While members of Congress want to know more about the IRS targeting of conservative 501(c)(4) groups, they should look no further than themselves for the blame.
I tried to read the tax code regarding just what a “social welfare” group is, and my head almost exploded. The IRS didn’t write these rules, Congress did. If there isn’t clarity in the IRS procedures, blame Congress. But don’t look to Congress to fix anything. Its members benefit from the spending these tax-exempt organizations do. If anything, this loophole should be closed.
Yes, the IRS and Associated Press scandals smell bad. But I wonder if one reason the members of one political party spend so much time spewing out self-righteous rants about the other party’s possible screw-up of the day — rather than working on vital legislation — has something to do with being in perpetual campaign mode brought on by their refusal to compromise on meaningful campaign finance reform.
It would be helpful for the AP if Republicans had not filibustered the proposed reporter shield law in 2008. This legislation would have specifically prohibited the kinds of abuses being visited upon the AP.
When the bill was in the House, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), now in high dudgeon over the matter, was one of only 21 representatives to vote against protecting reporters’ sources.
Kevin P. Smith