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View Diary: The Hate Subsidy (45 comments)

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  •  asdf (12+ / 0-)
    The whole point of redirecting money to such groups is that they (theoretically) serve the public good the government would otherwise have to provide, but do so under private management.
    Not really. The original decision to provide tax exemptions for religion=us organizations was based on the concept of separation of church and state. "The power to tax is the power to destroy", hence those entities are not taxed.

    The Bush - Clinton - Obama succession of Presidents set out to blur the lines between church and state by further directly subsidizing church activities. In order to justify this blatant violation of the establishment clause they pretended that money wasn't fungible, that the purpose of funding these organizations was to provide for charitable work and to pretend that they were somehow specially qualified to perform such work. It was only then that the myth that these entities do good for which government would otherwise be responsible, a baseless hypothesis which preseumes that they and only they are charitable and capabl;e of charitable behavior, which is given the lie every time somebody not in the clergy hands a panhandler a dime.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 04:06:10 PM PST

    •  I think there is a case (4+ / 0-)

      (I want to say California Franchise Tax Board v. Cmr but I need to look) that stands for the proposition that the tax exemption for churches is not required by the First Amendment ( the Bob Jones case above also says about the same thing).  This is really important because if, as the Puplit Freedom day people want, the genesis of the tax exemption ( no pun intended) is in the First Amendment, then the other strings on tax exemption that are imposed by statute (such as the private inurement prohibition and the limits on political activity and lobbying) would not be applicable to churches.  I think the IRS has resisted this interpretation and won to date, although the Religious Right is looking for a test case.

      •  I wasn't trying to imply that the first (0+ / 0-)

        amendment required the tax exemption, but only that those drafting the tax code desired, rightly or wrongly, to protect religion and churches from the potentially destructive power of taxation. It was not a quid pro quo for any good that they allegedly do, for, unlike most exempt orgs, they are not required to do any

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:54:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  the power to tax (4+ / 0-)

      is the power to tax. The absolute definition of secularism would be that any religious institution is a non-profit, and would be taxed accordingly. The religious test would be that no specific non-profit could be given special tax exemptions that others do not.

      A hate group can be non-profit. I do not have a problem with that, as long as they follow the tax laws as they are written. Religious exemptions need not apply, as they should not actually exist. They have the freedom to speak as they will, as much as I disagree with the message.

      What we are really talking about here is the FTC, and FTC rules, and their disturbing lack of teeth in enforcement, and disturbing lack of action in even putting forth any sorts of rules. The FTC really should not be using IRS categories to figure out which set of rules to apply, it should be using its own definitions of what is political and what is not, what is partisan and what is not, and so forth, and it really should be setting real consequences for those that violate the rules it sets. This is not being done, and is unlikely to happen without legislation... and a new supreme court.

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