Much of the nation’s left-leaning pundits and online publications have spent very little time on the alleged targeting of the Tea Party by the IRS. To be honest, I believe it is a non-issue. My first response when hearing the news was less of a shrug and more of laughter pushed out in one big Nelson-like “HA-HA”. I have been waiting for almost 3 years for the IRS to start flagging these fringe groups who are popping up flush with anonymous cash. I usually don’t hear about Democrats storing their files in a meth house.
Here is the thing… if you were working in a job that watched for people doing sneaky things with numbers, wouldn’t the appearance of a massive number of self-labeled ‘Patriot’ social welfare groups be something to check out? Had the IRS not flagged these magical money machines then I would highly recommend we re-train our IRS employees. Should I decide to create a 501(c)3 charity that is funded via a 501(c)4 social welfare group with masked donors… I’d expect an IRS agent as well as a group of TSA agents to really make sure that I am on the level (the TSA employees would just be there to continuously check my rectum for extra cash I was hiding). I’ve had hard times with the IRS personally, and I expect to have no good times with them in the future. But, like Mike Tyson ironically said recently, I love taxes.
I also love my satellite TV service… and I know if I dodge the bill for it, I’ll never hear the end of it so long as I really like TV. Those taxes keep my local community stable just as they help bring down our deficit and boost opportunities in our economy. Some people are looking at the Republican sweep of public jobs as a terrible thing, but does anyone remember how quickly local communities recovered by increasing Public jobs in the 90′s? Am I just getting old and remember crap that nobody else does? This is opportunity! Using more energy towards pushing Congress and the President for Public Sector growth that doesn’t involve prisons or temporary pipeline contracts is where we need to focus for a better America for everyone. Charter schools have already shown to be only par to public education without any benefits gained for privatizing… in some cases education suffered for it.
But back to those outraged politicians and pundits making waves about there needing to be even more outrage. Outrageous, right? When you have to push someone to be outraged… you might want to look up that word because you might not know what that word means…
If a public “social group” has a message of hating taxes even if there is representation, then an IRS audit is the least of what I would expect happening to the Tea Party. Heck, look at the name of this website… Americans Against The Tea Party. When fringe extremists come into headlines with talk of how solar is a waste of money, how the EPA is killing business, how Wall Street was a terrible corrupt place but then suddenly it was something to defend, or how Social Security and Medicare should be privatized… we either have to assume that this is a large group of multimillionaires who are looking after the majority who happen to be top wage earners… OR, we palm our faces at those people who have become conditioned by talking points and addicted to steady diets of spy-novel conspiracy theories.
No, the government obviously does not fully disclose every single horrible act done in the name of the country, sometimes we get to hear about it decades later. So following and guessing at conspiracies is truthfully just one long Soap Opera that you won’t know if it affected your life until it really doesn’t matter anymore. These whack-jobs are the reason there is so much hidden by the government because nobody is taking both parties to task on transparency. Instead you get fringe extremes linking Alex Jones and Glenn Beck videos to their state legislators (I would hate to be a political intern).
Should there be outrage? Should we be impeaching someone or firing someone for doing their job? Nah. This one is fully justified. Teapublicans should learn to suck it up and deal with being scrutinized when you create mystery money from thin air and name it Patriotism. And besides… if you REALLY want to argue about how many “Conservative” groups were flagged while applying for a 501(c)4… read to make sure you really want to go there.
501(c)(4) organizations are generally civic leagues and other corporations operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local associations of employees with membership limited to a designated company or people in a particular municipality or neighborhood, and with net earnings devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes. 501(c)(4) organizations may lobby for legislation, and unlike 501(c)(3) organizations they may also participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as its primary activity is the promotion of social welfare. The tax exemption for 501(c)(4) organizations applies to most of their operations, but contributions may be subject to gift tax, and income spent on political activities – generally the advocacy of a particular candidate in an election – is taxable.
Contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations are usually not deductible as charitable contributions for U.S. federal income tax, with a few exceptions. 501(c)(4) organizations are not required to disclose their donors publicly.
Taxes with representation are not a valid reason to form a social welfare group. That is a valid reason to elect someone else. If you need to hide your donations towards a candidate who represents those feelings by claiming your money which has Free Speech (Citizen’s United) needs to be hidden, then you might want to look up the word ‘Democracy’. And besides, some of those groups might have just been looking to dodge some taxes as the 501(c)4 also gives this shiny gift…
The law allows Section 501(c)(4) organizations to self-declare and hold themselves out as tax-exempt; they do not have to obtain any approval from the Internal Revenue Service, though they may.