Of course it was illegal. You can split hairs by saying no one actually stopped them from assembling, but the discrimination systematically and intentionally applied to these group by the IRS demonstrates a bias by the government. I am interested to see "who is going to jail" and whether they will be housed next to the dumb aspirin who seize the AP phone records.
Right, it was definitely not smart but , as far as I understand, this had nothing to do with their right to assemble. This had to do with the groups' classification as a nonprofit 501(c)4:
The regulations under IRC 501(c)(4) provide that promotion of social
welfare does not include participation or intervention in political campaigns.
So, yes, equally retarded decision on Citizens United...
And yet no one here will comment on the disparity between the treatment of the targeted groups and liberal organizations.
Yes, they were both questioned and delayed, but conservative groups were asked more questions (30-50 vs less than 12) suffered longer delays (24-30 mos vs 18) and were asked for donor lists.
Let me borrow a common liberal tactic. In place of "tea party" put NAACP or LBGT and consider the questions again.
1. The right to assemble and hold political rallies requires money. Renting a hall, a hotel conference room, printing flyers, signs, advertising, and on and on cost money. Without the money contributions you can not assemble. The Leftist know very well that this is how you stop a movement.
2. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision stated that corporations could do the same political activity as Unions. The left has gone berserk over this ruling. On January 21, 2010 the AP reported that “ In a stunning reversal of the nation’s federal campaign finance laws, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Thursday that free-speech rights permit groups like corporations and labor unions to directly spend on political campaigns, prompting the White House to pledge “forceful” action to undercut the decision”. Couple this White House statement with the letters sent to the IRS by seventeen Democrat Senators and members of Congress demanding special scrutiny of Tea Party Groups and you have activated the leftist political zealots employed by the IRS “to action“.
3. When ideology is used by IRS employees to break the law by denying these Tea Party Groups their Constitutional Rights, they should already have been fired along with their supervisors and anyone else up the chain of command that had knowledge of it being done.
Ironside, assemble all you want to, just don't claim non-profit 501 (c)4 status...for both left & right. And you don't think liberal groups have ever been targeted???
Personally, I think any organization or individual that donates big bucks to a political candidate or party should be known to all.
The Citizens United decision was a travesty. Corporations are artificial legal entities and should not be entitled to the same definition of free speech as individual citizens. Politicians on both the right and the left decried the decision when it was rendered.
And, as to the, "leftist political zealots employed by the IRS" - what a joke! As a former IRS employee for 31+ years, I can assure you that I never ran into political zealotry on the part of any employee in the course of their duties.
For my part I will reserve judgment as I remember the 1998 hearings which led to the Revenue and Restructuring Act. And, for those of you who do not, I remember that all of the cites and testimony regarding IRS actions were later proved false or exagerated.
And, finally, I think 504 exemptions for all political organizations should be banned. A charitable organization should be for charity.
I can't see what all the fuss is about. The IRS inappropriately targeted conservative groups and that is illegal. This should not even be up for debate but I know the truth has never really stopped liberals from spouting off before.
BTW the Citizens United decision is neither here nor there; it can not be a serious excuse for breaking the law. I mean saying it's ok to target certain groups because of Citizens United is like saying it's ok to shoot school kids cause the law allows you to carry a gun.
1. It is one thing to have a political party attacking the other political party on political philosophy, out fundraising the other party, out organizing the other party, or doing a better job registering new voters, but to use the power of government to attack the other party, should unite all Americans to demand it stop and those involved be punished. This is so fundamental to who we are as Americans it is fighting that there are those who don’t get it. A testament to our educational system.
2. All the hoopla surrounding what the IRS is doing, points to the extent that the government (our elected officials on both sides) try to pass laws that give one side advantage over the other side.
3. The solution to the problem is this: Only individuals who can legally vote for the person running for office can contribute money, their time, or other support, to that candidate. Amounts over a thousand dollars must be disclosed. Providing any support to the campaign other than a persons time, holding a gala event for big donors, must be disclosed. This would keep the race local and between the candidates with no outside influence, reducing the money influence, and forcing the candidates to deal with the issues instead of character assignation in political ads.
4. We know that the IRS targeted the Tea Party. The IRS agents were not concerned that these organizations were selling tea. I use the term zealots (a supporter of a cause) because it is the only way to explain what they were doing. What they were doing was politically motivated.
Yes, dirty politics has reared its ugly head again. Various Tea Party groups also bear some responsibility because despite claims to be spontaneous ,grassroots organizations, they have proven to be conduits for big money and big money interests and ,therefore, distort the political process.
