Furor has taken hold throughout the country since word broke that the IRS was scrutinizing Tea Party organizations. Republican and Democrats have been calling for a criminal investigation into the matter. Well they got their wish as Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that there will be a criminal investigation into the matter.
“I have ordered an investigation to be begun,” Holder said in a press conference. “The FBI is coordinating with the Justice Department to see if any laws were broken in connection with those matters related to the IRS. Those were, I think, as everyone can agree, if not criminal, they were certainly outrageous and unacceptable, but we are examining the facts to see if there were criminal violations.”
Word broke out about what the IRS was doing last Friday when the media got a hold of the Inspector General’s report. According to a White House spokesman, nobody knew what was going on at the IRS until lawyers were told about the upcoming report.
“I can tell you that I am not aware of anyone here knowing about it,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
The IRS is an independent agency that is out of reach of Congress and the President. They hire and fire their own people, so they don’t influence any election outcome. According to the L. A. Times the only positions that the president can fire are the commissioner and general counsel as are they are political appointees.
The problem is neither of those jobs is currently filled. So, that means the only way people can be held accountable is if they committed a crime.
In addition to the criminal investigation Congress has scheduled several Congressional Hearings on the matter. So, if there isn’t any crime committed the scrutiny from the government and the press over this matter is sure going to force several people to resign out of sheer embarrassment over the matter.
The thing is though the IRS does have a problem. When the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case that corporations could spend as much as they want in elections, nonprofit groups started spending heavily as well, along with a flood of tax-exempt applications from social welfare organizations. Below is the definition of a social welfare program from the Sasser Law firm’s website.
“A social welfare organization is a nonprofit that is organized to promote the general social welfare and, therefore, is exempt from Federal income taxation under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Promoting social welfare means that the organization is primarily operated to advance the common good and general welfare within the community as a whole and not just the interests of the organization’s members. Social welfare organizations are also often referred to as section 501(c)(4) organizations. Many social welfare organizations appear similar to 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, but (for donors) donations to social welfare organizations are not treated the same as donations to 501(c)(3) organizations. Unlike donations to 501(c)(3) organizations, in general, donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are not deductible for Federal income tax purposes as charitable contributions. Common examples of section 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations are volunteer fire departments, homeowners’ associations, community associations, civic leagues, and industrial development organizations.”
The real questions are Tea Party organizations abusing the system as they are really political organizations. Also, is this a byproduct from one of the worst Presidents in the history of our country in George W. Bush as the two Supreme Court Justices he nominated swung the court heavily into the favor of conservatives?
Written By: Paul Kasprzak