The House Ways and Means Committee Is Still Mad at the IRS

GEEZ you guys, let it go already:

[T]he Ways & Means Committee went ahead today and approved H.R. 3865, the STOP Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act.  As its title suggests, this legislation will stop the IRS in its rush to implement these rules.  This allows Congress to continue its investigations, which have yet to benefit from the full universe of IRS documents.   

As Speaker Boehner has said, “The American people deserve answers, and we will continue to fight to get the truth – no matter how badly the Administration wants to sweep these issues under the carpet.

I have a serious question: wouldn't it just be easier to eliminate 510(c)(4) status for political groups completely? Seems a fair resolution, then everyone wins.

In 2012, Americans for Tax Reform spent $15 million on political ads. Or how about the deliciously ironically named Americans for Prosperity spending $36,352,928 that same election cycle? How is that "social welfare" and not straight up buying elections?

The "real" IRS scandal isn't alleged targeting of conservative groups, it's the IRS' muddy definition of 501(c)(4):

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.

Homeowners associations and volunteer fire companies may be recognized as exempt as social welfare organizations if they meet the requirements for exemption. Organizations that engage in substantial lobbying activities sometimes also are classified as social welfare organizations.

Just do away with it completely for all political groups. Then political trolls hiding behind the guise of "social welfare" won't be able to hide behind the IRS' dress while doing their trolling.

That's not an assault on free speech, it's forcing these "social welfare" groups to classify their "free speech" as what it is, which is basically political intervention. Remove that variable from the equation completely and no one will be able to say one group got special treatment while the other is "muzzled" by the IRS. Problem solved!

 

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