August 24, 2012

Ann Romney: "I love tithing. When Mitt and I give that check, I actually cry."

Mitt Romney: "So do I, but for a different reason."

ADDED: Romney tells us which performers he'd like to see perform at the White House:
Well, I would certainly want to hear from the Beach Boys, even though I know it's not the same group it used to be. Also Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith, and today's rock stars—The Killers are one group I enjoy.... I'd let Alabama come back and sing again, and Aerosmith. Different eras.

AR: We have a friend in the Eagles.

MR: These are not all Republicans, by the way. Some may turn us down....

167 comments:

shiloh said...

ok, something Romney said I can believe!

MadisonMan said...

From the article:

Mrs. Romney, many, many readers asked what would be your cause or causes should you become first lady.

Why do they need a "Cause"? Is this modern need to be "busy"?

Skyler said...

THat's funny. Good to see he has a sense of humor.

Marshal said...

It's too bad that wasn't at a debate. It would have been as big as Reagan promising not to use his opponents youth and inexperience against him.

Andy R. said...

Trust, but verify.

shiloh said...

I knew Dutch ~ Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. Willard, you're no President Reagan ...

Kensington said...

Aw, you're supposed to give freely with a joyful heart, Mitt! Otherwise you're missing the point.

I know he's just joking, but it's a little odd.

shiloh said...

"but it's a little odd."

Willard is a little odd ...

TosaGuy said...

"Aw, you're supposed to give freely with a joyful heart, Mitt! Otherwise you're missing the point.

I know he's just joking, but it's a little odd."

Parse much?

ndspinelli said...

Dale Murphy was an all-star centerfielder w/ the Braves and Phillies and a Mormon. He made big bucks, and a few writers and pundits would ridicule him for tithing so much money. I always felt bad for him. What fucking business is it for ANYONE to ridicule him for doing what he wants w/ money he earned.

edutcher said...

A touch of humor makes him more accessible.

PS The little animal claims Reagan as a friend. Bet that's a one way street.

furious_a said...

At first I thought it said "titting".

Sorry

MayBee said...

Amen, Mad Man.

I really think it would benefit the presidency and the American people if the president and his wife were out of the spotlight a lot more. Even the hottest celebrities can't stand 4 years of constant exposure. It wears on us.

I'm in London and I have to say, the BBC rarely feels a need to tell me what either Mr or Mrs Cameron did with their day.

The Crack Emcee said...

I wasn't going to comment on this one, but ndspinelli got my attention:

Dale Murphy was an all-star centerfielder w/ the Braves and Phillies and a Mormon. He made big bucks, and a few writers and pundits would ridicule him for tithing so much money. I always felt bad for him. What fucking business is it for ANYONE to ridicule him for doing what he wants w/ money he earned.

Without getting elaborate about it, tithing in Mormonism isn't a choice,....

Hagar said...

The royals are shielding for the PM.

Matthew Sablan said...

Romney really is a totally different person around his wife at times. It's an easy, go-to joke, but I'd never imagine him actually telling it without her there.

Let's all go "Awww."

Mark O said...

Obama's generosity is immeasurable. That is to say, there is none.

harrogate said...

ndspinelli,

not trying to derail your point but you'll understand. Man, Dale Murphy was one hell of a ballplayer.

MayBee said...

The royals are shielding for the PM.

Prince Harry has pulled out all the stops.

Mark O said...

"Without getting elaborate about it, tithing in Mormonism isn't a choice,...."

Oh, no. Please. Please elaborate and opine on the issues of free will and your personal idiocy.

edutcher said...

Matthew Sablan said...

Romney really is a totally different person around his wife at times. It's an easy, go-to joke, but I'd never imagine him actually telling it without her there.

He loves her and it brings out a different side of him.

Chip Ahoy said...

I know Christians who tithe. One couple invited me to their church. A hugh place with all kind of things going on, daycare and such, I felt like I was generous plunking $10.00 in their collection basket, he plunked a check for $400.00. It was a good service, nothing I found objectionable, but it was odd to enter the preachy area through the gift shop. And it's a very large gift shop. Maybe shop isn't the word, store. Christian gift store. My brother's church has a basketball court. Those two places are industries.

Come'on, Chip, fellowship, now that's a verb there a new one it seems, to fellowship. No thank you, what you're describing is membership, and fellowship is what we're doing right now.

ndspinelli said...

Crack, I know it. But that would be between Dale Murphy and his religion and nobody else.

Rusty said...

I often wonder what god does with all that money.
Does his wallet have a place for an ID?
Does he need an ID?
Least he could do is stand for a round of beers every one in awhile.

Colonel Angus said...

Obama's generosity is immeasurable.

Indeed it is. He's very generous with our money.

Shouting Thomas said...

shiloh,

Nobody knew that Dutch was the great President Reagan until after the fact.

In fact, people like you called him an idiot when he was running for office.

garage mahal said...

Indeed it is. He's very generous with our money.

Actually compared to past presidents Obama is downright stingy.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Least he could do is stand for a round of beers every one in awhile."

Christ's first miracle, you know, was water to wine. At least, I think it was his first.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Actually compared to past presidents Obama is downright stingy."

-- I can't believe this is still a talking point.

Lindsey Meadows said...

oh YOU PEOPLE...busy...pishposh...and all that money to church...it does make me cry...but Mitten says "buck up there sugar plumb...its all a deduction so it really isn't 10%"....

EDH said...

"It's a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church."

Probably safer politically to say "God", assuming there is only one, and that maybe some religions get it slightly wrong.

On the other hand, saying "our God" plays into the anti-Mormon campaign the Democrat's are just now ramping up.

Lindsey Meadows said...

edutcher said...
"He loves her and it brings out a different side of him".

I'll stick with front and back so whish side do you refer to? Or is it the two-faced aspect that throws you off?

Lindsey Meadows said...

EDH said...
"On the other hand, saying "our God" plays into the anti-Mormon campaign the Democrat's are just now ramping up".

Sweetie, I don't think liberals are ones who have a problem with the religion issue. But then again, how would I know. I'm just observant.

Matthew Sablan said...

My favorite part of that graphic, by the way, are the little arrows: "super accurate" and "vicious right wing lies."

furious_a said...

tithing in Mormonism isn't a choice,....

...but being a Mormon is, ergo...

Thorley Winston said...

I know Christians who tithe. One couple invited me to their church. A hugh place with all kind of things going on, daycare and such, I felt like I was generous plunking $10.00 in their collection basket, he plunked a check for $400.00. It was a good service, nothing I found objectionable, but it was odd to enter the preachy area through the gift shop. And it's a very large gift shop. Maybe shop isn't the word, store. Christian gift store. My brother's church has a basketball court. Those two places are industries.

Sounds like one of the “mega churches” that I’ve visited. I’ve never found them particularly appealing but YMMV.

