For awhile now, people have talked about how Romney donates a sizable part of his earnings to charity. Talked up by the right-wing as a sign of nobility, that Romney is a good person for it, they use it as a measuring stick against Obama.
Unfortunately for Romney, the truth about at least some of his charitable giving is not so noble. It makes one wonder if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was right this summer when he said, “I was told by an extremely credible source that Romney has not paid taxes for ten years.” No wonder Romney refuses to release his tax returns.
Bloomberg is now reporting that due to a grandfathered in charitable trust, the Romney family is able to effectively launder millions of dollars through what is listed on their tax returns as “charitable donations.” This form of tax deduction loophole was closed some years ago, but this trust is allowed to operate due to a loophole which makes trusts put in place before the new law was put in to place exempt.
The idea behind this trust was to be able to put money in to it which would be granted to a charity upon the death of the trust holder. A noble thought. But in 2007 alone Romney withdrew over $40,000 from the fund, tax-free, while only earning $48. In effect, he is renting the tax deferred status of a charity, in this case the fund’s beneficiary, the Mormon Church.
The fund was set up in 1996, just 13 months before Congress cracked down on the scam. That Romney continues to use it to this day thanks to a loophole speaks volumes of how charitable he truly is. He set the trust up in order to avoid a potential 40% tax on his yearly earnings of just over $1 million from stock options he held. By setting up the trust, known as a charitable remainder unitrust, or “CRUT,” he could transfer the stock to that trust, which then can sell it, tax-free. The trust would then be free to invest the profits of the sale and earn money off of those profits.
The Romney campaign has declined to answer for the abuse of the trust, with their spokesperson sating “The trust has operated in accordance with the law.” While technically correct, that is through manipulation and trickery, abusing the system. This will only get worse before it gets better, as it is clear that doing the right thing matters little to Mitt Romney. He cares more about figuring out what he can get away with “in accordance with the law.”
He is literally taking the food out of the mouths of the women and orphans which the Mormon Church does in fact help, through their vast charity work. That Mitt Romney would then run on this very charity as a reason to vote for him, it speaks volumes of how shallow and pathetic he is as a man.