Please see Marilyn’s great column in the RDF regarding the Obama administration using the IRS as weapon against his political enemies.
What do you, Dr. Ben Carson, and Franklin Graham have in common? Each is an American citizen, subject to Internal Revenue Service regulations and, frankly, intimidation. Who amongst us does not dread April 15?
Dr. Carson, former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, spoke his mind at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, with the president sitting next to him, on health care, taxation and the national debt. According to The Washington Times, Dr. Carson was singled out by the IRS for scrutiny just three months later. After Reverend Graham, Christian minister and son of Billy Graham, during the 2012 presidential election, urged voters to back “candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles,” IRS agents paid a visit to his offices, saying that they needed to review his 2010 tax activities.
Neither had ever been audited until they publicly voiced political dissent.
You are just as likely as any other citizen to be targeted. The question is whether your public dissent will trigger an IRS reaction. Starting before the 2010 midterm elections and continuing to the present, the IRS has systematically targeted about 300 groups with the words “tea party” and “patriot” in their names, preventing them from getting a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status as a social welfare group. These words served as shorthand for conservative grassroots groups like the Redlands Tea Party Patriots that arose in opposition to the Obama administration’s policies—particularly the federal government’s massive fiscal deficits and Obamacare.
While tea party groups sat for years in a limbo of no decisions and frequently no response to their inquiries, the IRS then began, in January 2012, illegally “requesting” (IRS-ese for demanding) additional information such as member lists and donor names. Only a few liberal groups had their paperwork delayed.
Bi-partisan indignation erupted across the land from citizens and legislators alike. Why? Because what the IRS can do to one political group under a Democratic president, it can turn around and do just as “legally” when there is a Republican president.
President Obama first called the actions “outrageous,” changing his tune a few months later, referring to the situation as a “phony scandal.” Then during the Bill O’Reilly 2014 Superbowl interview, the President stated decisively that there was “not even a smidgeon of corruption” at the IRS. Since there are right now seven on-going congressional investigations, as well as a completely stalled Department of Justice criminal investigation, what drives his certainty?
A week ago, Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of the TeaParty Patriots, announced that after more than three years, tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, countless hours of volunteer and staff time answering questions and questions and more questions…the IRS finally decided to grant their 501(c)(4) status.
Providentially, she received this news the evening before she was due to testify before a House Oversight panel about this travesty. Hmmmm.
Lest you rise up in righteous indignation against the idea of these tea party groups receiving this IRS status, keep in mind that President Obama’s fundraising group, Organizing for Action (OFA), is registered with that designation.
Mind you, Obama’s group was launched as a NEW social welfare organization in January 2013. So while the TPP has been waiting three years for IRS approval, President Obama’s fundraising group sashayed into IRS approval without a corresponding three-year wait, just a little old rubber stamping by your friendly IRS office. What’s that they say about “It’s WHO you know…”?
Quoting Jim Messina, national chairman of OFA, on Politico.com, “We’ll work on the key battles of our generation, train the next generation of grassroots organizers and leaders, and organize around local issues in our own communities.”
That sounds suspiciously like what the tea party would like to do if only the IRS weren’t targeting them. According to an email written by Lois Lerner, the IRS official being questioned by Congress for the second time about her role in the IRS targeting scandal, these tea party groups are “very dangerous.”
Not nearly as dangerous as your speaking out and having the IRS—collector of taxes, enforcer of Obamacare, and harasser of tea parties—send you the dreaded “Dear Taxpayer” letter.
Member, Redlands Tea Party Patriots