I can only comment on our local Bulloch County Tea Party Group. It is the one I know. It is totally grassroots. No big money behind it. They are concerned citizens of all political strips but united against run away government spending, huge government debt, and the out of control intrusion into our lives with Obama Care and the rapid growth in government. They have legitimate concerns about the direction our government is now headed in.
Ironside, I agree with # 3. All politicians talk about transparency and then complain when we, the voters, ask for it in all facets of their public service.
Also, if you would like to read a fairly objective analysis of the issues leading up to this debacle try https://www.propublica.org/article/ho...
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall said " The power to tax is the power to destroy". What we are learning is that tax revenue needed to run the government must be taken out of the hands of the government for the American People to remain free. The current Income Tax Code that picks the winners and losers (Who pays taxes and who does not pay taxes and how much ) can no longer be entrusted to the government.
Tax revenue needs to be collected through a national sales tax system, which removes the government’s role with each citizen on how much of a person’s paycheck the government is entitled too each year. It also removes the government from determining the winners and losers by writing new tax regulations each year. It would keep the system as honest as any system that collects taxes from the people. It also removes the need to ever file a tax return form with the government. The current voluminous tax code is not understood fully by any American citizen which should render it un-Constitutional by it’s very nature of complexity.
It is time to repeal the 16th Amendment and replace it with a national sales tax. I would recommend the “Fair Tax” as the best way to fund government.
Ironside, The sales tax would have to be a whopping increase beyond any sales tax we have ever experienced before ,and the tax burden would fall heavily upon those least able to pay. Sales of expensive goods such cars and large appliances would plummet.Sales of any purchases that could be deferred would plummet-- bad for our economy as presently constituted. Health care would become more expensive. Tax attorneys and investment brokers would fight such a scheme to the last breath. Steve Forbes would like it ,but he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. The only thing fair about the Fair Tax
is the word fair. The income tax is much to be preferred.
You need to read up on the Fair Tax. A private 25 million dollar study was done on the Fair Tax.
1. The Fair Tax would be a 23% sales tax.
2. Currently, all embedded Federal taxes now included in the retail price charged to, we the consumer , adds 23% to the final cost of an item. These Federal taxes would no longer be used making the cost of a car 23% less. Adding the 23% Fair tax on the lower priced car would have the car cost the same. Thus the consumer has no increase in the cost of items they purchase with the Fair Tax.
3. The Fair Tax would repeal the following Federal Government taxation.
A Federal Income Tax
B. Capital Gains Tax
C. Corporate Taxes
D. Estate Taxes
E. Excise Taxes
F. Payroll Taxes
G. Alternative Minimum Tax
H. Gift Tax
4. The Fair Tax provides a monthly rebate check to every citizen beginning with one person $214,
Couple $428, up to $214 for each family member to cover the sales tax on basic necessities.
5.. It reduces the IRS to keeping track of sales at the retail level and collecting that tax money.
6.. No more IRS Tax forms or filing by individual citizens. The IRS is out of your life.
Finally, our current Income Tax system is a progressive income tax. The more you earn, get a raise, get a bonus, get a promotion, get a better paying job, the more you pay in income taxes. This “Progressive” income tax system was first purposed by Karl Marx in his 1848 Communist Manifesto. He stated that the progressive income tax system was necessary for government to control the people.
Ironside, the flaw in this study--as pointed out by many economists, including pro-tax reform--is exactly what Fly points out. For millions of low wage earners who pay minimal or no income tax because of earning levels, an average 17-perecent spike in the cost of most goods is bad Juju indeed. The "rebate" amount in point #4 is (a) a logistical nightmare bordering on an impossibility and rife for exploitation and abuse and (b) a policy that actually flies in the face of market-based pricing, a bedrock of conservative thought.
The Fair Tax is a nicely-packaged way for some extremely wealthy policy makers to create the impression they are installing equitable taxation when, in reality, the tax burden is being shifted downward and the bureaucratic machine is simply being pointed in another direction (at retailers). Good luck in growing a market-based economy with that festering turd.
I do like your point about campaign contributors, however. That we ever came to a place in our country's history where a corporation could be viewed as an entity with a right to free speech is like subjecting the Tooth Fairy to banking regulations.
1. Goods and services that we currently buy have a 23% mark up to cover all the hidden taxes that have to be paid by the producer. That 23% in taxes, would go away(repealed) with the Fair Tax. If producers no longer have to pay these taxes, competition would force them to reduce the cost of their products by the 23%. Adding a 23% sales tax when you purchase something new, not used, would bring the cost of the item back to what we are now paying. No increase in cost to the poor. The rebates help the low income and poor. They would not be hurt under the Fair Tax.
