In the 1970s, Richard Nixon had an enemies list. Nixon asked the IRS to investigate tax returns of those on the list. Liberals were outraged. To be on Nixon’s list became a liberal badge of honor.
In the 1990’s Bill Clinton had an enemies list too. The Clinton administration targeted for IRS audit the National Rifle Association, the Heritage Foundation, the National Review, the American Spectator, Citizens Against Government Waste, Citizens for Honest Government, Concerned Women for America and the San Diego Chapter of Christian Coalition.
Today, Obama has an enemies list. The IRS is investigating conservative political groups including the Tea Party who oppose Obama’s agenda.
Tea Party groups in many states applied to the IRS for recognition as non-profit organizations under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(4) which allows the organization to engage in political debate but does not allow a tax deduction to donors for donations made to the group.
Tens of thousands of such political non-profit organizations exist across the political spectrum, including ACORN, and one much in the news these days: Media Matters, the liberal clearing house for reporters and columnists eager to echo the liberal line of the day.
Just since the first of this year, Tea Party groups in Hawaii, Texas, Ohio, California, Kentucky, and Virginia report receiving inquiries from the IRS challenging their claim to non-profit status.
Up to 80 conservative/constitutionalist groups, including 9/12 Project groups around the country have reportedly received these letters. The IRS letters all come from a single office of the IRS in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The letters contain lengthy questionnaires asking for information well beyond the facts necessary under the IRC to establish the legal parameters of the 501(c)(4) designation.
For example, the Kentucky 9/12 Project applied for a non-profit designation in December 2010. The IRS return letter stated that there would be a determination within 90 days. The Kentucky group next heard from the IRS on February 14, 2012 in a letter containing 30 main questions with a total of 88 separate inquiries.
The IRS letter demanded the schedule and contact of every event sponsored by the group, speaker’s names and what the speaker said, and every written communication associated with the event. The letter demanded the names and personal information of every member and volunteer.
Other questions in the letter demand the names of donors and ask for the names of “board members or officers who have run or will run for office (including relatives)”
The letters give the groups two weeks to reply.
This wave of letters closely follows a letter from six liberal U.S. Senators to the Commissioner of the IRS. Senators Bennett, Schumer, Franken, Udall, Shaheen, Whitehouse and Merkley requesting the IRS investigate political activity by these conservative groups.
Why the sudden focus now by Obama and the Democrats on the grassroots citizen groups who changed the 2010 election by raising public awareness of the dangers of Obama’s out of control federal deficit spending, the bailout of Wall Street, the phony “Stimulus”, and the folly of ObamaCare?
I believe the answer is ObamaCare.
The ongoing implementation of the government takeover of American health care and health insurance is running into increasing public opposition. Every poll on the subject indicates growing awareness that health insurance costs are going up, not down as Obama promised.
Worse, more Americans than ever are without coverage as employers cancel insurance rather than pay increasing premiums.
The uncertainty of the cost of mandated coverage (the mandates change with the publication of each new regulation) is one factor restraining businesses large and small from hiring, making the recovery from recession that much slower.
Recently, resistance to ObamaCare spread to a Church that had previously supported it.
The tidal wave of micromanaged health insurance coverage requirements hit a First Amendment wall when the Department of Health and Human Services issued a ruling that Catholic institutions must cover the cost of “morning after” abortion pills, and contraceptives for their employees in contradiction to Church teaching.
The New York Times editorialized Obama’s exemption for employees of the actual House of Worship should be enough to satisfy the First Amendment.
The Catholic Church also runs over 600 hospitals in the U.S. and treats 1 of 6 hospital patients, many of these charity cases which receive free care. The Church runs hundreds of schools and colleges, all offering aid to poorer students. By comparison, Obama is a newcomer to the business of helping the poor.
Liberals have struck back.
In testimony to Congress this week, Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student testified that lack of free contraceptives in the health care coverage available at that Catholic institution would be an unfair financial burden. She testified that women students pay $3000 for contraceptives over the three years of law school.
One columnist, using the average cost of these contraceptives, estimated that these students must be having sex an average of 2.74 times a day.
But back to the Obama enemies list.
Tea Party and other grassroots patriot groups are intimidated by the IRS letters, whatever bluster to the contrary you read on their websites. The purpose of these IRS letters is plainly to silence the opposition voices as the ObamaCare regulations roll out.
Who in these groups is really ready to stand up to an IRS audit as the price of speaking out in opposition to ObamaCare? Even if the audit finds nothing amiss, the cost of defending against it could bankrupt an individual or small business.
Compliance with ObamaCare is policed by the IRS. Last month, Obama’s proposed federal budget added $1.1 Billion to the IRS budget to hire over 5000 new IRS agents to oversee the implementation of ObamaCare.
These new unionized IRS agents are the front wave of suppression of opposition to ObamaCare. If ObamaCare were repealed, they would be out of a job.
Ronald Reagan warned that a government agency is the nearest thing on earth to eternal life. Before this gargantuan new government bureaucracy is established beyond citizen control, and before we are all on the enemies list, ObamaCare must be repealed.