"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Monday, December 16, 2013

WSJ: Obama and IRS Planning to Target Tea Party Again in Advance of 2014 Elections


"Dissenting voices against my fundamental transformation of America are all racist. They shall be punished by the hand of federal agencies... as shall all the enemies of the Light-bringer."


ObamaCare driving down your poll ratings? Then just go with the tried and true tactic of using federal power to attack your political opponents.

From The Wall Street Journal piece by Kimberly A. Strassel:

President Obama keeps claiming that he had no knowledge of the Internal Revenue Service's abusive muzzling of conservative groups. That line is hard to swallow given that his Treasury and IRS are back at it—this time in broad daylight.  
In the media blackout of Thanksgiving week, the Treasury Department dumped a new proposal to govern the political activity of 501(c)(4) groups. The administration claims this rule is needed to clarify confusing tax laws. Hardly. The rule is the IRS's new targeting program—only this time systematic, more effective, and with the force of law. 
That this rule was meant to crack down on the White House's political opponents was never in doubt. What is new is the growing concern by House Ways and Means Committee investigators that the regulation was reverse-engineered—designed to isolate and shut down the same tea party groups victimized in the first targeting round. Treasury appears to have combed through those tea party applications, compiled all the groups' main activities, and then restricted those activities in the new rule.  
"The committee has reviewed thousands of tax exempt applications," says House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp. "The new regulation so closely mirrors the abused tea-party group applications, it leads me to question if this new proposed regulation is simply another form of targeting."  
Here's how it works. To get or keep tax-exempt status, 501(c)(4) organizations must devote a majority of their work to their "primary" social-welfare purpose. Most tea party groups were set up with a primary purpose of educating Americans on pressing problems—the size of government, the erosion of the Constitution—and did so mainly via nonpartisan voter guides, speakers forums, pamphlets or voter-registration drives.  
What the proposed Treasury/IRS regulation would do is to re-categorize all these efforts as "political activity"—thereby making it all but impossible for tea party groups to qualify for 501(c)(4) status. Say an outfit's primary purpose is educating voters on our unsustainable debt, which it does mainly with a guide explaining the problem and politicians' voting records. Under the new rule, that guide is now "political activity" (rather than "social welfare"), which likely loses the group tax-exempt status. 
The rule, in other words, is not designed to provide helpful "guidance" on allowable activities. It was designed, rather, as Mr. Camp explains, "to put tea party groups out of business."  
[...]  
Consider the timing. This "proposed guidance"—while technically pending public comment—puts conservative groups on immediate notice that it could be enforced at any moment. It is clearly designed to have a chilling effect on any group gearing up for next year's midterms, just as the first round of targeting was designed to dampen conservative participation in the 2010 and 2012 elections.  
Democrats are daily directing government against their political opponents—via Congress, the SEC, the FEC. Yet IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel wants Americans to think this latest IRS rule is just about providing "clarity." And the White House continues to insist that it was unaware of the previous targeting.  
The political insult is that President Obama is using his new targeting rule to wiggle out of liability for the last round. The same president who in May was "outraged" by the IRS's actions now says it was all just some confusion over tax law (which his new rule fixes). He told Chris Matthews last week that the media had hyped what was a few poor IRS souls in Cincinnati who were "trying to streamline what is a difficult law to interpret . . . And they've got a list, and suddenly everybody's outraged." 
Everybody was outraged to discover the IRS was secretly targeting the president's political opponents. They might be more outraged that the White House is now using the IRS to do the same thing in the brazen light of day.

Ah, the Obama Administration... If it isn't baldly lying and passing unpopular laws to take away your health insurance, if it isn't covering up various blunders that result in multiple deaths (Benghazi, Operation "Fast and Furious"), if it isn't running the American economy into the ground, then its trying to use the federal agencies to attack political opponents.

It is amazing to me how fast and how far the United States has fallen while under Obama's watch.


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