“It’s a nothingburger”. That’s how Chris Matthews described the Right’s effort to find a scandal in the IRS where there isn’t one. I agree. Indeed, when the dust settles, this matter will be more of a problem for the Right than the Left.
Let’s look at the essentials.
The Law. Since 1913, organizations that “engage exclusively in social welfare activities” are exempt from Federal Income Tax under the Internal Revenue Code.
The Regulations. In the 1950s, the IRS adopted a regulation that effectively changed the law to allow a tax exemption for organizations engaged “primarily” in social welfare activities.
If you find that weird, you’re right. The IRS, like all other government agencies, has no power (like zip, nada, bupkes) to change the clear requirements of a law passed by Congress.
Principled Republicans who believe in Constitutional government should be outraged by this usurpation of power by unelected bureaucrats at the IRS, of all places. The fact that they aren’t is evidence that the Party’s agenda is being driven by slick opportunists looking for any chance to tarnish Obama.
Targeting. The charge by the Right is that the IRS targeted groups with right-wing sounding names and went easy on groups with left-wing sounding names. That’s exactly what they should have been doing. Seriously. Continue Reading…….