Why Full Disclosure is Needed from Politicians & Pastors on their Income

For years I’ve said politicians and pastors are similar. Romney pays approx. 15% taxes, whereas most middle class pay 30% because most of his income comes from investors. Pastors on the other hand have the luxury of hiding income in various avenues around their non-profit churches and ministries. When is a church or pastor every truly prodded to come out with fiscal detailed statements? I wonder what we’d uncover.

NPR aired a story on Mitt Romney this morning, Romney Says He Pays US Taxes_About 15 Percent. According to the story:

Romney told reporters he also received money from speechmaking before he announced his presidential candidacy early last year “but not very much.” He provided no details, but in his financial disclosure statement, released last August, he reported being paid $374,327.62 for such appearances for the 12 months ending last February.

Here’s the problem with Romney and other politicians: they don’t disclose what they earn, or they speak in vague terms like “not very much” to cover up what is truly a large amount of money.  My problem isn’t with Mitt Romney per se, but he’s a good illustration point. Romney has stated that he’ll disclose his income taxes in April, but until then, what is he hiding? Will he disclose his past 10 years of income or just 2011 taxes that may be modified to appear more favorable for voters?

There are similar tactics in place in churches. When asked how much a pastor earned, a full amount is never disclosed. Not to mention, pastors, like politicians earn money based on donor giving which they may not disclose to the public.

For years I’ve said politicians and pastors are similar. Romney pays approx. 15% taxes, whereas most middle class pay 30% because most of his income comes from investors. Pastors on the other hand have the luxury of hiding income in various avenues around their non-profit churches and ministries. When is a church or pastor every truly prodded to come out with fiscal detailed statements? I wonder what we’d uncover.

Romney says he won’t release taxes until April. If we can’t get a politician to release his taxes how will we be able to get a church, ministry or pastor to release theirs?