appears that we, not unlike the Vegas mafia, would put our money under the stewardship of a Mormon.

Interesting indeed.

paul a'barge said...

Not even close. Look at the results. Mittens, hands down.

TMink said...

Capt, that reminds me that Howard Hughes when in the throes of his OCD illness, would only hire Mormons to care for him!

Wacky guy that Howard.

Trey

Lem said...

By had to.. the professor means put a gun to my head ;)

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)



Well of course, as a Jew, I’d entrust my money to the likes of a fellow Jew, like Madoff or Soros, but if I were goyim I’d go with Mitt. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean I’d vote for him. Mitt’s job is NOT to secure my retirement and the birth right of my children, but REPEAL OBAMACARE. They are not the same thing. Just like if I wanted to come in second in the NFL I’d choose Tom Brady, but I still wouldn’t vote for Brady as POTUS.

Thorley Winston said...

It makes a lot more sense than voting for the guy you’d rather have a beer with.

TosaGuy said...

Interesting down the line vote. While I picked Romney, I would pick Obama over Gingrich.

George Sewell said...

Well phrased.

pm317 said...

Well, it has to be Romney. He turned a few lemons into lemonade.

rhhardin said...

Two year Treasuries.

Lem said...

It was clarifying for me personally. And my answer was quick..

Does that mean you want Romney to have a tax raising plan?.. you want an eventual president Romney to raise taxes?

Pastafarian said...

And if we were voting for my personal financial adviser next Tuesday, and not POTUS, I'd be inclined to vote for Romney.

But we're not.

And my personal financial situation does not, thankfully, mirror that of the country as a whole.

Maybe you should rephrase the question: If you were hopelessly in debt, with deeply entrenched future obligations made by others sure to overwhelm your income in future years, half of your neighbors wanted to see you dead, and 52% of the people living in your house wanted to redistribute your wealth to them, which of these guys would you hire to help you pull your life out of the crapper?

n.n said...

It's interesting that Obama is not at the bottom of the list. He could neither manage his personal nor public finances. Throughout his life and career, he favored redistributive and retributive change (i.e. involuntary exploitation).

It would seem that promises of instant gratification and the corruption they sponsor are still preferred by some class of individuals.

People really don't get it, do they? What are they teaching in our schools? It is these dreams, denigration of individual dignity, and general devaluation of human life which has corrupted our culture. Not even the selective recall of history or the "original compromise" are sufficient to justify this nonsense.

bagoh20 said...

If I could get more money by taxing my fellow citizens, they all (except Paul) would advise me to do so and spend, spend, spend!

victoria said...

How about, none of the above?

Vicki from Pasadena

edutcher said...

The question favors Milton, particularly in terms of the economy.

Maybe a better one might be who would you want to steer a tough piece of legislation through Congress?

or

Who would you want answering Hillary's 3am phone call?

or, even

Who would you trust to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic"?

Jason said...

Posting the question phrased this particular way is almost an in-kind political contribution to the Romney campaign.

Jason said...

Boxers, briefs, or the underwear behind curtain number 3?

bagoh20 said...

Pasta states the scenario more accurately, and it does make the question very different. The election is all about controlling the question, but that's just people talking. Like in Vegas, the numbers don't play the games, they rule them.

AF said...

Obama and Romney would both recognize that this is sixteen levels beneath their pay grade and farm it out to a competent financial adviser.

The three crazies, who knows what they'd do.

traditionalguy said...

That is not a list of hard to fool CPAs, so the answer would have to be none of the above.

My problem with Romney's self promoted image as a financial genius is that it takes more than a Bernie Madoff level declaration that Success looks like Me, so trust me.

So far the Financial Success tree of Romney is producing the fruit of skilled in use of false propaganda to destroy opponents. That's Obama's skill.

Earth Girl said...

I am very tempted to vote for Obama because he takes care of his friends financially!

Triangle Man said...

I would pick Romney if I am his client and he is acting on my behalf. If my interests are competing with others who have more influence with him, then it doesn't matter how skilled he is.

Original Mike said...

I voted for Mitt, but I really should have considered Obama. He'd take money from my neighbor and give it to me.

And if there wasn't enough, he'd borrow it from foreigners.

