Is Mitt Romney Shortchanging the Mormon Church on Tithing?

Why won’t Mitt Romney allow the American People to see his tax returns?   Only one reason makes much sense: whatever he is hiding will hurt his chances of winning.  Oh what could it be?  If the ONLY tax return Mitt Romney has released to the public is any indication, Mitt Romney may be in big

Why won’t Mitt Romney allow the American People to see his tax returns?   Only one reason makes much sense: whatever he is hiding will hurt his chances of winning.  Oh what could it be?  If the ONLY tax return Mitt Romney has released to the public is any indication, Mitt Romney may be in big trouble.

Mitt Romney’s political opponents have been publicly charging that he hasn’t paid any taxes.  Maybe the facts contained therein would contradict statements and claims he’s made in the past.  He could have made much more money than we now believe.  It could have something to do with where he’s invested money, his affairs at Bain Capital, or possibly something about unscrupulous deductions.  We can only speculate at this point.  Only Mitt Romney can answer these questions, but perhaps there are clues.

Let’s just take it from what he’s already released to the public.  We know from his 2010 tax return (the only filed tax return he’s released to the public) that he paid 7% of his income in tithing to the Mormon Church.  The minimum requirement of the church is 10%.

Let’s just assume with a conservative estimate that he made the same amount of income he reported in his 2010 tax return, every year for the past ten years.  At $20 million annually, he would have made over $200 million during the past ten years.

If Mitt Romney’s 2010 tax return is any indication of how Mitt Romney acts, he’s shortchanged the Mormon Church out of $6 million dollars.  That’s a lot of money to shortchange your church.

Once asked whether his tithing payments were relevant to the election, Mitt nervously replied: “If people want to discriminate against someone based upon their commitment to tithe, I’d be very surprised.”  He might be surprised, but I wouldn’t be.  As a member of the Mormon Church, I can tell you it matters to Mormons.

Faithful members of the church willingly pay 10% of their income to tithing, whether they make $20 Million, or $30 thousand a year.  The members paying 10% of $30K are making a huge sacrifice.  When Mitt Romney shortchanged the Church by paying 7% in 2010, he still had over $18 million to play with.  Geez!

Mormons commit to pay a full and honest tithe as part of their temple covenant.  Not only has Mitt Romney taken that covenant, he has served as a bishop and president of a stake (the equivalent of diocese bishop) in the Mormon Church.  Part of his duties included asking members if they were paying a full and honest tithe before giving them permission to attend the temple.  He judged people for not paying their full tithing (something we know he didn’t do himself in 2010).

If supporters in places like Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico see him as a hypocrite, it could certainly put his chances of winning those states in jeopardy.  He absolutely needs to win one of those four states to have a chance of winning the election (most likely Arizona).  If not, Obama could lose Ohio and Florida and still win the election by winning the same states John Kerry won in 2004.

George Romney

Let’s not forget his own father George Romney was totally dismissive of a candidate for president releasing just one year of tax information:

“Release of the document, while it might serve a political purpose, would not prove very much, he argued. One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show, and what mattered in personal finance was how a man conducted himself over the long haul.”

George Romney was much more generous with his wealth than Mitt has been.  George refused tax loopholes and paid over 40% of his income to taxes.  He also paid nearly 20% of his income to the Mormon Church in tithes.  George Romney sought to live with what he needed, and use the rest to help others.  That is what Mormon thought teaches.

We can only judge Mitt Romney by what we know about him.  What we do know is he shortchanged his Church in 2010.  How can we be expected to believe he didn’t do so during the previous years?  How can we be expected to believe he won’t shortchange the American People, if he’s willing to do so to his own church?  Only Mitt Romney can clear this up… by releasing his tax returns.

Justin McAffee

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  • Barry
    August 17, 2012, 5:39 am

    Great article but why are you the only one reporting this?

    • Rhino40@Barry
      August 17, 2012, 11:53 am

      Probably because it’s a completely jerky article. The man has donated millions to charity and this idiot has the gall to question whether or not it is enough? Tithing is based on faith, it is not up to anybody else to decide whether or not Romney paid a full tithing. It is between him and God. No one else! Not even church leadership. If the author of this article was an actual Mormon he would know that. Which means not only is Mr. Mcafee a jerk but he is a liar as well.

      Man sometimes people just suck.

      • dolores@Rhino40
        August 24, 2012, 2:01 pm

        Romney talks about keeping his tithing private today and news media are treating it well. And apparently, he actually gives more than 10% since he donated another 4.8 m through his tyler charity. The author is aping Harry Reid, another Mormon. I think that Romney is really hurt by their reference to his father’s charity which i think is ridiculously excessive. Being catholic, I share with strangers as well. I never talk about it as it would defeat the whole purpose. I could just imagine what Romney is going through. When I was younger, i felt embarrassed whenever my friends would ask why I do it. Worst, I felt embarrassed by my embarrassment. Let us just hope the author has a religion and retract his malice after he has prayed politics out his system.

