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Comments about ‘Mitt Romney hopes millions he tithes to LDS Church isn't politicized’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 24 2012 11:50 a.m. MST

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LDSareChristians
Anchorage, AK

@KarGirl,

I think you misunderstood John. LDS Employment Services do not give drug tests,(John must know of places which do, stopping folks at front door) helping all regardless of status in life.

You also said: We have no right comparing this. Nor do we have a right to compare monetary gifts by others in various religious groups,

Me: Mitt didn't want to release his tax info, because he is modest and didn't want to "flash" his donation practices to the world. Now that he was force too , it's all up for discussion. People really should have just left alone.

To others: Tithes are not used to pay the few modest General Authority stipends. Those funds come from investments, which originated from an endowment from a wealthy member back in the 1920's. It's grown to were it is footing the City Creek Mall development, an investment, to contiune/grow the portfolio.

The Taxman
Los Angeles, CA

Let me propose a hypothetical.

Suppose some wealthy people use their power and influence to have a special little rule inserted into the Internal Revenue Code. This special rule (let's call it 'carried interest') allows them to recharacterize their personal service income as capital gain income and obtain a major tax advantage over all other service providers. Over the years their wealth (as a result of this rule) compounds exponentially and they use their money and influence to lobby like crazy to keep this rule every time it is challenged.

Now suppose a person who benefited greatly from the misclassification of service income decides to run for office and this little rule comes to light. Rather than admit he was paying a low rate of tax on personal service income, he continually deceptively refers to it as 'investment income'. Of course the only reason for the confusion was caused by his lobbying efforts to
create/maintain the confusion.

He says 'I pay what is legally required' but the real question is whether someone who has the power to influence the law and does so for his own benefit, then claims he is just following the law, is acting honorably.

Woodyff
Mapleton, UT

'Pagan - why are you so interested in Mitt Romney providing private information but excuse Obama from providing his personal information?' - Woodyff | 4:05 p.m. Jan. 24, 2012

You mean...

Obama's long form birth certificate??

Pagan - I'm not obsessed about his birth certificate but I have read many posts here where it appears you are! I have never once posted anything, anywhere about his birth certificate. He doesn't release his health records, other presidents have. He doesn't release his transcripts, other presidents have. He is the most flawed president in history. He has just broken the law again by not presenting a budget. His state of the union was more class warfare.

You don't even express your own opinion, just list quotes from the Obama media.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Re:Casguy

The fact that this stipend exists has not been hidden. As President Hinckley noted in a General Conference:
"Merchandising interests are an outgrowth of the cooperative movement which existed among our people in pioneer times. The Church has maintained certain real estate holdings, particularly those contiguous to Temple Square, to help preserve the beauty and the integrity of the core of the city. All of these commercial properties are tax-paying entities.
I repeat, the combined income from all of these business interests is relatively small and would not keep the work going for longer than a very brief period.
I should like to add, parenthetically for your information, that the living allowances given the General Authorities, which are very modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and the professions, come from this business income and not from the tithing of the people."

"living allowances" ie stipends
Game, set, match.

Canyontreker
TAYLORSVILLE, UT

Tithing is private between you and God. Your Bishop won't look into your finances. A full tithe payer can confidently say "yes" if asked if they paid a full tithe.

On the other hand, if you claim a tax deduction for public funds, as I do, then it is now the governments business too.

Canyontreker
TAYLORSVILLE, UT

To add to my comment above; the fact that Joe Biden didn't claim deductions for Church donations although he claims he regularly attends does not mean he didn't give. Many Catholics pay in cash anonymously.

Don't be quick to judge.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

I think that the best thing that could happen to Romney is for Gingrich to call him a commie for giving to the perpetual education fund and to fast offerings. Please Newt, shoot off your mouth one more time, for all time sakes.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

JoeCapitalist2 says;

"I have a solution for you ... Start your own church. It can cater exclusively to gays. "

---

If we follow your advice and our "church" performs Marriages of Same-Sex couples, WILL YOU RECOGNIZE OUR RIGHT TO MARRY AS A RELIGIOUS FREEDOM?

I don't care how much money one gives to their church or other charities. That is their business, but please ONLY call the actual Charity a Charity. Churches are NOT charities. Period.

O'really says:
"We don't deduct the monthly payment for supporting out sons' missions."

---
Oh really? I know hundreds of Mormons who do deduct it. All of my family and the family of my partner are active Mormons. Several of our close neighbors (yes, we do actually SOCIALIZE with Mormons - heaven forbid they might actually socialize with a couple of gays) . All of them currently deduct or did in the past, the amount they gave to the Missionary Fund.

One of the problems with all of you is that you take anything critical of Mormon things as "anti".

USMNT
LAYTON, UT

Re:1aggie

I think you are trying to make the way stipend is defined to imply GAs are paid.

Let me give you an example of why it is inaccurate to say they are paid.