My parents actually helped to found a new Lutheran church after their old one wouldn’t leave the ELCA (they didn’t get a two-thirds majority) and they meet every Sunday in a local community center. Instead of pews, they use folding chairs and tables and sing from the same hymnals that I used when I was a kid. They finally got a full-time pastor and have raised money for a building but right now it’s not a priority as they’re focused on the needs of the members.


Meade said...

"MR: These are not all Republicans, by the way. Some may turn us down...."

I'll bet Bob Dylan wouldn't turn them down.

Colonel Angus said...

Actually compared to past presidents Obama is downright stingy.

Not sure how you come to that conclusion. I think Clinton was the stingiest, to his credit. Obama spent in 4 years what Bush 43 did in 8 and he certainly shows no signs of slowing down.

Alan said...

Songs I want played at the White House:

"Dominance and Submission" - Blue Oyster Cult

"Lawyers, Guns, and Money" - Warren Zevon is no longer among the living...who's got the right voice to do a cover?

"Life of Illusion" - Joe Walsh

"Men Without Shame" - Phantom Rocker and Slick

"Stop Making Sense" - Talking Heads

"Stranglehold" - Ted Nugent (I've long wanted to see that featured in a pro-tax-reform ad)

"Under My Thumb" - Rolling Stones

"Us and Them" - Pink Floyd

That last line in The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" would rankle Romney...

garage mahal said...

Obama spent in 4 years what Bush 43 did in 8 and he certainly shows no signs of slowing down.

No he didn't.

ndspinelli said...

harrogate, NEVER apologize for talking baseball. It's always relevant to me. And Murph was a real ballplayer indeed. Not quite Hall of Fame, but damn close.

Meade said...

garage mahal said...
Obama spent in 4 years what Bush 43 did in 8 and he certainly shows no signs of slowing down.

No he didn't.

Do you have the exact numbers, garage? I'd like to see them but I'm too lazy to google.

harrogate said...

ndspinelli,

My Dad passed away a couple years ago and I have been thinking a lot about Murph since then. This dates me, but Murph's heyday happened when I was at that boy-thinks=baseball-is-everything age. My parents were divorced, and one of my favorite memories is of those long phone calls with him talking about Murphy and those Braves teams. He'll always be an icon to me.

garage mahal said...

Do you have the exact numbers, garage? I'd like to see them but I'm too lazy to google

Try it first, then I'll help if you can't find it.

furious_a said...

Sweetie, I don't think liberals are ones who have a problem with the religion issue.

Sweetie, that must be why they're ginning up a whisper campaign thinking they can drive a wedge between Evangelicals and Romney.

karrde said...

@Crack,

Without getting elaborate about it, tithing in Mormonism isn't a choice,....


I don't know this for a fact, either pro or con. (If you do know, please chime in.)

Just to toss out a few possibilities:

1. There could be an in-group social cost to people not tithing appropriately. This could vary regionally.

2. In special cases, where the member is a popular athlete or someone else with a publicly-known salary, there could be social pressure against people not properly tithing.

3. In another special case, in which a fellow-member of the Mormon church is the employer, they could put pressure on the employee to tithe appropriately.

4. There could be a formal process by which a committee from the local congregation gets quasi-1040s from congregants, and can admonish people to tithe properly.

While the whole thing sounds oppressive, remember that in-group social solidarity is fairly high among Mormons. I've gathered that they tend to keep large amounts of food handy for emergency. I've also gathered that Mormons typically have their young people go on year-long missions at the end of high school.

As @furious_a commented, tithing may not be optional, but membership is...

wyo sis said...

There is nothing the two of them could say that some people would find acceptable, or that some people wouldn't find a way to ridicule. It's a losers game to speak if you're a conservative.
Nothing that was said in that interview was controversial. It was two people answering questions while tip-toeing through a minefield. I'd like their critics to spend just one day in that kind of media hot spot. It's not easy, but the Romneys are people who are not used to easy and they'll be OK.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Try it first, then I'll help if you can't find it."

-- What is it with some people not knowing how an argument works? Garage: You put forward an assertion. It is up to you to defend and support that assertion. If you do not, other people are free to dismiss your assertion without having to be -bothered- to review your work. In layman's terms: Put up or shut up.

Revenant said...

Presumably garage is trying to claim that the 2009 spending counts as "Bush".

Which is silly for a number of reasons. :)

Revenant said...

Without getting elaborate about it, tithing in Mormonism isn't a choice

Secret Mormon ninja assassins actually KILL you if you don't pay up. True story.

Meade said...

"Try it first, then I'll help if you can't find it."

In his defense, if I'm not mistaken, garage has young children. Sometime, probably, while commenting here, he gets his wires crossed.

The Farmer said...

wyo sis said...
There is nothing the two of them could say that some people would find acceptable, or that some people wouldn't find a way to ridicule. It's a losers game to speak if you're a conservative.


I'm not sure about that. I don't think there's any way I wouldn't roll my eyes at the crying over tithing bit no matter where it was coming from, and ditto for her comment about how thrilled any musician would be to get a mention from Mitt Romney. I've thought well of her up to now but she comes off pretty clueless and vapid in that piece.

Also, I assumed Mitt had terrible taste in music - I really didn't need it confirmed. Still, I'll take his iPod playlist over Paul Ryan's any day. Rage Against The Machine. Good Lord.

shiloh said...

"In fact, people like you called him an idiot when he was running for office."

Actually, I was in the navy at the time and he became my C-in-C although I didn't vote for him. No biggie!

btw, at that time hardly anyone in the military voted and politics was never discussed. Indeed, when one joins the military "you" become very nationalistic, but it had no effect on my politics.

And only since the invention of the internet has politics become a "do or die" subject to the masses er non pundits.

>

Reagan gave me er my ship the navy unit commendation, so no grudges, although we were hoping for the Presidential unit citation. ;)

Anchors Aweigh!

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, the easiest way to refute your argument is in that Political Math piece I posted. If you feel like "don't show actual spending because that's just bad" is too flip, here's an explanation for why shifting the FY2009 budget to Bush is flawed, which is the prime way I've seen most people try to lower Obama's spending amounts.

wyo sis said...

@ The Farmer
I rest my case.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

Actually compared to past presidents Obama is downright stingy.


Which of course explains why we are about 2 weeks away from the national debt hitting $16 trillion.

It was $10 trillion when Obama was sworn in and you're an idiot.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...


No he didn't.


Obama added more debt in 3 years than Bush did in 8.

Steven said...

My lefty facebook friends were sharing something last week about someone from Paul Ryan's favorite band isn't a fan of his. I didn't see how it would be a knock against Paul Ryan that he enjoys music regardless of the political views of the band members.

Frankly, that's one of the marks of a civilized society -- we can do business with people who disagree with us on, for example, same-sex marriage, or whether public employee unions should be able to bargain collectively over remuneration.

