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Thursday, May 30, 2013
The latest attempt by Republicans to demonize our federal government is their attack on the Internal Revenue Service. They have missed the point when they use the word “target.” One of the main purposes of the IRS is to enforce tax codes by targeting those who seek to evade taxes to make sure our tax codes are being followed.
Each year when we all file our tax returns, be they individual or corporate, the IRS reviews them and follows certain criteria that might raise a red flag, which might end up with a tax audit of a return. Thus, it has been targeted.
The fake scandal about going after groups for political reasons is a more complex issue. It started with the insane ruling by conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United case. The ruling essentially said it was OK for people such as Sheldon Adelson to be able to spend $100 million to try to do his part to buy an election, something not all of us, as citizens, can do since we don’t own a gambling casino that made us a billionaire.
That leads us to this 501(c) (4) tax exempt status, which is currently being abused because the IRS changed the meaning of the word “exclusively” in the law to mean “primarily,” without approval of Congress. That is the true part of this so-called scandal.
Why do super PACs think it so important to get this tax status instead of the 527 status that exists for political organizations? Secrecy. Under 501(c)(4), they do not have to disclose where their money comes from, not to mention that we, as taxpayers, get to subsidize their secret ATM machines for running campaign ads.
Why is the IRS not enforcing the law that should grant only 527 status to political groups on both sides of the political spectrum? Once we focus our politicians on this real scandal, and they properly address the question of why the IRS chooses not to follow the law as Congress enacted it many years ago, this whole matter can be resolved.
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