Stupid is as stupid does. Something that the GOP hasn’t been as loud about in recent weeks is their demand that the IRS audit the AARP. Yes, they felt that the American Association of Retired Citizens must be audited and given extra scrutiny for their tax-exempt status. Scandals that involved extra scrutiny of Tea Party and Conservative groups by the IRS came to light a week later and the requests by House Republicans shifted onto partisan mud slinging. The House Ways and Means Committee were behind the initial requests for the audits of an actual social welfare group (the same classification as the Conservative groups who were included in targeted scrutiny). Don’t believe me? You can’t make this stuff up. Here is the PDF from the Ways and Means Committee and their exact wording.
“BEHIND THE VEIL: The AARP America Doesn’t Know”
The hundred dollar bill being injected into the title with a large hypodermic dominates the cover page and one wonders if they are reading a government report or a tabloid magazine. For the next 39 pages you are subjected to simple graphs and specifically targeted areas of programs which the AARP gives to and insurance companies which also pay them. The list of companies that AARP had given donations to by proxy of giving donations to ‘Divided We Fail’ was listed and every one of them involves helping underprivileged minority groups. You know… possible Democrat votes.
The report showed where the partisanship was the actual target of the demand for extra-scrutiny as well as a full audit throughout. This was exactly the same behavior that House Republicans would condemn after sending their report. While we have spoken at length on how Conservative groups were not in fact the majority of the 501(c)4’s which were scrutinized, the hypocrisy of some politicians has to go alongside some really big cojones to demand impeachment of the president only a little while later.
Recommendations of the House Republicans included specific areas for the IRS to target:
- Whether the operational activities of AARP are primarily motivated by political or profit interests, instead of to benefit its members;
- The reasonableness of AARP’s executive compensation;
- The separateness of federal grant cash and lobbying activities between AARP’s 501(c)(3) charitable organizations and 501(c) (4) advocacy organization;
- Whether it is appropriate to continue characterizing AARP’s revenue generated from insurance products as royalty income that is exempt from UBIT.
- The accuracy and consistency of UBIT reporting on Forms 990, Forms 990-T, and audited AARP annual financial statements; and
- Any other issue concerning the tax-exempt status of AARP.
Read the report and take it all with a grain of salt when you realize that the House Ways and Means has been crucifying the now-fired acting commissioner of the IRS. Then ask yourselves why one of the authors of this bill isn’t being subpoenaed to answer for the same exact problem that they want to stick in the media. These witch-hunts are more than just a waste of government time, they should be letting people know to fire their extremely inept Congress in 2014.