Tom Fitton at Judicial Watch:
President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service has quietly announced new rules that strictly limit the ability of 501(c)(4), tax-exempt organizations from carrying out their core missions in the months leading up to federal, state, and local elections. These new rules are seemingly designed to silence the growing conservative grassroots and Tea Party movement in America. Our First Amendment rights are in jeopardy. Please join us in fighting back now!
These new IRS rules will:
- Keep citizens from holding their public officials accountable
- Silence citizens and chill the very purpose of grassroots groups
Tell the IRS:
- It is impractical, burdensome and unacceptable for the IRS to interject itself into the inner workings of every citizens group in the country
- The IRS is supposed to be collecting revenues, not snooping and trampling on the First Amendment rights of the citizens
- American citizens don't need permission from the IRS in-order to be active in grassroots movements
- To stop unfairly attacking the Tea Party and other 501c4 groups
The IRS is accepting public comment on these rules. Follow this link to submit YOUR comments now.
1. In the proposed IRS regulation (IRS REG-134417-13), any communication from a 501(c)(4) nonprofit social welfare organization that uses a candidate’s name within 60 days of an election (or 30 days of a primary) will be considered candidate-related political activity. As a result, these organizations will be severely limited in their ability to educate constituents regarding the actions and inactions of active members of Congress. At the time in the political cycle where an informed public is most needed, these regulations would, in effect, grant elected officials immunity from accountability to the people they represent.
2. I rely on information found on websites which detail my elected officials' actions in Congress in the days leading up to an election. There are multiple, non-partisan organizations that provide unbiased voter guides on a wide array of issues that are important to me, but my understanding of this rule is that they would no longer be able to provide these valuable and informative resources. It's clear through this proposed rule (IRS REG-134417-13) that the IRS is not concerned with the social welfare of the American people nor does it value an informed electorate.
3. I am extremely concerned that the proposed IRS rule, IRS REG-134417-13, will jeopardize the freedom of speech of small groups of citizens looking to hold government accountable. I hope that the IRS does not implement IRS REG-134417-13. Thank you.
The IRS treatment of 501(c)(4) groups is political and biased. It may be unfair, but in a way reversed from what most people understand.
Charitable organizations are allowed to receive contributions which the donors may deduct from their income when they report and pay their taxes. It is a cost reduction to the donors. This doesn't much affect the taxes paid by the 501(c) organizations.
The IRS has allowed supposedly charitable 501(c) groups to blatantly support Democrat politics. That is the true political bias. Non-Dem groups have been suppressed as they have tried to join in political action supported by tax-deductible contributions.
No political group should be regarded as a charity. Politicians will always exert their power by having the IRS play favorites. The best approach would be to remove charity status from all groups which are not truly charitable. Don't let any charity play politics or attempt to affect public policy by naming politicians. Participate in politics with after-tax money. Stop looking to a political government to be fair about subtle political judgments.
This would leave political groups free of IRS meddling, and contributors would not get a tax break for what is political activity.
If there are any tax exempts where the law needs tweaking, it is foundations.
Through the tax code, we allowed tax-exempt foundations to have eternal life, and to have an unaccountable voice to advocate for policies they favor. Foundations do not have shareholders who can vote for a new Board of Directors, they do not have customers who can boycott to force a change in direction or attitude. What they do have is a self -sustaining, self-appointing Board. Further, if a foundation is sufficiently endowed, if it earns more in investment income than it is required to give away each years (only 5%), then the foundation has eternal life.
The solution is to make foundations mortal again. Raise the 5% payout to 7 1/2%. Foundations will then eventually spend themselves out of business. We will benefit from the increased tax revenue that generates. We benefit as a nation. The founding fathers never envisioned unaccountable voices in the public square, let alone ones exempt from all taxation.
With this boost, existing foundations would push 50% more money out into their recipient base each year. The downside is that leftist causes would get more funding. The upside is that soon those foundations would have spent-out their assets and would be out of business. The other upside is that tax-exempt foundations hold an estimated 4% of the GDP in their portfolios and forcing this money out of investment s and into the economy would create jobs and tax revenues for government at all levels.
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