To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. — Richard Henry Lee, 1778

IRS: A Muzzle for Free Speech

February 8, 2014   ·   By   ·   0 Comments

IRS Headquarters in Washington D.C.

IRS Headquarters in Washington D.C.

The latest round of the IRS scandal, in which Tea Party and conservative groups have been selectively targeted for harassment by our tax collection agency, is now unfolding,

This comes in the form of proposed new rules from the IRS regarding the operation of organizations falling under the 501c4 provision of the tax code.

These are organizations whose purpose is to promote “social welfare” and therefore their income is tax-free.

Because promoting a cause or agenda in our free and democratic country cannot be isolated from political activity associated with that agenda, such activity is permitted by 501c4 organizations, as long as politics does not become its main purpose.

These are the rules of the game that have existed since 1959.

But now the IRS wants to change the game.

The new rules they propose expand the definition of “candidate related activity” so broadly – to include voter education campaigns and grass roots lobbying campaigns – and to forbid even the mention of a candidate in any context 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election – that it will make it impossible for these organizations to function.

The IRS would like us to believe they are just trying to clear up some rules that are too vague regarding how these organizations are permitted to operate.

But can it be an accident that these new rules come in the midst of the current scandal in which an IRS official, Lois Lerner, admitted that Tea Party groups were being targeted for harassment?

It was revealed this week at a House committee hearing, at which new IRS commissioner John Koskinen testified, that an email was found from an IRS official indicating intent to scrutinize 501c4 organizations.

How much of this was generated by inappropriate politicized activity within the IRS and to what extent it relates to the IRS taking guidance from higher authority – like the White House – remains to be seen.

It does defy common sense to conclude that the White House has not been involved in this.

IRS activity in pursuit of non-profit organizations escalated in 2010.

It so happens that early 2010 the Supreme Court ruled, in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that the ban on independent political expenditures by corporations violated the free speech provisions in the first amendment of the constitution.

And it so happens funding escalated into 501c4 organizations after the Supreme Court lifted this ban. And it so happens a good deal of this activity has been Tea Party related activity.

After the Citizens United decision, the president himself weighed in, expressing his outrage about the decision, indicating his intent to “develop a forceful response to this decision.”

To the dismay of our president and those with political agendas at the IRS, our constitution permits free speech and allows corporations to use funds to express a political viewpoint. So the IRS is now trying to render inoperative the vehicles that often receive and use those funds – 501c4 organizations.

It is not an accident that if we look around the world, the one thing that uniformly characterizes un-free nations is lack of free speech.

Those that love political power hate those who want to question their power and who want to inform citizens and provide a different point of view.

This is what the current IRS scandal is about. IRS officials, whose job it is to collect taxes, have abused their power to harass those whose politics they do not like. And this is what the current attempt to shut down 501c4 organizations by rewriting long standing rules by which they operate is about.

Free flow of information and free speech is the oxygen of a free society. Every freedom loving American should vigorously push back against this abuse of power by the IRS to stifle free speech.



This article is printed with the permission of the author(s). Opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of American Clarion or Dakota Voice LLC.

Comment Rules: Please confine comments to salient ones that add to the topic; Profanity is not allowed and will be deleted; Spam, copied statements and other material not comprised of the reader’s own opinion will be deleted.


Similar Posts:

Star Parker is president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education and author of the new book White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay. Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single welfare mother in Los Angeles, California. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a BS degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine.
Star Parker
View all articles by Star Parker
Leave a comment with your Facebook login
Print Friendly

Readers Comments (0)


Sorry, comments are closed on this post.

Featured Articles

Peroutka_Nevada

Alice in Wonderland in Nevada

Michael Peroutka

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice (remember Alice in Wonderland), “whether you can make words mean different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “who is to be master – that is all.” Perhaps Alice can give us some insight into what the government is doing right now in Bunkerville, Nevada.

debate

Trying To Win The Debate…By Pretending There Isn’t One

David Mann

Whenever someone tries to sell an idea as being “settled science,” or as being completely agreed upon and noncontroversial among all “experts,” “reputable researchers,” “intelligent people,” etc., that’s a big, red, flashing light telling you that you need to question it -- and question it carefully. Legitimate claims don't need to hide behind that kind of hype.

Bible_Easter

Palm Sunday and the Den of Thieves

David Whitney

Palm Sunday is a glorious Sunday, when we recall that triumphal entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. At that momentous point, the people recognize that Jesus is the Messiah, the King that was long promised in the writings of the prophets. As I was studying Luke’s account of Palm Sunday this week it struck me just how different that day was for Jesus in contrast with the crowd rejoicing about Him.

Two homosexual Jews kissing, one holding a sign which says "Privacy is a civil right." Photo Credit: Nathan Mac

Deception: Christian Publisher Sells Soul for Mammon

J. Matt Barber

WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group is planning to release, through its liberal sister imprint Convergent Books, a manuscript paradoxically titled God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships. Is the Christian world about to suffer through another World Vision moment?

Photo credit: Joshua Sherurcij

Truth Muzzled in Canada

Bob Ellis

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality has been arrested in Regina, Saskatchewan along with Canadian pro-family activist Bill Whatcott. Their crime? Telling the truth about abortion and homosexual behavior.

Archives




"We don't intend to turn the Republican Party over to the traitors in the battle just ended. We will have no more of those candidates who are pledged to the same goals as our opposition and who seek our support. Turning the party over to the so-called moderates wouldn't make any sense at all." - Ronald Reagan, Nov. 10, 1964