2. The government rebate should be controlled be a private credit card company or companies, VISA, MasterCard, to reduce waste, fraud and abuse. Have these companies compete for the government contracts so that waste, fraud and abuse is dramatically reduced from current government run programs like Food Stamps.
3. Eliminating the 23% hidden taxes in the cost of producing goods and services makes our products more competitive around the world and will lead to economic growth. Couple this with the fact that companies would no longer pay taxes to do their business, and a flood of new business will come here to do business along with trillions of dollars of new investment money because there would be no taxes on those investments. Our biggest economic problem using the Fair Tax, would be managing a rapidly growing economy, millions of new jobs and greater prosperity for all Americans.
4. A corporation is the stockholders not the plant and equipment or the product it produces. Stockholders hire the management to run their business. The Supreme Court ruled in 1819 , Trustees of Dartmouth College vs. Woodward , “Corporations have the same rights as natural persons to contract and to enforce contracts“. In other words…to conduct business as any individual may conduct business. This concept established by the Supreme Court in this case and upheld by the court in many subsequent cases is fundamental to our Capitalist Free Economy. It established the definition of a corporation in our court system. Liberal Progressives want this definition of a corporation eliminated from our law because it would destroy Capitalism by creating confusion and chaos in our courts. We could no longer conduct business freely in our country. Corporations would be tied up in litigation and law suites instead of producing goods and services. The chaos would allow the Liberal/Progressive to demand that the government take over the corporations to end the chaos.
Liberal Progressives are Socialist and want to replace our Capitalist System with a Socialist Big Government System where the government controls all means of production. The Socialists are now in power in Washington and thus our economy is failing. We need to change things. We need the “Fair Tax” now, to save Capitalism and our county‘s continued prosperity. The Income Tax is the invention of Socialist/Communists.
Oh my God!! Abe Lincoln was a Socialist/Communist!! I never knew. True, the Supreme Court did reverse his income tax.
The only reason our tax code is complex is because our elected representatives made it so. And they made it so at the behest of special interests - that's why you have a mortgage deduction; that's why NASCAR race tracks qualify for accelerated depreciation regardless of how long a race track lasts; that's why billion dollar corporations can report record profits and pay bupkis in taxes.
Fair Tax is a joke. Do you actually believe that IF fair tax removed 23% of the cost of every item that that savings would immediately be passed on to consumers? I believe more likely is that corporate profits would soar by 23%.
Ironside, I agree with Bryant. If the "production taxes" were eliminated, prices would probably not fall and if they did, they would fall verrry slowwwly.
Consider this - If the national news reports a broken washer on an oil pump in central Texas, oil and gas prices go up 50 cents in an hour. If the national news reports - THE VERY NEXT DAY - that the washer is fixed, prices only rise another 10 cents and then fall 1 penny a week for 2 mos, until another washer breaks or a moth contaminates a single barrel of crude.
I am pretty conservative myself, but I ain't buyin' that bag of stuff.
1. By eliminating the Income tax all the special interest advantages that one business gains over it’s competition goes away. They are forced to compete on a level playing field. If Ford can sell it’s cars 23% lower than GM is willing to sell their cars, which one would you buy. Prices would fall by the 23% and would happen as soon as Ford did not have to pay the embedded taxes.
2. The average American is paying 17% of their total income in Federal Income tax. That also goes away. 17% of a persons total income is greater than the 23% tax on thing we would buy. Plus we get $214 per month per person rebate.
3. The Fair Tax is as fair as any tax system can be.
Ironside, I am an average (unfortunately, I'd really like to be in the top rate but I'm still one step below) American and my effective tax rate is 9%.
And, if Delta charges $ 50 per checked bag I guess all the other airlines will charge nothing and Delta will be out of business in no time due to market pressure.
Your example happens all the time in a free market. If people are willing to pay the $50 charge then Delta is doing other things right to keep their market share of customers. More often, what happens is they lose customers because of the increase in price it hurts the company bottom line and they reverse course and drop the increase.
Congratulation on being in the 9% tax bracket. You must be retired and your income went down from when you were working.
I confess I'm still not clear on how a partisan political party can even think to qualify for a 501(c)(4) that precludes its involvement in partisan politics.
The beauty of it is that partisan politics are NOT precluded from the 501c4 code as “...a substantial part of their activities may consist of lobbying or political activities, as long as the political activities are germane to the social welfare purpose of the (nonprofit) organization...” a big enough loophole for any tax lawyer to drive his Mercedes through.
Another big attraction is that it is also free from donor identification requirements.