If a musical act told president-elect Romney, "none of us voted for you, but we would be honored to play your inauguration," it would warm my heart.

edutcher said...

Lindsey Meadows said...

He loves her and it brings out a different side of him.

I'll stick with front and back so whish side do you refer to? Or is it the two-faced aspect that throws you off?


whish?

Put down the bottle, pick up the phone, and call AA.

Proof positive Lefties can't think and drink.

CJinPA said...

This made me giggle:

**"Tithing sounds like a form of it takes a village.You're helping the community.

MR: I think you'll find that conservatives are more generous philanthropically than people who are not conservatives. People who are in favor of small government are very much in favor of personal action to help other people in need.

Is that a form of socialism?

Oh dear. This is what George Will calls "Gorillas in the Mist" reporting. A mainstream journalist trying to understand these strange, mysterious creatures making up roughly half of the electorate. She's not able to discern between individual and government altruism.

The Farmer said...

wyo sis said...
@ The Farmer
I rest my case.


Okay, but you might want to consider that the opposing attorney is going to point to everybody who's ever been quoted on the Internet as evidence that you're being paranoid when you claim that only conservatives get criticized, regardless of what they say.

CJinPA said...

My Dad passed away a couple years ago and I have been thinking a lot about Murph since then. This dates me, but Murph's heyday happened when I was at that boy-thinks=baseball-is-everything age.

I hear you. The Phillies got him at the end of his career. John Kruk said the team became "24 morons and a Morman."

shiloh said...

btw, Dale Murphy never ran for president ...

Big difference!

garage mahal said...

Obama added more debt in 3 years than Bush did in 8.

The fact you have to continually lie about it doesn't doesn't represent your worldview very well.

victoria said...

Gag. I don't for a minute believe that is true.


Vicki from pasadena

EDH said...

Obama overspent in 4 years what Bush 43 did in 8 and he certainly shows no signs of slowing down.

Fixed.

bgates said...

For FY 2001-2008, the federal government spent $19.16T and increased the debt by $2T.

For FY 2002-2009, the corresponding numbers are $20.82T and $3.5T.

For FY 2009-2012, $14.37T spent, debt increase $5.33T.

FY 2010-2013, $14.66T and $4.82T.

The way to make these numbers look best for Obama is to assign 2009 to Bush, which is defensible even though he never approved that level of spending (he didn't approve 2001 either, that was Clinton). Given that assignment, the government will have spent 70% as much under Obama in four years as it did under Bush in eight, and incurred 36% more debt in the process.

That's assuming the OMB projections for receipts and outlays between now and the end of FY 2013 hold up.

Freder Frederson said...

Oh dear. This is what George Will calls "Gorillas in the Mist" reporting. A mainstream journalist trying to understand these strange, mysterious creatures making up roughly half of the electorate.

Oh come on. This interview is from Parade, hardly a bastion of either hard-hitting, or left wing, journalism. It is a Sunday fluff insert.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

The fact you have to continually lie about it doesn't doesn't represent your worldview very well.


I look forward to you posting all sorts of facts & figures proving me wrong.

Really. I do.

Freder Frederson said...

And I know this is the wrong thread, but damn I don't miss those barely readable letters, and especially those numbers--where the hell did they come from? They looked like someone got out their 110 instamatic camera and drove through some neighborhood in France taking pictures of house numbers.

Titus said...

Steven, what the fuck is up with that hair and smile and beard?

I am sorry, continue folks.

edutcher said...

I can't blame the little animal for wanting to obfuscate and spread as much FUD as he can.

After all, his Messiah doesn't know the difference between an admiral and a general.

Shana said...

"Sweetie, I don't think liberals are ones who have a problem with the religion issue. But then again, how would I know. I'm just observant."

I love liberal self-awareness.

Christopher in MA said...

Gag. I don't for a minute believe that is true.

Of course you don't. "I don't want my daughters punished with a child" and "I did not have sex with that woman Miss Lewinsky" is more your sort of honesty.

bgates said...

The fact you have to continually lie about it

My link to the OMB, garage. First link from there is a downloadable spreadsheet, "Table 1.1—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-): 1789–2017". You want column D, "Surplus or Deficit (-)".

The numbers (in millions) you'll find there for FY 2002-2012(estimated) are
-157,758
-377,585
-412,727
-318,346
-248,181
-160,701
-458,553
-1,412,688
-1,293,489
-1,299,595
-1,326,948

The sum of the last three of those, FY 2010-2012(est), is -3920032M. The sum of the first eight numbers, FY 2002-2009, is -3546539M.

Now either explain why Obama is lying to make himself look worse, tell us how whitehouse.gov got hacked, prove that 9 is a smaller number than 5, or kiss my ass.

Jay said...

bgates,

You don't understand.

Garagie and his gullible ilk saw an article written by a partisan hack identifying the spending on OIF & Afghanistan as "Bush spending" (including the Mediare drug benefit) and don't count the actual numbers.

They divide them into "Bush spending" and "Obama spending"

Isn't that cute?

I bet garagie can name any other example of this in the history of America too.

Because he's like so informed on this topic and stuff.

Balfegor said...

Re: garage:

The fact you have to continually lie about it doesn't doesn't represent your worldview very well.

Give us your numbers. From OMB and Treasurydirect.gov, here's what I see:

Public Debt

1/20/2001:
$5,727,776,738,304.64

1/20/2009:
Public debt is
$10,626,877,048,913.08

(increase is $4.9T in 8 years)

8/24/2012:
Public debt is
15,960,468,522,111.20

(increase is $5.3T in <4 years)

Deficit

(in millions)
2008: -458,553
2009: -1,412,688
2010: -1,293,489
2011: -1,299,595

Obama partisans have tried to argue that it's Bush II's fault because (a) the baseline for discretionary spending for 2009 shot up under Bush II (the Bush stimulus, TARP, etc.), and (b) automatic stabilisers kicked the baseline up even higher.

But come on. If you have a CEO who screwed up the budget by entering into a bunch of agreements the cost of which are blowing up, and trebled debt financing to support ongoing operations, that's a problem. I agree. Bush II (and some of his predecessors) are at fault.

But if you have a new CEO who comes in, and doubles down on -- more leverage, more spending -- and doesn't even try to cut back on or renegotiate the existing obligations, for three years, it's the new CEO's problem now. If it was stupid to blow up the budget in 2008-2009, it's even stupider to continue that budget when you know we have a problem.

Balfegor said...

Re: Freder:

And I know this is the wrong thread, but damn I don't miss those barely readable letters, and especially those numbers--where the hell did they come from? They looked like someone got out their 110 instamatic camera and drove through some neighborhood in France taking pictures of house numbers.

I've never read anything that says where they come from, but I think you must be right. Google Streetview or some similar service is trying to use captchas to get humans to read street addresses so they can tag streeview images more effectively. Services were already doing that to decipher un-OCR-able book scans before, so it doesn't seem like much of a jump.

garage mahal said...

