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View Diary: Tea Party Groups Tax Exempt Because of Social Welfare: Really? (24 comments)

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  •  This is a 1st Amendment issue (1+ / 0-)
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    erush1345

    They SHOULD be tax exempt.  Just as any liberal organization should be tax exempt.

    They don't engage in commerce.  They don't produce goods.  They do not operate for a profit.  

    They state a position, they raise private funds, and they engage in activities to further that position.. be it an attempt to persuade the general public, sway policy makers, publish information, conduct research, stage events, etc...

    This is textbook 1st Amendment activity.  Why are we against this just because they are on the other side of the political spectrum?

    Advocacy groups should be able to exist, raise funds, engage in speech AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE on a many issues as possible, regardless of political position.

    There is NEVER a litmus test where some outside agency, much less the actual government gets to weigh in and decide if this is something that is a genuine benefit to society.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu May 16, 2013 at 12:03:32 PM PDT

    •  The activities you cite are indeed (1+ / 0-)
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      fidlerten

      legitimate social welfare activities. But these organizations also engage in campaigns, in some cases almost exclusively. This is prohibited by the plain language of the law, and permitted only by IRS and Supreme Court Newspeak and Doublethink.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Thu May 16, 2013 at 12:49:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are guidelines for that (0+ / 0-)

        The problem is that many campaigns are completely immersed in specific issues.  You can't be a pro-choice advocacy group and then pretend not to care when there is a major election between a pro-choice candidate and some militant pro-lifer.

        They can't work for the candidate directly, but they clearly have a vested interest in the outcome.

        If the claim here is that the line was crossed, then so be it.  Go after the infractions, but the nature of these organizations and their ability to raise money and speak in the public square without the burden of taxation should not be part of the debate.

        I am very appreciative of the organizations that do this on our side.  

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Thu May 16, 2013 at 01:15:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's about revealing your donors (1+ / 0-)
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      fidlerten

      That's the meat and potatoes of 501c4s

      The symbol for the Republican party shouldn't be an elephant -- it should be a unicorn.

      by Deadicated Marxist on Thu May 16, 2013 at 01:22:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A 1st Ammendent issue? (2+ / 0-)
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      Nattiq, fidlerten

      So by your logic Corporations who hire lobbyists should be able to write off their salaries as the lobbyists are merely stating their positions?

      And about 'They don't engage in commerce.'

      Commerce is the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural and technological systems that are in operation in any country.

      "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." Mark Twain

      by Urbee on Thu May 16, 2013 at 01:31:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lobbying by statute (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fidlerten

        is not tax deductible.  Lobbyists do it specifically to make a profit.  

        I have heard on arguments suggesting a change to any of this.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Thu May 16, 2013 at 03:14:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True. BUT (0+ / 0-)

          Your missing my point. He is saying, in essence, that lobbying DOES fall into this same category.

          "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." Mark Twain

          by Urbee on Fri May 24, 2013 at 04:35:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Hell no. (1+ / 0-)
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      fidlerten

      A) Money is not speech.

      B) And what they do, for the most part, is not 'social welfare'.

      You don't get tax exempt status simply to use your free speech rights either.  Free speech is free speech, and has nothing to do with the IRS.

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