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Stop The IRS From Discriminating Against Conservatives

IRS Abuse of Power
Over 55 leading conservative and free market groups have joined forces to urge Congress stop the IRS from codifying its suppression of conservative groups and to stop further IRS harassment of conservatives by using the Omnibus Appropriations Bill to bring a halt to abusive changes to the IRS 501(C)4 rule.

Led by our friend Phil Kerpen, President, American Commitment, the group sent a letter to Members of Congress reminding our elected Representatives that the IRS confessed to targeting conservative groups in a stunning abuse of power. And equally as important, nobody has been held accountable for these outrageous abuses.  

While initially blamed on a small number of so-called "rogue agents" in Cincinnati, subsequent investigations revealed that high-level IRS officials in Washington, DC actually removed case files of conservative and tea party groups from Cincinnati to Washington, where they stalled action for years, sent lengthy and intrusive questionnaires, and undermined the rights of association and speech of conservatives. 

Indeed, the apparent ringleader of the suppression scheme, Lois Lerner, was granted six months of paid administrative leave and then allowed to retire with her full pension. Suppression of political dissent has been rewarded. Even worse, the IRS now proposes not to rectify its own misbehavior, but to blame the victims and effectively codify its own misdeeds by adopting draconian limitations on the free speech rights of 501(c)4 social welfare groups via regulation.

Now the IRS is doubling down on the abuses exposed in a number of congressional hearings and is attempting to put into regulation the abusive practices Congress is investigating.

As Kerpen and the signers of the letter note, the IRS is now attempting bypass Congress and, through regulation, in essence rewrite Section 501(C)4 to follow their abusive practices. The IRS proposal would restrict the free speech rights of such groups by arbitrarily deeming political a wide variety of activities in the newly-created category of “Candidate-Related Political Activity,” which includes voter registration drives, candidate debates, voter guides, voting records and key votes.  

Now here’s the real kicker: the new IRS regulations would restrict any criticism of an incumbent federal, state, or local politician within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election and effectively require groups to remove any reference to politicians from their websites during these windows. They even distort the definition of "candidate" to include appointees, so groups weighing in on executive or judicial nominations would be restricted.

Not surprisingly, the new proposal would exempt unions that are the biggest financial and volunteer supporters of Democratic Party candidates.

These draconian rules will effectively muzzle 501(c)4 groups in the run-up to November’s mid-term elections while unfairly exempting 501(c)5 labor unions that support liberal candidates and causes.

The rules proceed from the assumption that political engagement and discussion of health care, government spending, and other public policy issues and the merits of nominees who implement them cannot logically be part and parcel of a social welfare mission. This is not what the law requires and it is inconsistent with longstanding historical practice and understanding.

We urge you to contact your Senators and Representative (the Capitol switchboard is 1-866-220-0044) and demand that they oppose any changes to the Section 501(C)4 rules, including using the pending Omnibus Appropriations Bill to halt the proposed IRS actions.

To read the full text of the letter to Congress and see the latest list of signers go here.

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Taxation 101By Dr. D. Turner GivensListening to political hacks, journalists, effete intellectual snobs and Joe Sixpack discuss taxation convinces me that no one in America, or the world, understands the basics of taxation.In America we have a “progressive” income tax because that is “fair.” In many other parts of the world they have value added taxes because they are “fair.” For many years, Malcolm Forbes has advocated a flat tax because it is “fair.” Leftists want to “tax the rich” because it is “only fair that those who have more should pay more.”All of these claims demonstrate the fundamental ignorance of taxation that the world shares. The fair taxation crowd doesn’t understand the First Axiom of taxation.]There is one and only one “Axiom of Taxation.” That Axiom is: “The consumer pays all taxes.” This Axiom is both counterintuitive and obvious. We would all, it seems, like to see Bill Gates pay a much more tax than we do, he already does because he consumes more than we do. Many would like him to pay a higher percentage in taxation. This is impossible because Gates doesn’t pay his taxes — you do. Let’s use Gates to illustrate the obvious. Gates has certain needs, appetites, and desires. He is in the fortunate position of being able to pay himself any salary he wants. He decides what his salary will be. He looks at his needs, appetites and desires and determines that he needs $thismuch.00 to attain or maintain this life-style. He realizes he will have to pay a certain percentage of this in taxes so he boosts his salary to $this much.00 plus $that much.00 to cover both.Of course, everyone at Microsoft cannot set his own salary but everyone can refuse to accept the salary he is offered. When deciding whether to take or keep a job an employee calculates, consciously or unconsciously, what it will cost him to satisfy his needs, appetites, and desires plus the greed of the taxman. If the salary will, he takes the job. If it won’t, he looks elsewhere.Meanwhile, in another room, the bean counters at Microsoft calculate the cost of production for Microsoft’s products. They add in the cost of plastic for the disks, cardboard for boxes, paper for instruction manuals, legal fees, salaries, and all of Microsoft’s other expenses they then add a certain percentage to it for profit and taxes and determine the price of Microsoft’s products.When the consumer buys a Microsoft product he pays for the plastic, cardboard, paper, legal fees, salaries and everything else used by Microsoft to manufacture the product — including Microsoft’s taxes and the taxes of everyone who works for Microsoft. So the fairest way to tax is as a consumption tax.The consumption tax is on everything the consumer buys and consumes. Things purchased for investment, business use, or resale, are not taxed. Then the consumer can see every time he buys something what the government is taking. A consumption tax has another advantage. Since people would be paying the sales tax in America, it would go to the American government. Now we are paying tax to the government of whatever country manufactures the goods we buy. If we buy French wine we pay taxes to the American and French governments. It’s the same for German cars and Japanese cameras. If the consumer or exporter paid a sales tax on everything he bought and American companies paid no tax at all, he would be paying taxes to the American government that he now pays to the French, German and Japanese Governments. Since the American producers would pay no taxes, American goods would be cheaper. What could possibly be more fair?