Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mitt Romney "rented" Mormon Church's tax exempt status to avoid paying taxes for fifteen years. It looks like SOME people owe Harry Reid an apology.

Courtesy of Current TV:

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney used a loophole to “rent” the Mormon church’s tax exemption status and defer paying taxes for 15 years, according to a new report. 

Tax returns obtained by Bloomberg News through a Freedom of Information Act request indicated that Romney set up a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) in June 1996 just before Congress cracked down on the loophole in 1997. 

“In this instance, Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity — the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing — to defer taxes for more than 15 years,” Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker explained. “At the same time he is benefitting, the trust will probably leave the church with less than what current law requires.” 

Estates lawyer Jonathan Blattmachr told Bloomberg that Romney’s trust benefits from the Mormon church’s exempt status because charities don’t pay capital gains taxes when they make a profit from the sale of assets. 

“The main benefit from a charitable remainder trust is the renting from your favorite charity of its exemption from taxation,” Blattmachr said, adding that the charitable contribution “is just a throwaway” and the church would receive little if any financial benefit from the trust. 

The CRUT allows individuals to “defer capital gains taxes on any profit from the sale of the assets, and receive a small upfront charitable deduction and a stream of yearly cash payments,” Drucker wrote. “Like an individual retirement account, the trust allows money to grow tax deferred, while like an annuity it also pays Romney a steady income. After the funder’s death, the trust’s remaining assets go to a designated charity.” 

In fact, the amount available to go to the Mormon church has decreased from at least $750,000 in 2001 to $421,203 at the end of 2011 as Romney has collected yearly cash payments from the trust. 

The Romney campaign declined to answer questions about the trust but insisted that it was “operated in accordance with the law” in an email to Bloomberg.

"Operated in accordance with the law." Is anybody else tired of hearing Mitt Romney's financial activities described in those words?

Yes perhaps it WAS legal (Just barely), but was it ethical? And it is ethical to run for President of the United States on a platform that promises to reduce taxes even further for people in your income bracket, while leaving the overall financial burden for those that can least afford it? And doing so after using every trick in the book to get out of  paying YOUR fair share?

This HAS to be what Harry Reid was talking about when he accused Romney of not paying taxes for ten years. (And look, he was even five years too generous!) And as the highest ranking Mormon in public office he would undoubtedly have known about this, which in my opinion also explains his obvious anger that Romney has now become the public face of his church. Even going so far as to state that "He is not the face of Mormonism."

Okay can SOMEBODY please tell me why this son-of-a-bitch has ANY support in this election?

How stupid are these people?


  1. Anonymous12:44 PM

    Wouldn't the Mormon Church still come out ahead in this deal? If Mitt rents the tax exempt status and gets to keep more of his money, then he would be obligated to tithe more to the Mormon church. The Church would not only get the "rent" money, but they'd get 10% more of the extra money Mitt saved by using his tax loop hole. Both the church and Mitt benefit from this cozy arrangement.

    1. eclecticsandra2:30 PM

      Apparently the cash payments have been more than the church has earned from the fund.

  2. Anonymous12:53 PM

    Why anyone would vote for this horrible person is beyond me! Even the Mormon church isn't getting the money from him that they probably expect. He is a lying sack of shit and hell awaits him!

  3. Tax Dodging Willard?
    Draft Dodging Willard?
    Severe Governor Willard?

    Yet for having the reputation of a religious man, he is such a scumbag. He has the support of rapists, racists, the ChimpCo deadenders and Gordon Gecko wannabees. You know the psychopath vote. What's that 25%?

    1. Anonymous2:18 PM

      Don't forget the idiot John McCain!!!

  4. Sally in MI1:16 PM

    Pretty darn stupid, obviously. Got an email from Michael Moore pleading to get out the word, because we need a landslide or the GOP will call 'fraud.' yeah, if your criminal behavior regarding voting machines is overwhelmed by a Democratic turnout, you will call foul.
    Never in my life have I seen such entitled creepy, jerks trying to take control of this country.

    1. Anonymous3:09 PM

      I agree wholeheartedly, Sally in MI. I simply cannot fathom a person running for president who has expended as much energy as Mitt Romney has in avoiding paying taxes. What kind of a citizen is he anyway? And as someone pointed out above, he was also a draft dodger and a failed governor.