And if there still wasn't enough, he'd print it.

Obama Money!

Ann Althouse said...

"I am very tempted to vote for Obama because he takes care of his friends financially!"

Not with his own money. He's handling your money. Do you trust him not to contribute it to "causes"/friends?

Original Mike said...

With this new format, so little fits on the screen it's laborious to read other's comments.

Oh well, more time to spout mine.

Tank said...

This was tougher than it should be. The obvious choice is Romney, and I ultimately picked him.

But, if you think, as I do, that Paul's outlook on the overall economy [driving off a cliff, need to cut $1.5T next year] is correct, then Mitt would have you in investments that could all totally tank, while Paul's gold assets would be golden.

The problem is figuring the timing. We're already Greece, but living off our rep. How much longer we can do that, and plug away on the great strengths still existing in our economy ... who knows ??? Judgment day is comming, but when? Choosing Romney is a bet that it won't come for awhile.

Chuck66 said...

To the 9 people who voted for Barrack Hussein Obama.....I have an investment for you. Past investors have seeing 200% annual returns. So please send me a check for $1,000 so I can invest your money in a sure-fire scheme to get rich.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Instead of Obama you could have easily inserted 16 year old teenage girl with moms credit card for the same effect.

Pogo said...

I don't think it matters anymore, really.

EDH said...

We're talking about all your life's savings, all the contingencies of a long retirement for you and medical care for you and your family, and all of the wealth that could be preserved for your children and grandchildren, and all that you might be able to contribute to various causes.

That so many people's individual finances are actually so completely dependent upon government is a large part of the problem.

Tank said...

Obama's qualifications to:

1. Handle my finances.

= his qualifications to

2. Be President of the US.

Either way he has no, or insufficient, qualifications. He might actually be more qualified to be President !

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I don't think it matters anymore, really..."

Not to worry. We can print all the money we need.

The Drill SGT said...

what?

no Corzine?

MikeDC said...

Romney obviously.

Obama would spend it on himself and his friends. I end up greeting at Walmart until I'm euthanized.

Santorum would donate it to the church. I end up greeting at Walmart until I'm sent off to an old-folks home run by nuns.

Gingrich would invest it in magic beans and interstellar hibernation ships (a la Khan's original ship in Star Trek). I'd be given the "opportunity" to be frozen and shipped off at age 80 to "explore" the galaxy or work at Walmart till I drop dead.

Triangle Man said...

Which one would you make your health care proxy? Who will faithfully carry out your health care wishes if you should become unable to communicate them yourself?

Original Mike said...

"what?

no Corzine?"


LOL

Lyle said...

This is a great question. Didn't have to think for long before picking Romney.

DADvocate said...

When faced with that question, the answer is a no brainer. Amazingly, it appears a small percentage actually have no braind or prefer to end up broke.

Christopher in MA said...

I see Tim Geithner isn't mentioned, either. Since he's figured out a way to avoid paying taxes AND avoid going to jail for it, I'd hire him to secrete my vast wealth where nobody could get at it.

As for Little Black Jesus, give him a paper route. If he can handle that, maybe some day he'll be up for the challenge of lemonade stands.

bgates said...

Hey Ann, how about answering the same question with Obama, Biden, McCain, and Palin?

ricpic said...

I don't think Romney is the obvious call at all. Given that the country is broke - like Roadrunner we're off the cliff treading air - the question becomes one of preserving your money, not managing it. Paul is the only one (see Tank at 10:56) who gets it and would put you in purely defensive positions, gold being the most obvious.

Maguro said...

Not to worry. We can print all the money we need.

Well, yeah. Plus, as garage likes to tell us, we have all that dough stashed away in the Social Security trust fund.

Bill S. said...

Romney hands down. After all, he is the only one with a track record of success in business. No offense to lawyers (Ann) buy we have too many of them in Washington. Our fiscal hole is deep, a good business mind can help us dig out.

Pettifogger said...

TosaGuy said: "I would pick Obama over Gingrich."

Gingrich would be awful, but I would consider, and I do mean consider, voting for Obama only if the GOP nominates Satan himself.

KenK said...

Look at what Ron Paul's is invested in. A general look at his portfolio here.

ken in sc said...

