Friday, May 17, 2013

IRS Scandal is a Tea Party Bonanza!

While growing up during the Vietnam War and Nixon era, as a much younger man, I used to be very anti-government. I was an ignorant, naive and rebellious "anti-establishment" radical. At the time, I didn't understand that the vast majority of Americans (except for "survivalists" and a few who are living in rural areas) actually relies very much on our government in their daily lives --- from their homes to their jobs, including their commutes in between.

But then, years later, I eventually discovered that, it's not until someone actively pursues assistance from our government, do we come to realize just  how much we really do need our government. And since the Vietnam War, because we now have 100 million more people, I will assume that our government has also grown somewhat proportionally to accommodate our growing population.

But their are also those who believe that we don't need any government at all, and some groups such as the Tea Party Patriots were formed by extremely wealthy and powerful individuals who, for the most part (with the exception of roads, airports and a standing army), don't rely as much on what our government can provide for the majority of us. (NOTE: I'm not advocating for a reliance or a dependency on government, but stipulating the services that government can provide for us, by us, to make our lives and our society better for everyone.)

These same wealthy individuals are also pushing the idea that, if corporations continue to outsource jobs for cheaper labor, while refusing to raise the minimum for domestic wages, that after people are forced into using government programs such as food stamps, we are becoming a government-dependent society --- and then advocate for cutting food stamps. (I often wonder: Has any member of the Tea Party ever used the SNAP program to help feed their children, or applied for unemployment insurance after losing a job?)

This morning I received a newsletter in my email from the Tea Party Patriots, which is classified by the IRS as "social welfare organization", organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. I subscribe to their newsletter to keep tabs on this radical organization.

In their letter to me they called the employees of the IRS "gangsters", "goons" and "trained thugs" --- and claimed that the IRS threatened all those who are seeking tax-exempt status, and that they would be "thrown in prison if they made even one small mistake!" (Their exclamation point, not mine.)

The Tea Party Patriots also referred to themselves as just "ordinary pro-limited government Americans just exercising their first amendment rights." But what they really are is just a group of ordinary far-right-wing lunatics (bordering on anarchists), who are using Citizens United to squash my own First Amendment Rights. Their corporate money speaks much louder than I do --- their megaphones are huge --- they can buy time on national cable TV channels (while all I can do is post this diary).

In the Tea Party Patriots' newsletter they also said it there was an "all-out government assault on our freedoms. Please make a generous emergency contribution of $10, $15, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford right away."

They were asking me to send them money, while at the same time, politically advocating to deprive me of my Social Security and healthcare. How stupid do they think I am? (Oops! That was a stupid question!)

Regarding one of the latest new "scandals": The IRS said political bias was not the reason the IRS singled out conservative groups. Instead, staffers in the agency's Cincinnati office said they were trying to manage the deluge of applications for tax-exempt status under the 501(c)(4) section of the tax law. Between 2010 and 2012 the number of 501(c)(4) applications leaped from 1,500 to more than 3,400.

Before this scandal broke, 501(c)(4) nonprofit groups were already making headlines for their political spending. Secretive nonprofits like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, and the American Action Network spent huge sums of money to influence the 2012 elections. Campaign watchdogs say those groups have flouted the law, which says 501(c)(4) groups can't make politics their "primary purpose."

This week on MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell discussed the report from the Treasury inspector general on the IRS targeting scandal and argued that as far back as 1959, the IRS has used a bad interpretation of the law to target political groups --- such as changing the distinction from “exclusively" to “primarily" promoting social welfare and operating for the common good, rather than being only politically motivated.

But just like everything else that's evil in the world, the Republicans have been very busy trying to find a way to prove that President Obama was personally responsible for the IRS's targeting of radical right-wing political groups who were applying for tax-free status --- because these "Tea Party" groups are anti-government --- meaning, they are anti-Social Security, anti-Medicare, anti-ObamaCare®, anti-unemployment benefits, anti-disability benefits, anti-TANF, anti-Veteran's benefits, anti-food stamps, and yes...anti-IRS and anti-taxes.

It's odd that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) once believed that all such nonprofit 501c groups (before there was even a "Tea Party") should be subjected to much tougher scrutiny by the IRS.

