The Internal Revenue Service has an enormous credibility problem, especially when it comes to charitable organizations. But instead of addressing that issue to increase the public’s confidence, the agency is seeking to increase its influence and power over, you guessed it, charitable organizations – otherwise known as 501(c)3 organizations.
A recent Rasmussen poll found that just 31 percent of voters trust the scandal-ridden agency. The IRS has done nothing to change that. Indisputable evidence continues to mount about the extent of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups under the Obama administration. If anyone needs a refresher on the extent of their shameful, unconstitutional violation of conservative groups’ rights, just watch this clip of Rep. Aaron Shock (R-Ill.) asking Steven T. Miller, the acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue from 2012 to 2013, about the agency’s questioning of Christian conservative groups about “the content of their prayers.”
That’s right, the IRS commissioner could not bring himself to say that it was inappropriate for the IRS to be asking about the content of Americans’ prayers.
The politicization of the IRS goes much further than that particular scandal. Concerned Women for America was audited for several years during the Clinton administration through an investigation that rendered no wrongdoing and that ended (I kid you not) the day after Al Gore conceded the 2000 election.
The problems continue today. This summer, the Government Accountability Office still found that “lax oversight at the IRS increases the risk that political and religious groups could be unfairly targeted for audits.”
And now the IRS wants to add insult to injury by going after more power with a new proposed rule that seeks to have nonprofit organizations collect and report the social security numbers of donors who give at least $250 to the organizations in a single year.
This is, of course, outrageous and yet another example of government overreach that we must resist. I encourage you to make comments to the proposed regulation by clicking here and hitting “submit a formal request” at the top of the page (the deadline for comment is December 16, midnight).
The IRS believes this regulation sensible because it is “voluntary.” Seriously, can’t they see that such a proposal is fraught with security problems? Are we supposed to ignore the numerous security breaches inside the IRS itself? No need to worry, though, everything will be securely stored in Hillary Clinton’s bathroom server.
And now their genius plan with this new proposed law is to multiply the access points for hackers to obtain such sensitive information. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered in the U.S.
It’s Christmas time for identity thieves.
This rule only makes sense if the aim is to discourage Americans from donating to charitable organizations. Hmmmm.
Can you imagine the chilling effect this would have on donors? Even beyond the profound security concerns, who in their right mind wants to give more information to the IRS, painting a giant target on themselves when, as we have seen already, the agency is used to punish political opponents?
Free speech is very clearly an issue here. Similar attempts to muzzle and restrict political involvement are growing around the country. Just recently, Concerned Women of America submitted a brief to the Supreme Court asking the justices to address similar issues in a California case (Center for Competitive Politics v. Harris) where Attorney General Kamala Harris demanded donor names and addresses from charitable organizations.
If you struggle to grasp the reason why some people are so insistent on getting this sort of information, see Brendan Eich’s case. The Mozilla CEO had to step down from his position after it was revealed that he made a $1,000 contribution to support California’s law defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
Wanting to know this information is usually tied to some specific political speech that some groups find offensive. That was the case in Maine where same-sex “marriage” supporters went after those who donated to the National Organization for Marriage. Coincidentally, the organization was also targeted by the IRS, who had to admit wrongdoing after indisputable evidence surfaced that it had unlawfully release the organizations confidential information to the group’s chief political rival on the left, the radical “gay” rights group the Human Rights Campaign.
But they promise not to do it again. Don’t worry.
This new IRS rule is why they are the topic of presidential debates these days, which include a serious contender who wants to abolish it. That’s how bad it is.
This proposed rule is a gift to hackers and ruthless politicians, and an affront to fundamental freedoms. Let us hope it is never implemented.
Feature Image: AP Photo
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