"Bu bu but FY2009 makes Bush look bad!" Sadz :(

Quite convincing.

My claim was referring to Obama spending compared to past presidents. And even the liberaterian economist from CATO agrees with me. here Looking at these numbers, it turns out that Obama does win the prize for being the most fiscally conservative president in recent memory.

They divide them into "Bush spending" and "Obama spending"

Hahaha. You'd think the Bush cheerleaders would be chomping at the bit at that. But nooooooooo.

Jay said...

arage mahal said...

My claim was referring to Obama spending compared to past presidents. And even the liberaterian economist from CATO agrees with me


Actually he doesn't.

See, you missed this image in the article.

Again, you can't make this kind of stupid up.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
ahaha. You'd think the Bush cheerleaders would be chomping at the bit at that.


And note you don't dispute the dishonesty.

Shocking.

furious_a said...

Do you have the exact numbers, garage? I'd like to see them but I'm too lazy to google

Try it first, then I'll help if you can't find it.


AP pretty well demolished the "Obama Deficit Hawk" meme.

$15.1T in FY11 and $16.4T in FY12.

Bush grew the debt by $4.4T over eight years, Obama' by $5.1T over three years and $6.4T over four.

Freeman Hunt said...

Come'on, Chip, fellowship, now that's a verb there a new one it seems, to fellowship. No thank you, what you're describing is membership, and fellowship is what we're doing right now.

This is a pet peeve of mine: churches that put lots of money into amenities for members or staff. That's why we go to a church that meets in the Boys and Girls Club gym even though it has a million dollar a year budget. It is a joy to give to your church if you like how your church uses the money.

CJinPA said...

Oh come on. This interview is from Parade, hardly a bastion of either hard-hitting, or left wing, journalism. It is a Sunday fluff insert.

That's exactly what I assumed when I clicked on it. Then, I clicked on it. You should read it.

I'm familiar with Parade fluff. This isn't typical Parade fluff (they handed the job over to an editor, not the usual staff.)

If you read it and get to the "Is that a form of socialism" question and think, "Good question. Aren't private charity and Socialism the same thing?" well, bless yer heart.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"...but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It's a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church. "

This, people without faith have trouble understanding.

Humility is a great attribute.

Matthew 6:4

The Crack Emcee said...

karrde,

@Crack,

Without getting elaborate about it, tithing in Mormonism isn't a choice,....



I don't know this for a fact, either pro or con. (If you do know, please chime in.)

No, as I said, I'm staying out of this one. There's already too many liars dominating the thread (anyone talking of people in a cult exercising choice, like furious_a, doesn't understand anything about cultism - see Tom Cruise and the difficulty of every "wife" he's had to extricate themselves, specifically, from it's grip.) I will say this to ndspinelli:

That would be between Dale Murphy and his religion and nobody else.

Bullshit.

Cultism undermines us, as individuals and a nation, in the most fundamental ways possible and - because it goes to the very heart of freedom in this country - is an issue for every American to confront directly, and with all the means at their disposal.

Those reporters laughing at Dale Murphy knew what was up,..

traditionalguy said...

Strangely the faith in God act of tithing to a church and giving to the poor works the same for all the faiths whether they be old line Christian Denominations, Mormon, Moslem, Sikh, Hindu, or Baptist.

The more you give the more you are blessed.

Maybe it is caused by string theory force we cannot see?

Gahrie said...

From a post I wrote on another site last year:

When President Bush entered office, 1/20/01, the debt was at $5.7 trillion.

When the Democrats took control of both houses of the Congress on January 3, 2007, the debt was at $8.6 trillion. So in six years, Pres. Bush and the Republican Congress increased the debt by three trillion dollars while dealing with the aftermath of 9/11 and fighting the war on terror. (increased the debt by $500 billion a year)

When President Obama took office on January 20, 2009, the debt was at $10.6 trillion. So in two years President Bush and the Democratic Congress raised the debt another two trillion dollars. (raised the debt by a trillion a year)

In January 2011, when the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives the debt was at $14 trillion. In two years, President Obama and the Democratic Congress raised the debt by three and a half trillion dollars. (raised the debt by $1.75 trillion a year)

So President Bush (even with a Democratic Congress his last two years) left us a debt of $10.6 trillion, and a deficit of $1 trillion a year. The Bush administration added $5 trillion to the debt in eight years.

After two years of President Obama we have a debt of $14 trillion dollars, and a deficit of $1.75 trillion a year. The Obama administration has added $3.5 trillion to the debt in two years.

It is a simple fact that as more of the government was turned over to the Democrats, spending increased by huge amounts.

Now that the Republicans have taken back one part of government (by promising to cut spending and shrink government) suddenly any talk of spending cuts is fanatical and draconian.


As of today, the federal debt is $16 trillion. President Bush added almost $5 trillion dollars to the federal debt in eight years, so far President Obama has added $5.5 trillion to the national debt in under four years.

avwh said...

ndspinelli:

Murphy certainly had a HoF career going (his peak years were awesome) - but it lacked the longevity & career stats required because I think his knees went very quickly.

I have a friend who lived down the street from him after Murphy retired and still speaks very highly of him.

Jay said...

Wasn't Dale Murphy under consideration for the Braves managerial job a couple of years ago?

Balfegor said...

Re: Gahrie:

As of today, the federal debt is $16 trillion. President Bush added almost $5 trillion dollars to the federal debt in eight years, so far President Obama has added $5.5 trillion to the national debt in under four years.

I think a key point to appreciate here is that the President is expected to lead on these matters. Yes, he's constrained by Congress, but if he thinks we have a budget problem, it's incumbent on him to identify the solution and push Congress to solve it.

Now, the President may feel that it would be inappropriate to reduce federal spending during an economic slowdown. And that's fine! I may disagree, but he would be articulating a credible position. But if that's his position, he can't then turn around and complain that it's his predecessor's fault spending is too high -- he owns it now. He's made the choice that he thinks these spending levels are appropriate.

And if his solution is to increase revenue by forcing people to pay more in tax (and it clearly is), it's incumbent on him to explain how that's going to work. So, for example, if we're running deficts of $1.3 trillion/year, and the President's plan to reduce the deficit is a tax on millionaires that is estimated to raise ~$5 billion/year (about 0.4% of the deficit), the President is not offering a serious proposal. The natural inference is that he thinks the deficits are okay! And if that's the case, he ought to just say so.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Aren't private charity and Socialism the same thing?" well, bless yer heart. "

private charity = voluntary
socialism = at the end of a bayonet

Nary shall the two meet.

Lem said...

Somebody hide Ann Romney in a closet till after the election..

Please.

Quaestor said...

Actually compared to past presidents Obama is downright stingy.

Wasn't it Clinton who donated his used underwear to charity, and then claimed a tax deduction for the alleged "value" of the aforesaid soiled undies?