    2. Anonymous3:56 PM

      We do need a landslide. Especially in 1) Ohio 2) Michigan, just so it's clear that Mittens means nothing to them and 3) Wisconsin, just so it's clear Ryan means nothing to them. The voting machine fixers will call fraud no matter what happens, but a landslide will mean that WE don't have to cry fraud.

  5. Anonymous1:17 PM

    Hopefully the educated voters will turn out in droves.

  6. Harry’s a tough old bird and he’s rarely wrong.

    Even the low information voters are getting the president’s competence and talent thrown in their faces (thanks Chris), so we’re down to racism. They can only yowl about Benghazi for so long.

  7. Anonymous1:25 PM

    No wonder the Huntsmans kept as far away from the Romney as they could. They could see slick four-flusher from miles away.

  8. Anonymous1:34 PM

    I think this will hurt RMoney not only with the tax paying public but with regular Mormons also. That man's only mission in life is money. He doesn't know when enough is enough. He is not a job creator; he is a money maker for the rich. And on the back of his church's charity - this man knows no shame.

  9. Anonymous1:34 PM

    Because a black man is in the White House, Gryph.

    1. AKinPA4:18 PM

      Unfortunately, that's too true, Anonymous 1:34.

  10. Anonymous1:37 PM

    I knew he didn't pay these rich ppl use all kinds of loopholes and pretend to pay so much in taxes. Well to me that is socialism at it's worse right there. No one should be able to rent a tax exemption. No wonder we have such a national debt. But they can't pay one dollar more what crock of s***. When my dau gets home I'm going to get her to post this article to facebook, I don't know how This needs to get out there ppl need to get sick of this tax dodger

  11. Anonymous1:48 PM

    Romney hides behind the "it's legal" shield. But any accountant could have fixed up his tax havens to "squeaky clean, good enough to LOOK like presidential" status long ago.

    What this says is that Romney is too STUPID to understand how other people perceive him. Too STUPID to be trusted with the presidency.

    1. Boscoe2:26 PM

      EXACTLY. Maybe I might even have been able to consider voting for him if:

      A: he'd stood his ground as the "pro-choice progressive moderate" he described himself as years ago instead of the non-stop lies/pretending he never said what he said/flip-flopping spineless weasel he became (or probably always was)

      B: was up front from the beginning about his wealth, where it came from and how he protects it, and how he'd intend to fix the system to be more fair.

      If he'd come out at the beginning with 20 years of returns like his dad, and said "look, I am a wealthy man. I've been very successful. I'm not ashamed of that. But, while everything I've done has been within the letter of the law, I admit that some of the laws I've benefitted from may not be in the best, ethical, patriotic interests of the country, or on a personal level of paying my fair share back into the great American system that allowed me to achieve this level of success.

      I vow that if elected, I'll use my power and personal knowledge of these flaws, loopholes and special deals in our laws to fix them and create a system that is ethical and reasonable for all Americans, not just for the special few."

      I mean, what we have instead is a slimy con-man who has banked on the truth remaining covered up and selling the country a pack of distortions and half-truths about himself and outright lies about his positions on pretty much every possible issue.

      Which would have been worse? -being honest and forthright from the start and bravely enduring the attacks from the left, or being exposed at the end as someone trying to cover his tracks and keeping us from finding out the truth and validating all those leftward attacks?

      He is a stupid, stupid man.

    2. Anonymous3:51 PM

      Bobby and John Kennedy could talk comfortably about their wealth and didn't pretend it was a secret. When a reporter asked Bobby Kennedy why he was running for prez he ruled out $$ by saying his father had "done pretty well" so money was not his concern. He was the first one to laugh at what he said. Bobby was also part of humanity and respectful of everyone. To hold off one more riot after MLK's murder, Bobby gave a speech (Detroit? Cleveland? I'm not sure)before a pissed off crowd in which he quoted a long passage from Aeschylus (?) about forbearance and persevering, confident that everybody would listen and get it. They did get it, and they were the only city that didn't riot. Because his understanding and connection were so real despite his wealth. Romney is so puny and disrespectful and set apart he's not really human.

