Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Profiling or Targeting?

I was pretty bummed out that a Cincinnati Ohio IRS group had decided to target conservative groups in evaluating whether they could claim a tax-free status for their organizations. Using search words like Tea Party and Patriots means only one thing: singling out rightwing conservative groups. I mean, this is what Nixon did to people on his enemies list. This is what J. Edgar Hoover did when he had the IRS audit members of the NAACP. This is just not very cool.
Then I looked a little deeper and realized that the bean counters at the IRS weren’t targeting conservative groups for being conservative, they were targeting tax evading groups for being tax evaders.
TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already. These people are poster children for tax evaders. They make their livelihood trying not to pay their fair share in taxes. So when a PAC applies for tax-exempt status, and 2717 did last year, one wonders whether any of them are really entitled to 501 (c) (4) tax exempt status. In order to qualify, the groups must promote social welfare, not political interests.
The only social welfare programs that these TEA Party groups have any concern with is the repeal of Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
And while none of the conservative groups were eventually denied the benefit, one liberal group actually was. But Karl Rove’s Crossroads PAC, which enjoys tax-free status, remained untouched.
No, the only thing that the Cincinnati IRS group is guilty of is being guilty of being too efficient by profiling groups that are most likely to be tax cheats – conservative political groups. And they are guilty of being numb to how their effort might look to the outside. These bean counters probably don’t have a political bone in their collective bodies, but that is what the uber-right is saying.
Know why they are saying that?
It’s what they’d do.

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