Nathan Alexander said...

From this chart (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&ved=0CEUQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whitehouse.gov%2Fomb%2Fbudget%2FHistoricals&ei=kc03UIGFKejt0gGq04Aw&usg=AFQjCNGMzrwjCT8_oB1OazfhGtXBr2NJKw&sig2=tsVqTUSXCmeGqNWIB-Sbcg),

federal spending through 2011 (in billions):
2001 Bush $1863
2002 Bush $2011
2003 Bush $2160
2004 Bush $2293
2005 Bush $2472
2006 Bush $2665
2007 Bush $2729
2008 Bush $2923
2009 Obama $3518
2010 Obama $3456
2011 Obama $3603

So you can see a few things.
1) No President ever spent more than $3T before Obama
2) No President ever increased spending by even $200 billion over the previous year's spending, until President Obama increased it by nearly $600 billion
3) Obama's spending in his first 3 years was double that of Bush's in his first 3 years.

Bush was dealing with a recession, and it was made worse by 9/11.

Yet he had a clear recovery going by the end of 2002, and we had fully emerged from the recession by the Presidential Election Campaign of 2004.

Obama has clearly inhibited the recovery, despite getting everything he wanted until the Republicans took control of the House after the 2010 election.

phx said...

"MR: These are not all Republicans, by the way. Some may turn us down...."

I'll bet Bob Dylan wouldn't turn them down.


Maybe. But I bet he would.

phx said...

Nor do I believe Mitt Romney has ANY interest in meeting or listening to Bob Dylan. Not a chance.

hawkeyedjb said...

Let's also remember that it wasn't "Bush" or "Obama" who blew up the nation's debt, it was our feckless, do-everything Congress. In a fit of bipartisan lunacy, both parties have conspired to make government ever larger, more expensive, intrusive and debt-ridden. I can only pray for a "do-nothing" Congress. It would be the best thing for our country.

ndspinelli said...

harrogate, Here's a toast to your old man!

Cjinpa, Kruk is one of my favs. Not an ounce of pretense and he's got mucho ounces! Kruk was considered a great clubhouse guy. He's the guy who would reach out to rookies and take care of them. Ozzie Guillen loves Kruk. Ozzie was a scared 19 year old kid from Venezuela when he came up w/ the Padres. Kruk gave him a bedroom, taught him English[including much profanity] and introduced Ozzie to cerveza.

Shiloh, Thanks got the presidential history lesson. Now, go to sleep.

harrogate said...

Regarding John Kruk:

Some major league hitters in the box, say "oh boy, here comes a fastball" and swing away. Some major league hitters say "oh boy, here comes the breaking stuff!" and swing away. John Kruk, you always got the impression, said "Oh boy, here comes a baseball!" and swung away.

You could see there was joy in his heart from the way Kruk played.

hawkeyedjb said...

The argument over who is worse, Bush or Obama, is another fool's errand. That's like arguing that Plague is better than Pestilence. They're both awful.

The nation was generally well-governed from 1981 to 2001. After a 20 year period of adult leadership, maybe we deserve the last dozen years. We'll be paying for this for a long, long time.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Let's also remember that it wasn't "Bush" or "Obama" who blew up the nation's debt, it was our feckless, do-everything Congress."

Well, yes, congress has the purse strings. As well as an approval rating deserving of most bad movies.

I just love when teh won, or any demo for that matter, blames a prior president, etc for fiscal and regulatory problems, when the responsibility falls on congress.

FYI we inherited the Pelosi - Reid congress in January of 2007.

The senate under Reid has produced no budget in 3.5 years and we are currently hostage to the baselined Continuing Resolution scheme the demos love so much. The only blame the repubs hold is the lack of votes to do anything about it. The dems has 2 years with both houses and barely passed ACA, relying upon armtwisting and kickbacks.

Its a fucking mess. I give Ryan credit for stepping up and volunteering to be part of the fix ( a 'hospital pass' anyone?). Anyone against him needs to STFU and listen, drop the 'party first' act and grow up, there are real problems now that the can has been serially kicked by congress.

Game over.

John said...

Cultism undermines us, as individuals and a nation, in the most fundamental ways possible and - because it goes to the very heart of freedom in this country - is an issue for every American to confront directly, and with all the means at their disposal.

You know what underminds us more than the odd cult crack? Fascist twits like you who can't seem to get the concept that freedom means the freedom of other people to do things you don't like.

My God you are tiresome and boring. Why Althouse reveres you so much is beyond me.

Nathan Alexander said...

Let us also not forget that the spending that President Obama claims he inherited from Bush was voted for by Senator Obama.

So Barack Obama approved the spending increases and the lack of action on the housing bubble he tries to blame on someone else.

Distinct lack of responsibility.

Eric said...

Actually compared to past presidents Obama is downright stingy.

You have to do MF Global-style accounting to arrive at that conclusion. But clearly the Democrats are up to it.

Eric said...

Wasn't it Clinton who donated his used underwear to charity, and then claimed a tax deduction for the alleged "value" of the aforesaid soiled undies?

That was just to avoid discovery.

The Crack Emcee said...

John,

You know what underminds us more than the odd cult crack? Fascist twits like you who can't seem to get the concept that freedom means the freedom of other people to do things you don't like.

Like saying "you can believe what you want to believe" (which justifies 9-11) that excuse can be used to allow anything - and, unfortunately, has been.

Enjoy being a cult apologist, John, when you're proven wrong - and you will be - I'll be waiting,...

hdhouse said...

furious_a said...
"Sweetie, that must be why they're ginning up a whisper campaign thinking they can drive a wedge between Evangelicals and Romney."

Hushup ...shuuusssh...

the evangelicals brought their own wedge. we didn't have to prompt them one bit.

it is always the demon left isn't it. is paranoia fun?

garage mahal said...

You have to do MF Global-style accounting to arrive at that conclusion.

And yet, I've yet to see the rebuttal.

Mark Nielsen said...

@karrde: I don't know this for a fact, either pro or con. (If you do know, please chime in.)

I do know, as I'm currently a Mormon bishop. Here's the quick version of how tithing works among Mormons, in case anyone wants to know.

The idea that all Mormons tithe is not correct. Most active Mormons do, but in any congregation there will be some who don't. Likely only their bishop knows. There are only two places it would be asked:

(1) If a member wants to visit the temple, they need to hold a recommend to do so, and obedience to the law of tithing is a question in the interview to receive a recommend. But a Mormon may certainly choose not to request a recommend -- several in my congregation do just that. (The temples, by the way, are not at all the same as our meetinghouses. Anyone can go to the meetinghouses where our Sunday services are held. The ceremonies in the temple are sacred to us and only members in good standing participate.)

