May 21, 2013
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama fired the head of the Internal Revenue Service, the first sacrificial lamb brought down after the alleged "targeting" of conservative political groups by the IRS. Mr. Obama declared, "Americans are right to be angry about it. " Call me out of step, but I am angrier that the president is joining the rush to judgment. All that is known for sure is that some IRS functionaries took a shorthand route to identify partisan political groups that might be pretending not to be political so that they could get the tax exempt status available to social welfare organizations.
May 20, 2013
Like most people, I was originally horrified by the reported targeting of tea party groups ("IRS head forced to go," May 16). I am now less horrified. It is reported that various tea party groups were requesting tax exempt status as a "social welfare" group. We now need to know the definition of a "social welfare" group. Entities operating under the umbrella of the tea party would not appear to qualify. Of course, this tempest in a tea pot does highlight some interesting issues. Do we wish to expand the number of entities claiming tax exempt status or should we limit the number of groups not paying taxes?
May 18, 2013
The real scandal is why the IRS approved for tax-exempt status organizations that were plainly political and not "social welfare" organizations, as section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code requires ("Taxing the tea party," May 14). The GOP's phony outrage obscures the fact that not a single application from the tea party-affiliated organizations for tax exempt status was denied. They probably should have been. Mark Davis, Baltimore
May 13, 2013
Loyal readers of this page are likely aware that we have not been great supporters of the tea party movement. Too often, we have found those anti-tax crusaders who call themselves tea party patriots are simply rebranded John Birch Society members of an earlier time with all the extremist anti-civil rights, anti-immigration, and anti-United Nations rhetoric that comes with it. But the latest disclosure - gleaned from a draft inspector general's report...
July 11, 2012
In his letter ("If the church wants to play politics, it should give up its tax-exempt status" July 6), the author seems to have a problem with the Catholic Church's right to express opinions on religious matters. The church does not endorse political candidates or promote political causes. If it were politically active, it would have strongly advised people to vote against President Barack Obama, who is a powerful advocate for all forms of abortion. Nor, would the church have allowed his commencement speech at a Catholic University.
July 5, 2012
While not a member of the flock, I think some of the Catholic Church's recent actions in the political arena might hold good news for the rest of us. In Maryland, for example, the church has announced plans to help overturn the gay marriage law, as well as to ensure that Catholic organizations don't have to provide birth control. Having so obviously violated the separation of church and state, the church should also be forfeiting its tax-exempt status. As a Baltimore taxpayer, I pay the highest property taxes in the state.