I voted Mitt. BTW, I don't see any big format change. I use Chrome.

machine said...

I voted for President Obama since stocks have done significantly better under Democratic administrations than under Republican ones...

Cedarford said...

edutcher said...
The question favors Milton, particularly in terms of the economy. Yes, and his record with fiscal prudency and safeguarding people entrusting him his good past investors to what he did with SLC Olympics money and Mass taxpayer's money.

Maybe a better one might be who would you want to steer a tough piece of legislation through Congress? Mitt Romney. Unlike influence peddlars Gingrich and Santorum, he is not beholden to groups. He is not the ..."team player" Ricky is, or the "Ego before results" character Newt is. And unlike Dumbya with no vetoes in 6 years on spending or other legislation...Romney cast nearly 600 vetoes when bills were flawed.

or

Who would you want answering Hillary's 3am phone call? Mitt Romney 1st. Nothing rash or hasty from him, no need to worry about him like Newt - where what Newt would do would depend on what point he was in his bipolar personality and if he felt personally slighted somehow by the nation or other emergency causing the 3 AM phone call. Then Santorum, who would summon advisors that would stop him from doing something stupid...then nauseate the public with tales how he fetched a priest and prayed for guidance with his dying daughter at his side. Then a tossup between Paul and Obama. With Newt last. Though as consolation to Newt - he would be my preference over Cain's ignorance, Perry's stupidity, and Bachmanns wack.


or, even

Who would you trust to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic"? Romney 1st, then Newt, then Paul, then Obama, then Santorum.

(Paul is, shall we say, overdevoted to blind strict constructionalism. I am surprised he even agreed to serve in the AF when his Sacred Parchment CLEARLY said the US can only fund and deploy a ground force of militia members and a Navy. The Holy Founders did not include defense involving air or space. Santorum last because he wants a new, Catholic-centric Constritution.)

Jeryl Bier said...

Since we're talking about an elected official, shouldn't the question be, "Who would you trust most to leave your personal finances alone?"

Bill said...

Good question and, yes, it's clarifying but so is Pastafarian's.

pm317 said...

Cedarford said...

Who would you want answering Hillary's 3am phone call? Mitt Romney 1st. [snip] Then Santorum, who would summon advisors that would stop him from doing something stupid...then nauseate the public with tales how he fetched a priest and prayed for guidance with his dying daughter at his side.

----------
Good comment..nailed Santorum!

Thorley Winston said...

Gingrich would invest it in magic beans and interstellar hibernation ships (a la Khan's original ship in Star Trek). I'd be given the "opportunity" to be frozen and shipped off at age 80 to "explore" the galaxy or work at Walmart till I drop dead.

If part of the deal includes a genetic augmentation program so I have Ricardo Montalb├ín's pecs when I’m in my 80s, Gingrich may have just moved up a couple of spots.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Crummy poll. We're not voting for a financial planner to handle our specific financial affairs.

If the electorate is concerned about the economy, and they're smart, they'll evaluate the impacts of each candidates policies on the economy.

Willard's plan is tinkering around the edges of current policy. So there's no real reason to think it will amount to much stronger or much weaker growth than Obama's policies. That's why George Soros recently said there wouldn't be much difference between a Romney and Obama presidency.

Newt is talking about major reform. 12.5% corporate tax rate, 15% flat tax for individuals, no capital gains tax, and 100% expensing of capital equipment. And he wants to give young workers the option to put part of their social security withholding into private 401-k like savings account, which will facilitate long term capital formation.

That his a huge pro-growth economic agenda.

Let's say Gingrich's plan generates growth that is 1.5% faster than Romney's over a decade.
Starting with a $15 trillion economy as the base, that's an additional $225 billion in GDP per year. Excluding compounding, that's an additional $2.25 trillion in GDP over a decade. That's a tremendous amount of job creation. And the preferential tax rates on capital will result in huge new capital formation and business creation. I absolutely believe that Newt's policies would make the boom during the Reagan/Bush 1980s and the Clinton 1990s look weak in comparison - so the increase in growth rates is probably even larger than the 1.5% I used in the example.