A person works for a regular job for the government. They receive a salary. As part of their job the person goes on a long business trip. He flies across the country and receives funds for lodging, food, and air travel expenses. His government work either gives him advance funds or reimburses him for this travel.

Those funds provided for travel is NOT considered being paid. In fact, the reimbursement is not taxed. There is a reason for this. That is because it is not considered income as part of his paid salary.

Claudio
Springville, Ut

Re: Casguy

You're statement on your associate who is an area 70 not receiving a stipend is accurate. Your assertion that he is a General Authority is not. That explains that difference.

Herby
Hurricane, UT

To: atl134 "When it comes to the national debt, there isn't one bit of difference. A dollar more expense or a dollar less revenue is still a dollar more to the bill for future generations."

Isn't it a bit naive to believe that if taxes are raised that the government is going to spend it wisely. It is so much easier to spend so one else's money than your own. The only way to reduce the deficit is to decrease the amount of people within the government who think it is fun to spend money. There are two types of people in America: 1. Those who produce in society. 2. Those who consume. Besides the basic road repair/services (which is greatly outsourced now anyway) as well as other civic services, what other value does the government provide? For the most part the federal government does nothing but waste our tax dollars and spend it on their frivolous lifestyles.

Cowboy Dude
SAINT GEORGE, UT

Regarding tax deductions for church missionaries that have no income...

If you sponsor a young man or young woman for the Peace Corps the expense is tax deductable.

If you sponsor your own son or daughter to live in Italy and study art full time the expense is tax deductable.

I see no conflict here.

The Taxman
Los Angeles, CA

@USMNT
1aggie is correct. GA's receive stipends to live on. In addition, their traveling expenses are paid. This is fact. The church makes no attempt to hide or conceal this, so I don't know why some members are confused about it.
I suggest you do some basic research (on Wiki or wherever) rather than relying on what you recall somebody said or whatever. You will quickly discover that we are right.

JKayDS
EULESS, TX

I get a big kick out of those commentators who say that tithing does not help the poor.
They say that it goes for business and such.
I have a question for them?
What about all the employees who have a job and hence a paycheck and are off of the welfare roles because of all of these jobs that the business have?
One way or the other.. it is helping people!

Ponch#
OGDEN, UT

This whole comment thread has gotten off point.

The politicizing of his tithing has more to do with the Church he is tithing to. In Florida (where I have a lot of family; some who are Baptist), the LDS church is seen more as resembling the Church of Scientology than anything else (which has a strong presence in the Tampa/Clearwater area; and a corresponding negative connotation despite their celebrity membership).

So if Romney is seen tithing to a church that is "weird" (from the Floridian point of view), then people are likely to hold their vote against him. Especially in a state with such a strong Evangelical element.

If he doesn't win Florida. It's over.

Dart Thrower
Ogden, UT

Based on the 144 comments already under this article, it looks like the can of worms is fully open. Now it will go National. Viral. I also noticed on the airplane this morning that the man to my left reading the New York Times had an article on Mormon cuisine, including a recipe for Funeral Potatoes. The man on the right was reading the USA today with an article on the growing acceptance of the LDS church nationally. Scrutiny is something you bear when you get more of an audience and certainly the church wants a larger audience.

t702
Las Vegas, NV

Thanks Mitt for showing to the world a great example of being a full tithes payer. Tithes are commitment to God you pay it whether you are sick, poor, rich, famous, republican or democrat.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

re:USMNT
Sorry, you are wrong.
"living allowances"
Pres. Hinckley didn't say "travel allowances" Why would Pres. Hinckley not characterize it as travel expenses if that's what it was? The Church pays missionaries travel expenses, that is understood. But Pres. Hinckley specifically said "Living allowance" implying a (modest) salary to pay for household expenses whether it be rent, food or whatever.

The fact is that some/most (who knows?) GAs get/offered a living allowance, ie. modest salary to pay living, not travel, expenses. I don't have a problem with that. If my spouse had given up a lucrative profession to work full-time for the Church I would think it fair to receive some compensation. What I do have a problem with is that people, such as yourself, seem to be inaware of that and continue to deny it.

It would be accurate to say that most LDS leaders (ie bishops, stake pres. etc) are not paid. However, those at the top of the leadership (General Authorities) may (not must) receive a modest stipend/salary/living allowance.

last post

USMNT
LAYTON, UT

Re: Taxman

The problem I have is those that talk about a very small group that receives a stipend and imply that all LDS clergymen are paid salaries. What is being asked for is a little honesty on how the information being provided actually relates to the truth.

As some have already stated on this comment board, the church has plenty of other business income and endowments that are used to pay these modest stipends and do not use tithing funds for these expenses. That was actually the original point.

USMNT
LAYTON, UT

re:1aggie

I think we are basically saying the same thing. The difference is that you are getting worked up about it.

The important point is there is a group of GAs that MAY receive a modest living allowance provided from LDS business income and endowments.

Implying that most LDS clegy are paid a corporate salary from general tithing is what is wrong.

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