Using the tax code and tax authorities as Leftist sledge hammers

I’ve written before that the IRS’s aggression towards conservative groups and individuals is the worst presidential scandal in American history because it represents the first time a government agency, which falls under the executive’s control, has used its vast power to target people and groups that oppose the administration’s agenda.  Before the IRS started doing this, taxes had to come through a legislative process which was, in theory, vox populi.  Legislators were at least somewhat sensitive to voter concerns — they can, after all, get kicked out of office.  Administrative agencies with a partisan agenda feel that they’re untouchable and nothing can stop them.

Earl has now alerted me to the fact that the California legislature, which is so overwhelmingly Democrat as to make California a one-party state, has decided to copy the IRS’s behavior and use taxes to destroy political opponents:

What the IRS was doing behind closed doors may soon be official policy in California. Last week, the State Senate voted to revoke the nonprofit status of any group within the state that does not allow full participation of homosexuals, a move aimed directly at the Boy Scouts of America. According to the Associated Press, the bill “would require those organizations to pay corporate taxes on donations, membership dues, camp fees and other sources of income, and to obtain sellers permits and pay sales taxes on food, beverages and homemade items sold at fundraisers.” Groups that sponsor troops would also have their tax returns and membership policies scrutinized by the Franchise Tax Board, California’s version of the IRS.

If further proof was needed that the BSA’s partial surrender on the homosexual issue only emboldened their opponents, here it is. Compromise is not in the left’s vocabulary. Not until Dan Savage is taking your son camping will they be happy, and probably not even then.

Read the rest here.

It used to be that, if the Boy Scouts (or any other private organization) wouldn’t have you, you’d start your own organization and it would be so successful people would be knocking down your door and the Boy Scouts (or whatever) would be copying your model.  Or perhaps you’d start your own organization and it would fail, because the Boy Scouts (or whatever) actually had a good idea and were doing things right.

Nowadays, you don’t take your marbles and go play with other, more friendly people.  Instead, you stand there and kick the other side’s marbles all over the place and, if a few remain, you stomp them into dust.  My way or the highway — and I don’t care if my way destroys your essential essence, so long as you bow down before me.

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Comments

  1. Ron19 says

    It used to be that, if the Boy Scouts (or any other private organization) wouldn’t have you, you’d start your own organization and it would be so successful people would be knocking down your door and the Boy Scouts (or whatever) would be copying your model.  Or perhaps you’d start your own organization and it would fail, because the Boy Scouts (or whatever) actually had a good idea and were doing things right.
     
     I’m not quoting chapter and verse here, just my own memory.  This happened early in Acts of the Apostles, e.g., “Simony,” and the Koresh revolt in Exodus.
     
    The Church in France suffered from corruption because she started accepting money directly from the national government, e.g., tax money from the king’s coffers.  Religious and charitable organizations in the U.S. are doing this indirectly with “tax deductible” donations.
     
    Don’t think it will stop their opponents, but do think it would be better if we stopped taking tax deductions for our favorite organizations, and just have them pay corporate income taxes; then we can make our organizational decisions and actions less accountable to the government and other outsiders.

  2. lee says

    I am not sure how much it would matter.
     
    Now, I am NOT an accountant or a tax lawyer. I have just worked major chunks of my life for non-profits. I worked for many years for a theater in a Different State, and I had our tax-exampt numbe, and when I wnet out shopping, I’d have it wiith me to give to stores so we wouldn’t get charged sales tax. I KNOW we didn’t pay property tax. I have no idea about income tax, but I think I can assume we did not.
     
    Then, I worked several years for a 501(c)(3) in California. “Tax-exempt” status didn’t seem to mean much. We still paid sales tax on purchases. Lord knows we paid property tax.* Again, I can’t address income tax. But MOST non-profits seem to operate thinking that “non-profit” means “can’t make money” and their income is roughly equal to expenditures.  Just out of curiosity, I looked up the LA BSA Council 990 up, and their revenue for 2010 was $6,698,857 from dues, fundraising, grants, camping revenue, and investment income, etc., and only $1,289,307 was listed as “Revenue excluded from tax.” their expenses were $7,471,084. (BTW, the CEO earns $368,158.)
     
    Just to be safe, theoretically, the Boy Scouts could probably just move all the councils out of California to neighboring states, (especially before the law went into effect, to avoid any state capital gains taxes), while troops stay in the state, but affiliate with out of state councils. (And you better believe that troops operate on a shoe-string.) Sure, California would try to get their pound of flesh, but it would be fewer ounces.
     
    It’s also quite possib;e/probably some jacka$$ who works for the FTB would get it in their head to go NUTS on reviewing tax returns for Boy Scouts.
     
    So this is why I think this is mostly a symbolic measure. That being said, I also think what the State Senate is doing is abhorent and out of bounds. I would love to see it bite them in the collective a$$.
     
    * My boss tried to argue that our propery value was essentially zero, since we were limited by the zoning changing that allowed us to build there. We could not sell to anyone. Ever. That didn’t work. And then when PG&E gave us a $1000/acre for the land that they needed/were taken anyway for something, he tried to argue that THAT was the value, since the state had been in cahoots with PG&E in setting the value at $1000/acre. And that didn’t work. So we were taxed at the enormous rate for prime property in a high value area.  

  3. Davidg1218 says

    The whole notion of “Tax-exempt” is bogus and provides a reduction in revenue which is theoretically a cost paid by everyone.  Why should anyone be favored to not pay the costs of running the government?  Just an avenue to favoritism and corruption.
    I think we would be better off with none of these exemptions, and NO Tax subsidies.  Yes even the Churches and Green energy and mortgage deductions.  Where is this in our Constitution?  This is just another form of Government control. 

  4. says

     
    lee: I think you needed a better lawyer on the PG&E situation….if that was the price of the land for purposes of eminent domain, then that was the land’s value…and you should have paid property taxes on it at that price.  Maybe a lawyer can explain the fallacy of this view.
     
    Davidg1218: “The power to tax is the power to destroy.”  THAT is why churches are exempt.  Furthermore, charities do things that government might otherwise have to do…or at least they help people avoid stuff that would cost the government money — think free clinics, homeless shelters, food banks, etc. etc. etc.  Do some reading before just labeling something with a long history as “bogus”. 
     
    Remember, also – before 1913, there was NO income tax…..and our government did just fine.  It’s NOT their money!!

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