If people really do vote their wallet, the difference between electing Newt (assuming his policies get passed) and either Willard or Obama could amount to several trillion in GDP over a decade.

Since few people do this kind of analysis, and instead they vote for the likable guy - such as the guy who sings like Al Green and gives emotional speeches that lack substance with hollow promises of "hope and change" - the unlikeable old white guy with superior pro-growth economic policies probably loses.

TMink said...

"Does that mean you want Romney to have a tax raising plan?.. you want an eventual president Romney to raise taxes?"

No, nothing of the sort.

Why would you think that from my post Lem?

Trey

Steve Koch said...

Interesting question. Basically it is a combination of who do you trust the most and who understands money and finance the best. Obviously that is Mitt.

Since this was such a good question, maybe Althouse can think of some other great questions that put candidate qualifications in terms that we can relate to on a personal level.

-------------------------------

Different topic, how long will it be before spambots are better at answering the "prove you are not a robot" questions than most people? It can not be that far away, right?

Bruce Hayden said...

I voted for Romney, without a qualm. But, I don't think that Santorum would be all that bad. Sure, he is a big spending social conservative from a relatively blue state. But, he isn't Gingrich, and he isn't Obama. If I had to choose between those two, it would be close, but I would give Gingrich the nod - we know how bad Obama is, and few, even from the ranks of the Democrats, could be worse.

One of the reasons that I back Romney for the nomination here is that not all of the action is going to be in Congress in cutting back the enormous statist edifice that Obama and the Dems have recently constructed. Tens of thousands, if not more, civilian government employees have been hired, with the increase of 5% or so of GDP to the federal government since the Dems took Congress in 2006 and Obama was elected two years later. And, tens, if not hundreds, of thousands pages of new regulation. This needs to be attacked with a butcher knife if this country is going to again flourish. Romney is the only candidate who has the skill, training, and interest in doing that. Gingrich wouldn't have a clue where to start, and wouldn't have any real interest. Santorum, again, would likely do better, and Paul likely do better than Gingrich. But no one has made a career, or a fortune, doing this sort of thing, besides Romney.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I voted for President Obama since stocks have done significantly better under Democratic administrations than under Republican ones..."

Interesting. So the Democrats are the party of the 1% whose booming stock portfolios allow them to pay less taxes than middle class working folks.

sleepless nights said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Petunia said...

I pick, "I don't want to trust any of these bozos with any of my money so I'll keep my $$$ under the mattress, thanks".

But if I had to pick, Obama would be my last choice.

sydney said...

I voted for Paul. He's the only one who seems to realize other people's money is not an infinite resource.

Craig Howard said...

I voted "Mitt Romney," but the question is a poor proxy for the election. The new president must create the conditions that enhance one's personal financial affairs. Not the one who could advise you, under current conditions, how to make the best of it.

Ken Green said...

This is funny - I've used a similar "test" to decide if I'd vote for someone, and just mentioned it last week to my colleagues: The question is, if you were injured and unconscious, would you trust the person with a power of attorney? Virtually all agreed that they'd trust Romney far more than any of the others.

Popville said...

There is perennially only one issue.

It's the economy, stupid.

juandos said...

Well it definitely clarified something for me...

I would no more let Romney handle my money then I would volunteer for RomneyCare...

testudo said...

The answer is obvious. But also ask yourself, "If I had to pick one person to be the guardian of my children, and trust that he would do a good and moral job of raising them and helping them succeed ..." the answer is still the same - Romney. I do him the honor of thinking that he'd also see to it that my children were raised in my faith, not his, becuse I think he has integrity.

DarkHelmet said...

I like a combination of the original question with Testudo's question. They could be boiled down to:

1) Which would you choose to be executor and trustee of your estate?

2) Which would you choose to be guardian of your children?

For me Mitt wins easily on #1 and edges out Santorum on #2.

But the ultimate question is:

3)Which would you choose to watch your dog while you were on vacation? Mitt worries me a bit on this one.

JerryA said...

If I really wanted the money well handled .... Mitt Romney

If I just hoped the money was well handled ... Barack Obama

If I prayed the money was well handled .... Rick Santorum

If I thought as little was to be done and let my family handle it.... Ron Paul

If wanted the trustee to do well .... Newt Gingrich