(2) At the end of each calendar year we are supposed to attend a "tithing settlement" with our bishop. It's a short and simple meeting. Some choose not to attend, but again, most do -- even those who aren't currently paying tithing. All that happens is that the member is asked to make a declaration as to whether they are paying a full tithe. Nobody checks their tax forms for verification or second-guesses their declaration. I've had members ask me questions during tithing settlement ("should I pay tithing on gifts?" "do I pay on net or gross income?") and while I'm usually willing to give advice, ultimately the definition of "full tithe" is left for the member to decide for themselves.

But that's it. Other than that, nobody would ever know who does or doesn't pay tithing. We'll certainly hear in sermons and lessons that we *should* be paying tithing, but there's no compulsion. Because I'm bishop, *I* know who does and doesn't in my congregation, and I know that those who don't participate in other parts of our religious and social life just as much as anybody.

heyboom said...

Crack,

You are 100% wrong about Mormons, as usual. No member is required to bankrupt themselves in order to reach the 10% target. And nobody comes knocking on your door if you don't pay. I speak from personal knowledge, not what you think you know or heard or read about the LDS church.

Nathan Alexander said...

@garage,
And yet, I've yet to see the rebuttal.

Plenty of evidence already posted.

Where's the evidence for your claim?

I'm talking numbers, not sophistry...

Chuck66 said...

How about Kid Rock and Ted Nugent. As Republican as you can get.

caplight45 said...

Malachi 3:8-10(NIV)

8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse —your whole nation—because you are robbing me.

10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

chickelit said...

@John, heyboom et al.:

Time out. Don't get so exercised about Crack. He's actually helping Romney, using a clever literary foil technique. By painting such an absurd portrait of Romney, he draws undecideds away from Obama.

If there were a viable third-Party candidate (and I hope there won't be), Crack would be all for that person. Wait and see.

Balfegor said...

Re: Nathan Alexander (responding to garage)

Plenty of evidence already posted.

Where's the evidence for your claim
?

I think garage has made two claims:

1. Obama is "stingier" than past presidents, and

2. Obama did not spend as much in 4 years as Bush II spent in 8.

A bunch of us have pointed out that (1) is obviously untrue, and put the numbers right here in this three. So we can can count that as rebutted.

On (2) on the other hand, Garage is correct -- Obama did not spend as much in 4 years as Bush did in 8. He racked up more debt than Bush did in 8 years, but that's different from actual outlays. If we total up outlays, Bush II spent $19.2 trillion in 8 years. Including estimated expenditures for 2012, Obama will have spent only $14.4 trillion in the first 4 years of his presidency.

That's Bush II (in millions):

2001: 1,862,846
2002: 2,010,894
2003: 2,159,899
2004: 2,292,841
2005: 2,471,957
2006: 2,655,050
2007: 2,728,686
2008: 2,982,544

Obama (in millions):

2009: 3,517,677
2010: 3,456,213
2011: 3,603,061
2012: 3,795,547 (estimated)

Geoff Matthews said...

I'm a Mormon, I pay my tithing, and I've worked with the Bishopric in recording tithing receipts (for the members who pay them).
The extent to which the church verifies an honest tithe it asking the member if they've paid a full tithe. Nothing else is done.

Technically speaking, a person could be on welfare, without any other income, not pay tithing on the welfare payments (as they aren't their money), and say that they've paid a full tithing. Also the case for people who don't work, but whose spouse does (typically ladies who are members, but whose husbands aren't).

The assertion that tithing isn't optional is based on the fact that you need to be a full tithe payer in order to receive a temple recommend. You need to do a lot of other things as well, but this is one of them. Of course, if you don't pay tithing, you aren't prevented form attending church or other activities outside of the temple. As well, no one else should know about this, as these things are strictly between you and your bishop.

SteveR said...

There is plenty or ways to look at the data to "make" it say whatever we want. In any case, there has been one constant in Althouse commenting over the years, that being that garage mahal is fact impaired. Sadly it appears to be as a result of wishful thinking, not actual creative malice.

Balfegor said...

Sorry, garage has made three claims -- the third one was that Obama has not racked up as much debt in 3 years as Bush did in 8. That's also obviously untrue based on the numbers posted multiple times in this thread.

chickelit said...

@balfegor: I think you've stripped garage down to a naked carport.

With a beemer underneath...

...which has dents from rough sex with buffalos in National Parks.

garage mahal said...

...which has dents from rough sex with buffalos in National Parks..

Hey at least I can have sex.

garage mahal said...

One constant in conservative humor I've noticed, and you can normally find one of these things in every "joke".

Something gets stuffed down your throat

Shoved up your ass

Involves minors and/or animals

furious_a said...

One constant in liberal humor I've noticed...

...is that there's rarely any humor (See 'Behar, Joy' or 'Garofalo, Janeane').

chickelit said...

garage mahal writes: One constant in conservative humor I've noticed, and you can normally find one of these things in every "joke".

That explains your cryptic tweet yesterday hashtagged #ruralwisconsinhumor!

garage mahal said...

chickelit

Wasn't cryptic, that joke goes back decades.

I thought you didn't follow me any longer?

chickelit said...

I thought you didn't follow me any longer?

Ruth Anne has list I follow called "Friend's of Trooper" and you're on it.* But you're right, I should follow you.

But you unfollowed me first. Just sayin'
_____________
*are you a FOT?

Balfegor said...

Anyhow, now that we've turned this thread about Mormon tithing into, bizarrely, a thread about the budget -- does anyone have a link to a CBO or Joint Committee or even a CRS report assessing the budgetary impact of the Bush tax cuts expiring? (specifically, all expiring vs. <$250K expiring, etc).

I've seen numbers in news reports indicating that the budgetary impact will be about $40B of revenue/year (or about 3% of our deficit), but I don't trust journalists with numbers, so I wanted to check for myself.

Alex said...

Somewhere out there is a padded cell with Crack's name on it. It's there waiting for you Crack, you'll be very comfy.

ricpic said...

"The state takes a chunk of me,
The church takes a chunk of me,
And most of all my no good brother-in-law takes a chunk of me,
It's not fair I say, all I do is pay and pay."

'Well, Bub, that's life."

Richard Dolan said...

It's nice that Mitt can laugh at himself like that. O just can't pull that off.

As for the music they would bring to the WH, it's not music. The venue deserves something a little tonier, something aimed at adults.

Wally Kalbacken said...

I'd like to see ZZ Top play the White House. I know they did one of the inaugural events in 2005, but not at the White House.

The Crack Emcee said...

heyboom,

You are 100% wrong about Mormons, as usual. No member is required to bankrupt themselves in order to reach the 10% target. And nobody comes knocking on your door if you don't pay. I speak from personal knowledge, not what you think you know or heard or read about the LDS church.

Sure you do - do I have to remind the rest of you about the Mormon practice of "Lying For The Lord"? If not, then why would you take a Mormon's word on anything when you know they want this bad enough to say anything?