  • E B
    August 17, 2012, 9:15 am

    There are some misleading things in here. First of all, the LDS Church does not ask for members’ financial records to check on their full tithe-payer status. I believe that much earlier in the primary season Romney indicated that if his tithing dips one year compared to income, he makes up for it the next year. And what business is it of yours, anyway?

  • M.R. Heeman
    August 17, 2012, 9:49 am

    Is this just another distraction from the intentional failure Obama has been?

    Why not write about the positive accomplishments for the nation of the Obama-era?

    Are there any?

    • Justin McAffee@M.R. Heeman
      August 17, 2012, 4:19 pm

      Plenty. But for the last two years, Republicans have blocked everything that could have fixed the economy. Why are you so blind to think it’s Obama’s fault?

      • M.R. Heeman@Justin McAffee
        August 18, 2012, 9:22 am

        So, there are no ‘accomplishments’ to turn to in giving the electorate a positive reason to vote for Obama? Reads like it.

        You don’t even list anything for which Obama bypassed congress through regulations choking the economy, executive fiat re: ‘Fast and Furious’ or simply ignoring existing law as “Emperor Barack” (too many examples libs cheered on then) – to ‘accomplish’? None of those things were ‘accomplishments’ I presume!

        Republicans were not interested, in the national interest, in approving several permutations of ‘stimulus 2’, make-work/sugar-high temporary overspending, when the original ‘stim-u-less’ was such a failure.

        Where, also, are the national budgets? Harry = none in >3 yrs. Barack = NOT A SINGLE VOTE FOR HIS in 3 yrs. Romney looks downright sterling in comparison.

        Anyway, when Bush43 and other (Rs) were POTUS, liberals worked 24/7 to make sure they were “one-term Presidents” as well. It’s called “Big Boy Politics” and to paraphrase a famous movie, there’s “no crying in politics”; which is what your response seemed to convey. Obama simply could not deal with the hand he dealt himself.

        Barack and Joe = gone. ObamaCare = gone. Alinskyist regulations = gone.

        And, Romney’s tithing levels, which are between he and his God and his church, are not a factor at all.

  • Rodney Ross
    August 18, 2012, 12:09 am

    This is ridiculous. It is not unusual for members of the Church to find out at tax time that they overpaid or underpaid their tithing, then make an adjustment. It is only Romney’s business. I have made contributions directly to Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. I receive a receipt directly from them. I am free to declare or not declare it. Let’s start discussing some real issues like the economy.

  • jason
    August 17, 2012, 10:44 pm

    Whether or not Mitt paid a full tithing or not is not for you to judge a true Later Day Saint Knows that this is between the Individual and God. This is a faith based law and should remain private thats why the Church does not publish this info.

    • Justin McAffee@jason
      August 17, 2012, 10:56 pm

      Oh please… It’s for me to know if my president is a man of integrity, or a hypocrite stingy man. He isn’t half the man his father was. Yes, typically it isn’t for me to know how other members of the Church are paying tithing, but he is running for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. He brought the scrutiny upon himself.

      • M.R. Heeman@Justin McAffee
        August 18, 2012, 11:33 am

        IF tithing and giving is really that important, let’s look at Obama’s and Biden’s, well, there is no record of church tithing = but we can look at charitable giving, eh?

        Obama = < 1% average over the 6 years (reported) prior to being POTUS. 15% average since, but he gave his Nobel Peace Prize money to charity, which skews the average. See, cheapskate before being POTUS; giving others' money away after (and a bogus NPP to boot). Typical!

        Biden – .01% average over the last 10 years. Cheapskate then, cheapskate now!

        I'll be happy to provide links if you challenge this. Would be my pleasure.

        Compared to Obama and Biden, Romney is a prince of charity to others among men (let alone tithing).

        • Brian@M.R. Heeman
          August 18, 2012, 4:29 pm

          Don’t confuse the man with facts. He must have a hard enough life if he spends his time writing propaganda pieces for Obama.

        • Justin J. McAffee@M.R. Heeman
          August 18, 2012, 10:34 pm

          Oh yeah, Mitt Romney made over $20 million compared to Obama’s 1 or 2. It’s a little different when you donate 2 million and have 18 left over to play around with. Give up dude, Romney is a greedy 1 percenter, and that’s all there is to it. Anyone who is Republican who earns less than 200K is insane. Peace.

          • M.R. Heeman@Justin J. McAffee
            August 20, 2012, 6:31 pm

            Face facts, I thrashed and trashed your whole piece.

            Liberals are cheapskates and miserly skinflints except when it comes to OPM!!

            Your propaganda piece, after a splashy start, is now dead.


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