    3. Anonymous5:13 PM

      RFK's speech to which you refer was given in Indianapolis. No rioting in Indy that night.


    4. Anonymous12:30 PM

      Anon at 3:51 pm. It was in Indianapolis that Bobby Kennedy spoke to innercity people about Martin Luther King's death that day. There were no riots in Indianapolis. I thought that part of the "Ethel" [Kennedy] documentary was splendid. What a remarkable man he was.

      I was immediately reminded when I watched the documentary of Mitt Romney's obnoxious son who had wanted to punch President Obama for defending his administration and for not putting up with Mitt Romney's lies during the second debate. Bobby Kennedy was 42 years old when he died, had accomplished much during his life and was beloved by millions; Tagg Romney is also 42, has political ambitions but has done absolutely nothing of substance with his life so far.

  12. Anonymous1:52 PM

    And Fox News will cover this in...how soon? It's
    running with the 'Obama jobs report' conspiracy today.

    1. Anonymous3:11 PM

      Ah, the hurricane conspired with President Obama. But I thought God sent the hurricane to punish President Obama. They cannot have it both ways.

    2. Sally in MI3:48 PM

      Did they give up on the "Obama killed 4 Americans in Benghazi" lies yet?

  13. Anonymous1:53 PM

    A commenter on Wonkette just said it for me:

    Does anyone else just not like this guy? I just really, really do not like this guy. He makes me seethe-y.

  14. I hope we never have to hear anything about Mitt and Ann Robme again after November 6. I absolutely HATE that man!!!

    1. Anonymous3:08 PM

      Awwww, c'mon. I'm really, really hoping a pic of ArrogANNt's horse, depositing her ever so gently on her designer clad backside in a pile of manure surfaces in the future.

  15. Anonymous1:59 PM

    I grew up in Michigan when George Romney was governor. Even though I'm not a Republican (much to the dismay of my parents), I always thought he was a good man and a good governor. In fact, I think were he alive today, he'd be a Democrat. I also think he'd be ashamed of his son.

    1. Anonymous7:38 PM

      Michigan @ Mitt: "We knew George Romney, and you sir, are no George Romney."

  16. Anonymous2:00 PM

    This is a very good read:

    1. Anonymous3:12 PM

      Like William Milliken.

  17. Anonymous2:01 PM

    I have for 50yrs honored my mother by not using a phrase that she cannot condone.....no more....

    I hate this man.

  18. vegaslib2:13 PM

    I'll tell you how stupid these bastards are, they couldn't find their asses with both hands.

  19. Anonymous2:19 PM

    How stupid are these people?Pretty fucking Stupid!!

  20. Anonymous2:29 PM

    These charitable remainder trusts have been used a lot to sell appreciated assets without paying capital gains tax, etc.

    I thought about that when the Gloria Allred case recently brought up the that stock was undervalued and then sold to Goldman Sachs or who ever bought it.

    The the running out of money part when the trust pays out and there is no remainder is when the charity gets screwed.

    Jonathan Blattmachr (whom I met in the late 1980s) also has done a lot of work for Alaska, btw.

    1. Anonymous9:18 AM

      Oh Hai! "Blattmachr Special" also too!

      I think Sarah bit on one of those.

  21. Anonymous2:33 PM

    O/T - Since the Red Cross doesn't want the donations that Romney is getting from his Relief Rallies, he is going to hand them out personally in the states affected, starting with NJ. Isn't that efficient? He is setting the model of privatizing FEMA - Is this what he would do as president? I received an email from Barack Obama days ago, with a link to the Red Cross donation site to help, without any reference to "politics" or campaigning.
    And if you'd like to find out how to support relief efforts where they're needed most, please visit the Red Cross or your local relief organization:

    Click on this link!

    It goes directly to the Red Cross site, but I think it is linked so it can be traced as being from an Obama supporter.

    1. Sally in MI3:51 PM

      Christie doesn't want to see that smirk in his state. It would be more useful if Ryan would drive that truck up to Youngstown and knock on the door. Tell them he has some donations from the good people of Dayton and he wants to help. No cameras, no posing. Just helping fellow human beings whom he screwed with his lying dishwashing charade. But it'll never happen. Because they only 'help' when the cameras are rolling.