I mean, who are you going to trust - me or your lying eyes?

I think tithing settlement is a complete invasion. I bristled every time I had to do it. It just reinforces the fact that you have to pay your way into the temple and into the “celestial kingdom”. Back when I was a member, my bishop once withheld my recommend because I was a month behind on paying my tithing. I was working my ass of in ward and stake callings, taking my kids to church every week by myself, doing my visiting teaching, etc., but he felt I wasn’t worthy to go to the temple, that I was “stealing from the lord.” I missed my cousin’s wedding because I didn’t have the recommend. I was devastated and completely embarrassed to miss the wedding. I was so ashamed because of the things the bishop said to me.

I always tell you not to trust me - I'm just some guy online - stick to the evidence:

And then tell these liars to Fuck Off.

The Crack Emcee said...

Alex,

Somewhere out there is a padded cell with Crack's name on it. It's there waiting for you Crack, you'll be very comfy.

Anything you say, Debbie,...

cold pizza said...

Korihor is alive and well and posting on Althouse! -CP

garage mahal said...

But you unfollowed me first. Just sayin'

For one night,. And I followed back.

Mark Nielsen said...

@cold pizza -- that's a good one.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...


And yet, I've yet to see the rebuttal.


Of course you haven't.

You don't even know what your own links says.

Idiot.

Paul said...

"One constant in conservative humor I've noticed, and you can normally find one of these things in every "joke".

Something gets stuffed down your throat

Shoved up your ass

Involves minors and/or animals "

Well duh. We're joking about liberals and their behavior.

bgates said...

Nor do I believe Mitt Romney has ANY interest in meeting or listening to Bob Dylan

No, I think Mitt Romney's interest is in serving as the chief of the executive branch of the federal government.

cold pizza said...

I wonder if Mitt has a white horse on which he can ride to the inauguration. Not canon, of course. -CP

Cedarford said...

bgates said...
phx - "Nor do I believe Mitt Romney has ANY interest in meeting or listening to Bob Dylan."

No, I think Mitt Romney's interest is in serving as the chief of the executive branch of the federal government.

==================
Pure speculation by BOTH phx and bgates.
I speculate as well..my speculation is that Romney appreciates people that have had success in a variety of fields , from both parties.
And likely doesn't think any less of a decorated soldier, a small business owner that made it, or a fine artist he likes...merely because they happen to be Democrats.

That shit game of only associating with people or liking people of a certain political purity and idelogical conformity - is a game best left to a few idiot movie or recording stars, and the Sean Hannitys and Debbie Wasserman Schultz's

phx said...

That shit game of only associating with people or liking people of a certain political purity and idelogical conformity

Right, and I think Romney is probably like that himself. My feeling is (yup, take it for what it's worth) Romney is comfortable associating with people who have a certain worldview. As you say "people who have success in a wide variety of fields." But I don't think he's interested in people who have NOT had success.

I don't think Romney would be too interested in Dylan. The whiff that still lingers off Dylan is that he doesn't give a shit about people that are "successful." You know, "Try to be a suck-cess." Romney's not the least interested in that kind of noncomformity.

phx said...

Romney is the new Anti-Elvis.

Birches said...

Crack, did you notice, the lady in your "expose" tried to go to the temple? Which means

1) she didn't have a current temple recommend (which is good for 2 years)

therefore

2) she CHOSE to meet with her Bishop to go to her cousin's wedding to obtain a recommend where she VOLUNTEERED she was behind in her tithing. MY guess is her denial of a recommend had more to do with her heart on the matter than the money.

I have plenty of Mormon family members, some who tithe and some who don't. If you asked them all if they were Mormon, they'd say yes, so you really can't say its a forced practice.

And as to the internet woman's embarrassment . . . well I missed my cousin's wedding in April (which I traveled by plane to attend) because I forgot my recommend at home. I felt stupid for forgetting something so essential (and for not discovering it sooner), but no one in my family batted an eyelash (or accused me of a heinous sin). I waited outside the temple with other family members who also couldn't attend.

In the Mormon faith, missing weddings for various reasons is something you grow up with --- after all most are in their 20s before we've actually witnessed one. So not paying tithing keeps you out of a wedding? Well, that's just par for the course.

Nick Carter M. said...

The lead singer of the Killers is a Mormon. I like that Romney knows them. Hot Fuss is a great album

caplight45 said...

If you don't pay your annual terumah (Hebrew: תְּרוּמָה‎)at my friends synagogue you don't get a ticket to attend the services on the high holy days.

The Crack Emcee said...

Birches,

So not paying tithing keeps you out of a wedding? Well, that's just par for the course.

caplight45,

If you don't pay your annual terumah (Hebrew: תְּרוּמָה‎)at my friends synagogue you don't get a ticket to attend the services on the high holy days.

Boy, it sure sucks to be an atheist and not have anyone (or anything) capable of telling you when you can or can't attend a family member's wedding.

I figure, in a few years, you'll all be rejoicing as your "spiritual" overlords call the shots over the most minute aspects of your lives.

As an American, I'll take the freedom to direct my own life, thanks,...

Alex said...

Crack - guess what as an American you're free to not follow any religious dictates, even if you're a *gasp* Mormon.

Alex said...

quick get Crack a tinfoil hat, the Mormons are coming to get him!

The Crack Emcee said...

Alex,

quick get Crack a tinfoil hat, the Mormons are coming to get him!

Anything you say Debbie

Revenant said...

Actually compared to past presidents Obama is downright stingy.

Obama's last budget called for more spending than any leader has spent, in any nation, in any year, in the entirety of recorded history.

If you made a list of "biggest spenders" and put every human being who has ever lived on that list, Obama would top it.

So I'm just sayin', garage, that the "he's actually kinda frugal" line is pretty much the funniest thing you've ever said. :)

Revenant said...

Boy, it sure sucks to be an atheist and not have anyone (or anything) capable of telling you when you can or can't attend a family member's wedding.

Part of me wants to point out the obvious flaw in your argument. The other, larger part of me feels like it would be like taking candy from a special-needs kid.

Gahrie said...

I figure, in a few years, you'll all be rejoicing as your "spiritual" overlords call the shots over the most minute aspects of your lives.

Seriously?...I mean come on....seriously?

Do you honestly, seriously think there is even the remotest chance that the U.S. will become a theocracy?

If so, I'm frankly going to be disappointed in you.....

ed said...

Meh. So -Congress- is responsible then eh?

Ok I'll play.

Barack Obama was elected to the US Senate in 2004-2008. He was an active member of -Congress- during the time period being discussed.

Is Senator Barack Obama responsible for not pushing to reduce spending while he was in -Congress- and while some of you are hold -Congress- responsible?

So if Congress is responsible then Barack Obama has culpability because he was in Congress at the time.

If the President is responsible then Barack Obama has culpability because he is President right now.

