Government & Politics

IRS: The Left's Weapon of Choice

The IRS is set to codify its infamous political targeting.

Dec. 13, 2013

Here’s a question: When did it become acceptable for the IRS to be used as a tool to target enemies of the president? Moreover, what article or amendment of the U.S. Constitution authorizes a component of the Executive Branch to be used as a powerful political weapon? The answers to these questions should be obvious to most: “never” and “none,” respectively. But apparently that’s not so for Barack Obama.

Fresh from wiping mud off its face for its scandalous behavior in targeting the Left’s political enemies, the IRS is proposing new rules that double-down on that egregious behavior. The new rules would restrain the free-speech rights of certain organizations under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code by preventing them from posting officeholder votes and quotes on their websites within two months of an election. These organizations are politically active nonprofits and exist specifically to promote political speech and issue advocacy. (And with the Senate “going nuclear” and allowing Obama to pack the courts – especially the DC Circuit – with leftists, the courts will almost surely uphold these new rules.)

These organizations are not tax exempt, but they have for more than 50 years enjoyed the ability to engage in political activity on behalf of donors who wish to remain anonymous. Now that conservative nonprofits have grown at such a rate that they threaten formerly Democrat strongholds, naturally the Entitled Party wants to quash such activity, either by restricting these groups’ rights through unconstitutional rule-making measures or by exposing and harassing conservative donors.

For his part, Obama didn’t even pass the first philosophical hurdle – that using the IRS as a political weapon is, well, “wrong.” In a recent interview with Chris “I-felt-this-thrill-going-up-my-leg” Matthews, Obama stated, “You’ve got an … IRS office … and they’ve got a list, and suddenly everybody’s outraged” – as though being outraged is somehow itself offensive. Well, yes, Mr. President: “Suddenly” – once the despicable act is discovered, that is – everybody is outraged. A better question might be, “Why wouldn’t they be?”

As to the original questions concerning the use of the IRS as a political weapon, we would refer readers to the “IRS” acronym itself for answers: Internal Revenue Service – “Internal,” meaning from within the country itself; “Revenue,” meaning federal government income from taxes; and “Service,” meaning an organization that (ostensibly, at least) helps people. Note that none of these terms state or imply an organization that regulates politics or free speech rights. The best solution to this mess is to disengage the IRS from the business of doing political work on behalf of the president and his party. But that solution will never be acceptable to the Left, which knows that it must rely on deceit and unfair tactics to hold power. Sadly, this is simply another thinly veiled attack on Americans’ liberty.

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