IRS controversy illuminates a larger flaw

  • Article by: Lane Filler , Newsday
  • Updated: May 18, 2013 - 4:52 PM

Americans shouldn’t have to fund religions and organizations they wouldn’t support voluntarily.

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pumiceMay. 18, 13 5:53 PM

Hard to believe there's still a need for public programs which serve the common good when the number of apolitical social welfare groups doubled after the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.

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xenonimusMay. 19, 1312:07 AM

Mr. Filler makes a valid point. If we had a simpler tax code we would not have needed bureaucratic pencil pushers scrutinizing the motivations of these political organizations. These organizations, and most other non-profits, can and should pay taxes. But, if and until the day comes that we reform the many failings of the tax code, we need those pencil pushing bureaucrat's to enforce the rules in an unbiased manner. With that said, I do hope this situation helps drive a movement to reform the tax code to something more balanced and rational.

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myob_STMay. 19, 1310:57 AM

Wonderful point. Everyone organization that uses public services should help to pay for them, regardless of their mission or their work. Churches, charities, everyone.

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melloncollieMay. 19, 13 1:48 PM

The liberal point of view: All money belongs to government. Government is NOT funding these tax exempt organizations. The propaganda coming out of government and the loyalist is alarming.

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mklundMay. 19, 13 2:04 PM

It might be useful to consider the history of the charitable deduction. Does it spring from Feudal "noblesse oblige", elevated to the level of a "state religion" as a charitable arm of government? Perhaps the answer is strict interpretation of the law on 501(c4)s allowing ONLY social welfare agencies. For years prior to the Citizens United decision conservatives gamed the tax code by selling propaganda as "education." Perhaps donors should be disclosed. Why not? Most donors proudly support legitimate charities.

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melloncollieMay. 19, 13 2:42 PM

"Perhaps donors should be disclosed. Why not?"

Liberals posted the names and addresses on a map of donors to Prop 8 in CA. These donors were subject to harassment and death threats. That is why.

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crystalbayMay. 19, 13 3:33 PM

In 1959, the IRS bastardized the 501 law by changing out just one word: it had been "exclusively social welfare", then changed to "primarily social welfare". This opened up Pandora's box for arbitrary selection for tax-exempt status to all sorts of partisan political organizations, most predominantly right wing operations. Glenn Beck's group just scored tax-exempt status in spite of scrutiny. Anyone out there really see his group as non-partisan or social welfare??? Really???

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jd55604May. 19, 13 4:26 PM

Tax collectors have been the most hated people since the beginning of time and the IRS is the biggest and most powerful tax collecting organization the world has ever seen. Abolish the IRS and its whopping 106,000 employees, toss out the millions of pages of capricious and arbitrary tax laws on the books and implement either a flat tax or a national sales tax. This is a no brainer.

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tacotonyMay. 19, 13 9:55 PM

It seems the answer to the problem is to post the names and addresses of donors.

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davehougMay. 20, 13 7:02 AM

Why tax exempt? Because our founding fathers knew "The power to tax is the power to destroy". Would you trust every administration forever more NOT to write regs that burden 'bad' organizations??? There will never be an 'alleged child abuse investigation fee'? Tax on gold & silver held? Tax on issuing marriage licenses?

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