Is there anyone out there who really believes that the Tea Party groups (GOP base groups) were formed beginning in 2009 as "social welfare" groups? Anyone?
I have been paying close attention for....well....too damn long, really....but as I remember it, the Teas began organizing into various and sundry state and local groups immediately after Obama became president. During those glorious and patriotic salad days, Tea groups and members made it clear that they were political opposition groups....in opposition to all of Obama's policies. Those who would try to argue otherwise today have zero credibility.
The Teas were politically active in opposition to the bank bailouts, the stimulus of February, 2009, taxes (Taxed Enough Already), and Obamacare. The Teas were in favor of lower government spending during the nation's bank-caused depression. The Tea members in the House, campaigned for and elected in 2010 with the help of "social welfare" Tea-group support, were directly responsible for the one and only downgrade of U.S. debt risk.
During those great and patriotic days in August 2011, Teas sang "cut it or shut it" and "shut it down", I guess, as part of their "social welfare" work for their local communities.The debt-ceiling clustermess of August, 2011 was blamed on the influence of Tea groups and their stubborn GOP House members and marked the decline in nationwide approval of said Tea groups, an approval rating nationally which now stands at under 25%.
Furthermore, I recall receiving a mailer before the 2010 midterms from the Liberty Coalition group, formerly headed by TeaMan Tom Zawistowski, which advocated for specific political candidates, none of whom were Democrats. Call me crazy, and many do, but I'm thinking advocating for all very conservative candidates is not really "social welfare", but instead, political advocacy.
Political advocacy is not "social welfare". The tax exempt rules....admittedly thrown into disarray by the egregious Citizens United ruling....state that a legitimate 501 (c)(4) tax exempt group should be classified as such because of "social welfare" activities. Raising funds for a local park, school improvements and the like. Donors to "social welfare" groups can remain anonymous if they choose and still claim tax exemptions on their donations.
On Karl Rove's (c)(4) application for tax exempt "social welfare" status for his Crossroads GPS group....line b of Part 1....which Rove checked....reads verbatim,.."Civic leagues, social welfare organizations (including certain war veterans organizations), or local associations of employees." Notice that 'politcal advocacy' is not included in that line.
Rove's Crossroads GPS and the Koch Bros. Americans for Prosperity "social welfare (c)(4) groups together spent $60 million on teevee ads last year to defeat President Obama. More egregious still is that the donors of that $60 million remained anonymous under (c)(4) disclosure rules.
Naturally, all this is gaming the system....and all this flows freely from the sewage left after the Citizens United decision which, astonishingly, declared that money equals free speech. Combine the Citizens ruling with the Romney doctrine....'corporations are people'....and it is no surprise that the IRS 501 (c)(4) stipulations have been gamed wholesale.
But instead of the story last week and this week and, I'm sure, for many weeks to come....being, 'conservative groups make mockery of IRS tax-exempt rules'.....we have the fauxrage story that conservative groups have been victimized, targeted for.....hell, I have no idea, seeing that not one conservative group was denied (c)(4) status.
Yesterday, Fox's Chris Wallace asked the question I asked on the other day's blog. He asked it of Paul Ryan (Sixpack-Abs-WI). Paraphrasing....'298 (c)(4) applications were given extra scrutiny. Of those 298 applications, only 96 were conservative groups. Were non-conservative groups also being targeted?' Ryan evaded answering.
This morning, the smugly, arrogant corporate shill Max Baucus (CEO's-MT) said almost exactly the same thing as he began his Senate hearing on this alleged scandal.
The numbers can't be gainsayed. There is no credible way to make sense of GOP complaints that conservative groups were "targeted" by the IRS for.....something.....when only 1 out of 3 (c)(4) applications given extra scrutiny were conservative groups. So, the "argument" is only really about IRS in-house filing practices. How the Cinci IRS handled the avalanche of new (c)(4) "social welfare" applications.....sorting, credibility determination, etc. Perhaps Glenn Beck should investigate the potential scandal of the Obama administration insisting on alphabetized IRS filing mechanisms, huh?
So, no....this is not a scandal....even though the Very Serious People in the Village will swear on their new Mercedes that it is. In fact.....the real scandal concerning the IRS is that they didn't reject as unacceptable any Tea and Patriot group applications. That's the scandal that proves the IRS wasn't doing it's job competently. Political activist groups are political activist groups....not social welfare groups. The IRS scandal is found in the fact that Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS and David and Charles Koch's Americans for Prosperity have not had their (c)(4) status nullified.
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