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Sat May 25, 2013, 10:35 PM

"Six Facts Lost in the IRS Scandal"

Six Facts Lost in the IRS Scandal

by Kim Barker and Justin Elliott, ProPublica

http://billmoyers.com/2013/05/22/six-facts-lost-in-the-irs-scandal/

"SNIP...................

Consider this our Top 6 list of need-to-know facts on social welfare nonprofits, also known as dark money groups because they don’t have to disclose their donors. The groups poured more than $256 million into the 2012 federal elections.

1. Social welfare nonprofits are supposed to have social welfare, and not politics, as their “primary” purpose.

A century ago, Congress created a tax exemption for social welfare nonprofits. The statute defining the groups says they are supposed to be “operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.” But in 1959, the regulators interpreted the “exclusively” part of the statute to mean groups had to be “primarily” engaged in enhancing social welfare. This later opened the door to political spending.

So what does “primarily” mean? It’s not clear. The IRS has said it uses a “facts and circumstances” test to say whether a group mostly works to benefit the community or not. In short: If a group walks and talks like a social welfare nonprofit, then it’s a social welfare nonprofit.

This deliberate vagueness has led some groups to say that “primarily” simply means they must spend 51 percent of their money on a social welfare idea — say, on something as vague as “education,” which could also include issue ads criticizing certain politicians. And then, the reasoning goes, a group can spend as much as 49 percent of its expenditures on ads directly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate for office



.................SNIP"

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Six Facts Lost in the IRS Scandal" (Original post)
applegrove May 2013 OP
BlueStreak May 2013 #1
John2 May 2013 #3
BlueStreak May 2013 #11
pansypoo53219 May 2013 #2
Iliyah May 2013 #4
LeftInTX May 2013 #5
ErikJ May 2013 #6
hay rick May 2013 #14
DallasNE May 2013 #7
applegrove May 2013 #8
DallasNE May 2013 #12
kelliekat44 May 2013 #9
George Gently May 2013 #10
DallasNE May 2013 #13
hootinholler May 2013 #15

Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sat May 25, 2013, 10:43 PM

1. Thank you. It really isn't complicated.

 

This whole "scandal" thing is a big canard, and Obama made a huge blunder by validating that. I still cannot think of any good reason he started apologizing on day one and every single day since.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:30 AM

3. I can think of

 

one good reason. See Chris Matthews and the rest of his Media Pals blaming Liberals and the Obama Administration. The Media are accomplices to the rightwing Republican Party. If they say it, then it must be true, because it is the Holier and thou Media. They are smarter than all of us. They are a bunch of elitists. You don't know how many times I wanted to put a muzzle on Matthews with his ballistic rants. Along with the Media and rightwing Republicans, it was overkill as usual and the Democrats going along because no one had a backbone.

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Response to John2 (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 09:27 AM

11. How can any Deomcrat have "backbone" on this subject when Obama

 

is out there every day scolding the IRS for their "misconduct" even though no misconduct has actually been shown?

Of course the media is going to run with the "scandal" angle. Why should the media say "Oh, wait a minute, this actually looks like unfounded hysteria" when the President is leading the chant of "scandal, scandal, scandal"?

If Obama is using reverse psychology, it is not working.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sat May 25, 2013, 10:44 PM

2. the fact is the IRS gave them preferential treatment. they skipped the line.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:38 AM

4. And in my opinion, most Americans have no love for the Tea Party Nation

Why, because they are abusive. That stuff they did to the follow up to 2010 and the continue hatred spew towards most Americans, the eff up congress especially the house gopers who are tea nuts who don't give a shit about America nor its people already know that they are a political hatch and think that the IRS was doing their job, period.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:38 AM

5. Kick

Bill Moyers explains it well.

It does sound like some groups have been given preferential treatment. Then, when they're caught doing wrong, they accuse the government of persecuting them.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:54 AM

6. And the Cons respond back that Media Matters is not "social welfare" either

 

so why do they get the same tax exempt status?

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #6)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:21 PM

14. Media Matters is a 501(c)(3) organization, not a 501(c)(4).

Media Matters doesn't claim to be a social welfare organization.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 01:45 AM

7. Why Does The Word "Exclusive" Need To Be Interpreted

Especially when the interpretation is far less clear than the original wording. It has never made any sense. And we can be sure that if the IRS ruled that the 1959 interpretation was no longer operable and the wording in the law would now be followed that Republicans would scream that Obama was politicizing the IRS, when in fact it would be taking politics out of the definition. Lastly, something needs to be done about the perjury being committed routinely on the applications. The fact is that the IRS is powerless in such areas because of the certainty of being accused of playing politics when attempting to enforce the law. The reality is that the IRS is the wrong agency to have responsibility for making these decision. Their responsibility should just be the enforcement of tax collection laws. These other issues belong in another office such as the FEC.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #7)

Sun May 26, 2013, 02:03 AM

8. Hopefully all this attention will lead

to reforns of the system. That would be a blessing for Dems.

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Response to applegrove (Reply #8)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:29 AM

12. While True, There Is Zero Chance Of That Happening

I've seen reports that claim that the IRS is losing $60 billion a year to tax cheats. Some companies are too big to audit (meaning too powerful). Recently former Senator Snowe (R-ME) said that voters have failed to apply pressure on their elected officials. To tighten the screws on the politicians you need a screwdriver and Citizens United took the screwdriver out of the hands of the voters. What we have ended up with is America the corrupt.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:56 AM

9. Kicking for the mindless!

 

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #9)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:11 AM

10. Hear. Hear.

 

Crossroads and their minions all applied for this status as a way to game the system.

Rove's application described Crossroads' attempt to influence elections as "limited."

"One of the applications the IRS released to ProPublica was from Crossroads GPS, the largest social-welfare nonprofit involved in the 2012 election. The group, started in part by GOP consultant Karl Rove, promised the IRS that any effort to influence elections would be “limited.” The group spent more than $70 million from anonymous donors in 2012."

http://www.propublica.org/article/irs-office-that-targeted-tea-party-also-disclosed-confidential-docs

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Response to George Gently (Reply #10)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:38 AM

13. Crossroads GPS Spent Far More Than $70 Million

That is only the amount that they were required to report. They only have to report what they spend in something like the 60 days just prior to the election. Anything spent before that goes unreported.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2013, 02:46 PM

15. So, a Bush appointee

Develops a test which causes scrutiny of RW treaparty groups who aren't really spending on elections which innoculates the big groups (like crossroads GPS) who are spending on elections (after saying they won't).

I bet we don't hear that on MSNBCBSABCFOX

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