Remember the outrageous targeting of Tea Party groups by the Obama administration? Well thanks to a rule change by the Treasury and the IRS, that targeting will now be ‘legal’. According to Kimberly Strassel with the WSJ, much of what 501(c)(4) groups do that’s educational will be reclassified as ‘political’:
What the rule in fact does is recategorize as “political” all manner of educational activities that 501(c)(4) social-welfare organizations currently engage in.
It’s IRS targeting all over again, only this time by administration design and with the raw political goal — as House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) notes — of putting “tea party groups out of business.”
Isn’t that just swell. So instead of making sure this never happens again, our Thug-in-Chief makes this an everyday practice at the IRS. Sure, it will apply to all 501(c)(4) groups on the right and the left, but as John McCormick told Greta last night, it’s the small Tea Party groups that will really get hurt by this:
I talked to one republican operative and his point was that the guys at the top, the big heavy hitters on both the right and the left, they have the rich lawyers and can figure this out. They’re going to get around it. People who really might get hurt by this is the small Tea Party groups who don’t exactly know how they are going to reorganize. If they’re not 501(c)(4), can they become a 501(c)(6)? The tax code is riddled with different loopholes and organizations.
But what’s worse is that unions aren’t touched by this new rule, as Strassel points out, so they can continue their political activities without worrying about losing their tax-exempt status:
And an IRS rule that purports to—as Mr. Werfel explained—”improve our work in the tax-exempt area” completely ignores the biggest of political players in the tax-exempt area: unions. The guidance is directed only at 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups—the tax category that has of late been flooded by conservative groups. Mr. Obama’s union foot soldiers—which file under 501(c)(5)—can continue playing in politics.
Of course. Thugs protect their thug organizations while taking out their opposition.
Republicans tried to put this rule on hold in the Omnibus spending bill, but the rule was so important for the Obama administration and the Democrats that they wouldn’t budge on it even if it meant losing their other priorities:
Congressional sources tell me that House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R., Ky.) had two priorities in the omnibus negotiations. One was getting in protection for groups that morally oppose ObamaCare’s contraception-coverage requirement. The other was language that would put a hold on the IRS rule.
The White House and Senate Democrats had their own wish list, including an increase in funding for the International Monetary Fund, the president’s prekindergarten program and more ObamaCare dollars.
Yet my sources say that throughout the negotiations Democrats went all in on keeping the IRS rule, even though it meant losing their own priorities. In the final hours before the omnibus was introduced Monday night, the administration made a last push for IMF money. Asked to negotiate that demand in the context of new IRS language, it refused.
Amazing. This administration claims they had no idea that the targeting of Tea Party groups was going on, but yet they’ll fight tooth and nail to keep Republicans from stopping a new rule that makes it administratively ‘legal’ for the IRS to target Tea Party groups? Yeah, sure. We’re that gullible.
I recommend you read Strassel’s full article here.