America needs strong leaders. America needs leaders that are willing to stand up for an ideology that shamelessly looks out for the middle class and the poor. America needs strong leaders that do not allow the striving for true moral values to be framed as a weakness . America needs strong leaders that will not allow a hated government agency, the IRS, doing its job to be piled onto by all, Liberals & Conservatives, Democrats & Republicans, alike.
It is easy and politically cowardly to criticize and demonize the IRS. After all, most hate paying taxes. The reality is this agency’s job is defined by the people American citizens elect. They wrote the laws that this agency must follow. Because of the laws these politicians have written, the marginal burden of federal income taxes falls on the middle class. To be clear, it is fact that the top 10% of Americans pay about 70% of federal income taxes. However, wealth and income is so skewed to the top that even with that, the marginal effect of taxes on the middle class far exceeds that of the top 10% and exponentially the top 1%. Moreover, when flat state taxes and sales taxes are included, the middle class is even further under attack by a system rigged to transport their hard earned income to the few, the American plutocracy.
It is important for strong leaders to prevent crooked politicians from placing the blame on the IRS’s attempt to implement their laws that are ill written. Case in point is the 501(C)(4) section of the tax code.
Types of Organizations Exempt under Section 501(c)(4)
Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(4) provides for the exemption of two very different types of organizations with their own distinct qualification requirements. They are:
· Social welfare organizations: Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, and
· Local associations of employees, the membership of which is limited to the employees of designated person(s) in a particular municipality, and the net earnings of which are devoted exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.
Social Welfare Organizations - Examples
Some nonprofit organizations that qualify as social welfare organizations include:
· An organization operating an airport that serves the general public in an area with no other airport and that is on land owned by a local government, which supervises the airport’s operation,
· A community association that works to improve public services, housing and residential parking; publishes a free community newspaper; sponsors a community sports league, holiday programs and meetings; and contracts with a private security service to patrol the community,
· A community association devoted to preserving the community’s traditions, architecture and appearance by representing it before the local legislature and administrative agencies in zoning, traffic and parking matters,
· An organization that tries to encourage industrial development and relieve unemployment in an area by making loans to businesses so they will relocate to the area and
· An organization that holds an annual festival of regional customs and traditions.
These organizations are easily abused. After the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court case applications for 501(C)(4) groups skyrocketed. Donors could now donate liberally without being exposed. Anyone that did not see it was the preponderance of Tea Party type groups getting coverage, monies, and submitting 501(C)(4) applications had to be blind. Moreover, it is disingenuous to believe that the Tea Party and Patriot groups’ sole purpose was not to influence electoral politics. It absolutely was and still is. Singling out some groups (liberal groups were singled out as well) is the right thing to do. When searching for certain diseases, markers are used to simplify discovery. That is the efficient use of our tax dollars to weed out those that use a poorly written tax code for ill and immoral gain.
This faux scandal is not a loss for the current administration. It is a loss for America. Once again pseudo-liberals and Right Wing Conservatives have joined to admonish an institution whose laws they write sufficiently vague to allow the success of the moneyed interest. To be clear, the Commissioner of the IRS when the ‘misdeeds’ took place was Douglas Shulman, a Republican appointed by George W Bush. So to make this a liberal attack on Conservative groups is an oxymoron.
Liberals need to man up. Liberals need to woman up. Liberals need to swim against the tide of hate for the IRS so that there is someone willing to tell the true story. The true story, the real story is the IRS was just doing its job of attempting to implement the law. Attempting to crack down on Tea Party and Patriot groups that break the law allowing them to promote policies that ultimately destroy our democracy and pilfer the masses is one step needed to save this country.
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