Monday, October 29, 2012

Another Reason Romney Won't Release His Returns

So let me get this straight: Ann and Mitt Romney "donated" a million or so dollars to the Latter Day Saints a while ago and took a tax write-off on the full amount.

But they didn't really donate the money to LDS -- they put it into a Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT) in the LDS's name, with a requirement that the trust pay the Romneys 8 percent a year until their deaths.

So okay, the money might not grow if it's paying its dividends out instead of letting them accrue, but the principle will still go to the LDS in the long run, right?

No. According to Bloomberg, the funds have been conservatively invested since the fund started, and since 2007 have been in cash equivalents. As we all know, cash equivalents (like savings accounts or money markets) are paying just about 0 percent now. Yet the Romneys have continued to receive 8 percent of the fund each year.

The principle has gone from between $1.25 million and  $750,000 in 2001 to just over $400,000 at the end of 2011.

How is this legal?

Oh, let me guess. It was lobbied into place by rich people, and the nonprofit groups don't want to complain because they are willing to take the scraps left over, rather than risk angering their plutocratic donors.

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