Comments about ‘In defense of the IRS’

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Published: Wednesday, May 15 2013 3:20 p.m. MDT

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

it's curious that any media outlet would say, "The Internal Revenue Service was acting in the public interest when it opted to train its auditing power on the tea party and affiliated groups.”

Is that correct?

Do we have freedom of speech in America or don't we?

Are we to be "punished" if we speak against the President?

Are the "agencies of government" to be let loose to keep us "quiet".

It is very disturbing to read that ANY media outlet believes in "punishment" for "speaking" in America.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

What is the IRS supposed to do?

The IRS should, in theory, draw a distinction between political groups and “social welfare” groups across the spectrum. Any tax-exempt group that is organized under Section 501(c)(4) must fall into the latter category. That is, the group has to be “primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the community.

Whether an organization is “primarily engaged” in promoting social welfare is a “facts and circumstances” determination.

Relevant factors include the amount of funds received from and devoted to particular activities; other resources used in conducting such activities, such as buildings and equipment; the time devoted to activities (by volunteers as well as employees); the manner in which the organization’s activities are conducted; and the purposes furthered by various activities.

All told in 2012, some 2,774 groups of all types applied for 501(c)(4) status. Of those, 2,324 were approved, eight were denied, and 442 were held in limbo, neither approved nor denied. A number of conservative groups found themselves in this last category.
(Washington Post "How is the IRS Supposed to Vet?..")

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"Do we have freedom of speech in America or don't we?"

Absolutely. But, organizations who delve into the political arena should not be tax exempt.

Zac
Ogden, UT

"Absolutely. But, organizations who delve into the political arena should not be tax exempt."

Well, it looks like the IRS needs to take away Media Matters and any union (SEIU, NEA, etc) tax exempt status.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Well, it looks like the IRS needs to take away Media Matters and any union (SEIU, NEA, etc) tax exempt status."

Great. I am all for it. I am not selective. Are You?

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Why is the IRS apologizing for doing its job? The reports say that nearly 300 entities were scrutinized and only 78 were "conservative." What about the other 3/4 of them, which include liberal entities as well?

SLars
Provo, UT

Most organizations delve into politics in one way or another. Some, like LaRaza, get invited to the white House to help set policy. They also receive money from the government each year.

But you won't find the left leaning organization on any IRS list. This was a per-planned attack against the other political side. see "attacking the other side to win elections" by Richard Nixon.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

This is the real problem. I'm not so disturbed that an agency of the Goevenrment did this (stuff like this is going to happen from time to time). What disturbs me is... SOME people think it's fine!

This is not fine.... no matter what political persuasion you are. Even President Obama and the head of the IRS understand that this was not OK and have said as much and apologized. This is NOT OK. This is how tyranny starts and is supported. This is stuff that goes on in 3rd world dictatorships to keep the people down and the Government up. This is the Government ignoring it's own Constitution and supressing the people they are there to protect.

It's not OK no matter what party you support.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"SOME people think it's fine!"

Who? This act should be met with jail time. I have seen no one defending it.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

JoeBlow,
Some of the people how have defended what the IRS did are:
-Huffington Post’s executive businesses editor Peter Goodman (wrote the oped piece defending what the IRS did)
-Irony Guy, (said, "Why is the IRS apologizing for doing its job")

In comments on the numerous articles that have been published recently on this topic there have been MANY who have defended what the IRS did. Go back and read the comments.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

I believe that there are far far too many "tax exempt" completely political and partisan groups.

Tax exempt status should NOT be granted for that purpose.

We should investigate and DENY tax exempt status to any and all political groups.

The problem with the IRS issue is that they

1) focused more on conservative groups
2) covered it up.

These things are blatantly wrong.

But, they absolutely should be scrutinizing these types of groups, whether right or left leaning.

How bout this. Lets get rid of ANY and ALL tax exempt organizations.

That would solve the problem.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

JoeBlow
I agree with your last post. Your 2 points described the problem perfectly IMO.

I also agree with your 2 conclusions
1. It's not OK no matter what side was being singled out for IRS abuse.
2. No political groups should be tax exempt.

I think even political parties should not be tax exempt. Heck political hegimony is big business... we should at least get a little slice of all that action (in the form of taxes). Imagine all the taxes we could collect if we taxed all political contributions. The money raised by the Obama campaign alone could have gotten us out of debt (without even having to target small segments of our society for special tazes)!

Tax contributions to ALL political groups! I like that.

One disagrement... I think charities should still be tax exempt. Because some people need an incentive to give, and charities just help lessen the load the government has to do. So it makes no sense to take their funds away and give them to the government (where overhead is even higher).

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