  22. Anonymous2:41 PM

    Donate to the Red Cross/Hurricane Sandy victims here:


  23. Anonymous2:42 PM

    All the voting public needs to know about Romney is that he is a liar.

    Unfortunately, there are many Mormons who will blindly vote for him. They don't see the truth, and it's a pity.

    I will be very upset if the Repugs steal this election. Romney can not handle governing this great country of ours! Obama/Biden 2012!

  24. Anonymous3:02 PM

    This makes me angry. I am sick of churches’ tax exempt status in any sense of the law. Romney is a snake in the grass. But then one has to ask: How many people did this and how in the world was it legal? Did all Mormons have this privilege? And how many other church people in any denomination take advantage of this loophole?

  25. Anonymous3:04 PM

    You asked. Mitt Rmoney is not laughed out of the campaign solely because Barack Obama is melanin-rich.

    1. Anonymous3:32 PM

      Sad, but true. But, we can't let the tin-foil hat brigade bring us a Romney/Ryan reign and/or regime.

    2. Anonymous4:00 PM


  26. Anonymous3:16 PM

    All he needs is a waxed handlebar mustache and he's Snidely Whiplash. I cannot abide his lies and entitlement. His voice is as annoying to me as Esther's and THAT is saying a mouthful!

    Snake oil salesman personified and people are buying into it. UNbelievable.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

  27. Anonymous3:19 PM

    How utterly disgusting. We must spread the word.

  28. Anonymous3:26 PM

    Harry Reid has been sounding the alarm for weeks. I went over to Huffpo, not a peep about this.

    They do have an article about Mitt "The Artful Dodger" Romney refusing to answer questions about FEMA. This tax story needs to be the follow-up!

    Mitt is not presidential, he's a FRAUD!

  29. Anonymous3:33 PM

    It just blows my mind that intelligent people are still going to vote for this fraud. I live in Chicago (Southside highly democratic and Obamba land)but on my sister's block there are 4 Romney/Ryan signs. If the polls are correct (which I highly doubt) they are neck and neck. Let us all hope and pray this won't be another 2000!

    My thoughts and prayers (sorry Jesse) are with all the victims of Sandy's wrath.

  30. Anonymous3:36 PM

    They aren't stupid, they are racist. It is really that simple, no matter what they tell you.

  31. Anonymous6:07 PM

    Detroit News, the paper that endorsed Romney now calling him a liar re: auto ads. The irony here is so delicious....

  32. Anita Winecooler10:54 PM

    I learn something new everyday. And mostly on this blog. A church can "rent out" it's tax exempt status? Seriously! How is this legal?

    Tax the churches, any of 'em, all of 'em.

  33. My husband once worked for an investment banking firm (back before they were nothing more than vulture capitalists). The founder of the firm was legendary for leaving notes on desks that read "Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right."

    Romney doesn't know right from wrong--he only knows what he can get away with legally. His administration would be a tragedy for America.

  34. Anonymous5:00 AM

    The title of the piece is misleading, the Mormon Church's tax exempt status was not "rented" Charitable Trusts have been a recognized way to limit taxes and for the well off to leave money to charities for decades if not centuries.

    Romney's use of them indicates that his tax advisers at one time were not duffers, even though his latest tax reports (underclaimed charitable tax deductions) indicate that his new tax advisors are (unless he plans to amend his tax returns after the election and claim his rightful tax breaks).

    No one should be expected to pay more in taxes than are rightfully due, even if we don't like them. Romney deserves credit for keeping his plunder from the profligate US government which would only use it to kill and oppress peaceful and freedom loving people both foreign and domestic.

    1. Anonymous12:25 PM

      I do not believe that a person who has profited from being a US citizen should hide his money in questionable trusts (no longer legal) or in foreign countries has any right to run for president.
      PS I do not agree that the US government is "profligate."

  35. Anonymous8:30 AM

    How many of you really believe Mitt Romney does his own taxes....did any one read the original post. "The title of the piece is misleading, the Mormon Church's tax exempt status was not "rented" Charitable Trusts have been a recognized way to limit taxes and for the well off to leave money to charities for decades if not centuries. "


Don't feed the trolls!
It just goes directly to their thighs.