What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 18, 2016

The Tribune-Review's Editorial Board Is Misleading You About The IRS. Again.

Take a look:
Three years after the IRS was caught questionably scrutinizing tea party and other conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status, Congress has responded. Legislation passed by the House will bar the nation's tax collector from requiring nonprofits to list donors on their tax returns.
Right from the opening, they're misleading you. Here's why.

In a letter to the Chair and Ranking members of the House Judiciary Committee (Representatives Bob Goodlatte and John Conyers, respectively), Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik explained why the Department of Justice closed down its investigation.  In it there's this set of sentences:
Our investigation uncovered substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgement, and institutional inertia, leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints.  But poor management is not a crime.  We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.  We also found no evidence that any official involved in the handling of tax-exempt applications or IRS leadership attempted to obstruct justice. [Emphasis added.]
I'll simplify for the Fox "News" conservatives who maybe can't (or won't) understand: There's no evidence the IRS scrutinized tax-exempt groups based on their political viewpoints - the career investigators at the DOJ said so.  Last October.

Now take a look at the very first sentence from the Trib editorial board's very last paragraph:
The IRS clubbed itself over the head when it targeted conservative groups.
After reading the letter from the DOJ, you gotta ask yourself, how much of that is simply incorrect?

How embarrassing this must be for the braintrust.  But yet again facts have no real meaning for them, do they?  And it's sad, frankly, to see them use this bit of conservative propaganda as a cudgel to get a law passed that would further insulate the big donors who've done so much damage to our current political system.

The bill in question is HR 5053 and the CRS sumarizes it this way:
Sec. 2) This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from requiring a tax-exempt organization to include in annual returns the name, address, or other identifying information of any contributor.

The bill includes exceptions for: (1) required disclosures regarding prohibited tax shelter transactions; and (2) contributions by the organization's officers, directors, or five highest compensated employees (including compensation paid by related organizations).
But when you take a look at what it's "fixing", an interesting bit of information emerges.  The Research Policy Council from the Congressional Research Services summarizes this way:
Under current law, some organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code must report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the names and addresses or other identifying information of contributors of $5,000 or more on Schedule B of the organization’s Form 990. The bill would limit the Secretary of the Treasury from requiring the name, address, or other identifying information of any contributor regardless of the nature or size of the contribution... [Emphasis added.]
So if I am reading this correctly, under current law if you contributed less than five large to Tea Party Pittsburgh your information wasn't required to be on your group's Schedule B in the first place.

By barring access to that information this bill will only give more cover to the folks who are wealthy enough to have thousands of dollars to throw at political organizations.  More cover for big money corruption of politics.

Thanks, Scaife Braintrust.  We know you're out to protect the little guy here - except that you're not.


Omega Cuck Supreme said...

The Obama DOJ has never mislead the GOP Congress.
“What is so offensive about this whole project is that [Sen. Chuck] Grassley’s staff, acting as willing stooges for the Gun Lobby, have attempted to distract from the incredible success in dismantling [southwest border] gun trafficking operations … but, instead, lobbing this reckless despicable accusation that ATF is complicit in the murder of a fellow federal law enforcement officer,”

Dayvoe said...

Look. Over. There. Or whatever.

Omega Cuck Supreme said...

Look this DOJ letter proves there was "no evidence the IRS scrutinized tax-exempt groups based on their political viewpoints".
Actually it claims that there was IRS scrutinized tax-exempt groups based on their political viewpoints but it was due to "mismanagement, poor judgement, and institutional inertia".

But no fair pointing out that the Obama's DOJ lied in a letter to Congress before.

Ol' Froth said...

Ummm..the IRS is SUPPOSED to scrutinize tax-exempt groups for political view points because if they're doing anything other than issue-advocacy they can no longer be tax-exempt. The question is, were conservative groups singled out as opposed to liberal groups? And the answer to that is "no."

Omega Cuck Supreme said...

You forgot that the list of conservative groups targeted by the IRS has been released.

After the IRS fought tooth and nail to prevent the release.

Ol' Froth said...

You forget that liberal groups were ALSO examined. And of all the groups examined, only a liberal one actually LOST its tax exempt status.

Basically, your argument boils down to "WAAAAAAAHHHHH!!! The IRS did its job and found I did nothing wrong! WAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!