Or is the argument that while Barack was in Congress it wasn't responsible but now that he's President it somehow automagically is responsible? In which case I laugh in your face.

ed said...

@ Geoff Matthews

Sorry to bother you but what is the appropriate tithe in the LDS? Is it a percentage of income? A set minimum amount?

I'm curious because my mother at one point seriously considered joining the LDS. That never went through but I think it was more because she lived in a rather rural part of New Hampshire and getting around would have been difficult. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

The Crack Emcee said...

Gahrie,

Do you honestly, seriously think there is even the remotest chance that the U.S. will become a theocracy?

If so, I'm frankly going to be disappointed in you.....


Theocracy is a political term, and based on the fact there's never been a government in this country that hasn't by far consisted of - much less been led by - those who don't claim to be divinely inspired, I'd say there's not a chance it will "become" what it already is.

The question strikes me as silly:

This is one nation "under God" - are you confused about what that means?

Considering we have a representative republic, I can see how you can be confused, since it's not representative of me but the lousy-goosy "beliefs" of those presupposed to gullibility about just about anything - it can look like something it's not - but a theocracy it is, and you should have no doubt about that.

My issue isn't a concern over whether our country will become religion-based but how far down that road we're determined to continue to go, and which one(s) are going to continue to rule and what that means for the citizens.

Sorry to disappoint you, if indeed I have,...

heyboom said...

Crack,

I am an LDS member. Converted in 1982 from Lutheran.

Gahrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

Run, run for your lives...the inquistion is coming!!!!!!

In a nation obsessed with homosexual rights, the absolute preservation of abortion, and free conreaception for all, we are supposed to be afraid of the tyranny of the "divinely inspired"?

I would much rather live in a society/civilization based on the divinely inspired than the rabidly atheist. (and I say that as a Deist)

Mark Nielsen said...

@ed Geoff may be gone from the thread, so I'll answer. Tithing is defined as "ten percent of increase", with the definition of "increase" left up to be decided between members and God. Most of us pay tithing on gross income, but some choose net.

On top of tithing most of us make other donations. We fast on the first Sunday of each month and contribute the money we saved from buying food (or more) to go specifically to a fund that helps the poor. There are also other church-run funds we can choose to contribute to if we wish -- a fund to help members from poor countries obtain an education, a fund to help poor members make trips to attend to visit a temple, a fund to help missionaries pay for living expenses, a humanitarian relief fund for aiding victims of natural disasters, regardless of their faith.

Jim in St Louis said...

Lindsey Meadows said...
"Sweetie, I don't think liberals are ones who have a problem with the religion issue. But then again, how would I know. I'm just observant."

Do your observations result in any conclusion about the fact that BHO had been unable to quote from the declaration of independence correctly? On at least three occasions he riffed on 'inalienable rights', but omitted the clause 'their creator' every time.

I would submit this ties in nicely with Romney using the words "our God"

Jefferson (to return to original sources) used the phrase 'their creator'. Note the plural 3rd person possessive. Try reading it with 'our creator' or 'the creator'. But that is not what is says. I submit that we each have a creator- mine may be an invisible sky god, yours may be Mr&Mrs X who created you 9 months prior to your birthday; others may have been created by Charles Darwin.

The point remains the same- rights are endowed- not given, not earned, not awarded by executive order.

ed said...

@ Mark Nielsen

I was wondering if the definition of tithe were the same as what I understood it to be, which to me had always been 10%.

Thank you very much!

Rusty said...

garage mahal said...
Indeed it is. He's very generous with our money.

Actually compared to past presidents Obama is downright stingy.




He's been very good to his friend at Exelon. Not to mention Solyndra(?), etc. Sort of makes the cries of "Haliburton" ring hollow.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bbkingfish said...

Ann thinks the National Pastime is horse ballet. Not surprising her loopiness seeps out occasionally in other ways.

Joe said...

few points:

Mormon tithing is not used for charity. The majority is used to maintain infrastructure and to pay for salaries of non-local leaders and the bureaucracy. Some is used to subsidize BYU. The balance is invested, generally in real estate.

To reiterate, LDS Tithing is NOT charity. Moreover, if you want to fully participate in the LDS church, you must pay tithing or lie about it. There is also the theological point that by paying tithing you won't be burnt at the second coming of Jesus, which is arguably even more of quid pro quo (and which has resulted in the joke that tithing is fire insurance.)

The LDS church keeps it's commercial business separate from the church. However, it's vast holding do provide collateral for low interest loans on the commercial side.

Mormon missionaries pay the entire cost of their own missions (mostly their parents do) by paying a set cost every month to the church. Years ago, one of the leaders of the church in charge of accounting bragged that like all church programs, this one runs a surplus.

Mormons fast every month and pay fast offerings which are intended to help needy families. In the past this program was administered locally and bishops were given discretion on how the money was spent. This has changed. All money for the US is now processed through Salt Lake City. Given the conservative fiscal nature of the church, this program likely runs a surplus. (There have been substantive changes in recent years about allowable expenses, which haven't been widely publicized. With these changes, the last ward--covering a mix of lower-middle and middle-class neighborhoods--where I was the finance clerk would now be running a massive surplus.)

The LDS church has added line items to donation forms, however the UK requires full disclose of these and an analysis of the spending found that the church spends less than 10% of this money on the intended cause. The church has since added a disclaimer to the donation form which states that regardless of what amounts are put on what lines, the church can spend the money any way they see fit. In other words, all donations are now thrown into the same pot regardless of the intent of the giver.

Incidentally, in 2002, the church built a temple in Nauvoo (and Palmyra and Winter Quarters). The population and tourist counts for these areas could not justify building any of them. The church made it very clear that the Nauvoo temple was built using independent donations. I believe them and suspect that very rich Mormons like Romney and Huntsman paid for the Nauvoo, Palmyra and Winter Quarters temples. This may be one of the things Romney doesn't want to disclose.

Mark Nielsen said...

Regarding Joe's comments:

Tithing donations *do* qualify as charitable giving under US tax law, and for good reason. Yes, much of it goes to support the church organization -- there's nothing wrong with that.

Joe states that you have to pay tithing in order to "fully participate" in the church -- it depends on what you define as "fully participate". Temple attendance is the only thing you can't do without tithing, and as I related in my prior comment (I'm currently a Mormon bishop) there are members in my ward that don't tithe and still participate. Nobody other than me (and maybe my clerk, though I try to enter that information myself when possible) would even know they aren't tithe payers.

As for fast offering use -- yes, it all goes through Salt Lake City now -- but that's a change to allow more flexibility, not less. My ward runs a deficit, not a surplus. If I had to rely only on the money collected locally, I'd be in trouble. As it is, I'm allowed great latitude in distributing help with food, rent, medical bills, and utility bills. Consumer debt (credit card bills) is about the only common expense I'm not allowed to help with.

And as for running surpluses, since when is that something sinister?