McConnell, in a 1987 interview, said "'There are restrictions now on the kinds of activities that, for example, 501(c)(3) and (4) organizations, charitable organizations, can engage in that are being abused -- not just people on the right, but most of the so-called charitable organizations who are involved in political activity in this country, who are, in my judgment, involved in arguable violations of their tax-free status and violations of the campaign laws, and happen to be groups on the left. So that is a problem."

Now Mitch McConnell says the actions of the IRS "could be criminal". He sounded very "Tea Party-ish". In the newsletter I mentioned, the Tea Party Patriots also said "we must make sure that every single individual involved in this unconstitutional effort to silence us is either fired or thrown in jail!" (Again, their exclamation point, not mine. And why aren't they as feverishly demanding that some bankers go to jail?)

Mitch McConnell recently released a letter saying, "We are deeply disturbed that agents of the government were directed to give greater scrutiny to groups engaged in conduct questioning the actions of their government. This type of purely political scrutiny being conducted by an Executive Branch Agency is yet another completely inexcusable attempt to chill the speech of political opponents and those who would question their government, consistent with a broader pattern of intimidation by arms of your administration to silence political dissent."

In the past (before this "scandal") watchdog groups have demanded that the IRS and the Federal Election Commission crack down on these nonprofits for spending too much time and money "exclusively" on politics --- rather than "primarily" promoting the social welfare for the common good. But if most Americans don't agree with the opinions of wackos such as Michele Bachmann, how can they be operating for "the common good".

But now this scandal could cause the IRS to shy away from uncovering 501(c)(4) organizations that do in fact abuse their tax-exempt status by focusing primarily on politics. If so, this would be a big win for anti-government groups like the Tea Party Patriots and other "anti-people" groups that are funded by people like Karl Rove and the Koch brothers.

In the Tea Party Patriots newsletter, they said that the government had "declared war on the American people! So now we must treat our wounded and get back on the offensive. Our list of local Tea Party groups [that were] victimized by the IRS is growing by the hour. Please, please donate what you can right away."

They don't want to pay taxes to us (our government), but they want us to contribute to them. I think I 'd rather try to win the Powerball Jackpot, rather than send any money to the Koch brothers (The jackpot is almost up to $600 million, and it could soon pass $1 billion. And the proceeds go to fund government.)

The truth is, the radical and greedy multi-billionaire Koch brothers (and the other like-minded ideologues) don't want the super-wealthy in this country to have to contribute anything at all to this nation, or to it's people. They only want a much wider income gap and a greater disparity in wealth.

If the "grassroots" members of the Tea Party aren't lying hypocrites, they should all publicly post a list of their members who will take a notarized pledge that when they reach retirement age, they will all refuse to apply for Social Security benefits; or if they ever become unemployed, refuse to apply for unemployment benefits; or if they were ever to break their back, refuse to apply for disability; or if they are ever in need of ANY government service at all (such as disaster relief if a hurricane or tornado were to mow down their homes), they should all pledge not to receive one penny of government assistance from our "big" and "out-of-control" evil government --- whose deficit has been steadily dropping for the past four years at a rate faster than since after World War II.

I would advocate for the hiring of many more Americans to work for the IRS, and not just to target ALL 501(c) groups, but to also audit everyone earning over $1 million a year. Tax evasion is rampant, and it's primarily the wealthy who are breaking our tax laws by using shell corporations and offshore banking scams. That's why tax revenues aren't sufficient enough to fund our growing government; it's not because there are millions of dishonest and lazy Americans who are gaming the system (just to become depend on government), but because of the excessive greed and corruption at the very top of the food chain.

Ultra-wealthy individuals who don't need any government services, such as Social Security or Medicare (people like Mitt Romney or the Koch brothers), don't want to pay [taxes] for any government at all. Their political organizations (not social welfare organizations) can quote from our Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution all they like; and they can use terms such as "free", "freedom", "free enterprise" and "free markets" all they want to; or they can call themselves "patriots" and say they are for "limited government"; but what they really are is "anti-government", and WE are the government --- government is "people", and our government leaders are "politicians" --- so organizations such as the Tea Party Patriots are really "anti-people".

As the Reverend Al Sharpton said of the Tea Party: "We hate government, so put us in charge of the government."

Send this post to:
Tea Party Patriots, Inc.
1025 Rose Creek Drive #620-322
Woodstock, Georgia, 30189
Attention: Koch Brothers

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