Will The New York Times Apologize for Applauding IRS Harassment of Tea Partiers?

As Scott Shackford and Mike Riggs have both noted, the Internal Revenue Service officially apologized today for singling out Tea Party and “patriot” groups for harassment during the 2012 election season. As you may recall, in March of last year The New York Times offered its own take on this growing scandal. In an unsigned editorial titled "The I.R.S. Does Its Job," the Times offered its unconditional support to the IRS, arguing that “Taxpayers should be encouraged by complaints from Tea Party chapters applying for nonprofit tax status,” and that, “Such I.R.S. inquiries are long overdue.”

I look forward to an apology from the editorial board of The New York Times for this unfortunate and misguided cheerleading of government abuse.

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  • Gordilocks||

    Hope you packed a lunch.

  • deified||

    It would be awesome if the next GOP administration audited the entire staff of the NYTimes just to make sure everything was in order.

    /daydream

  • Almanian!||

    ROMNIAC 2000 WOULD'VE DONE IT, TOO!

    Oh, wait...

  • freeAgent||

    They're just doing their job.

  • John||

    Yeah that will happen real soon. The fact that the editorial was unsigned tells me they were not exactly proud of their shilling but had to do it. Leaving it unsigned leave specific writers unscathed to conduct more important shilling.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    How is it "shilling" to call for the IRS to investigate the tax exempt status of apparently political organizations from all parts of the spectrum? Did you read the editorial or just trust Reason to quote it in an honest manner? Because the latter all too often leads to disappointment these days.

  • John||

    Because there is nothing illegal about political organizations getting non prophet status. And yes, specifically target groups that take advantage of that law based on their politics, is awful and the NYT was most certainly shilling for the Democrats when they supported doing so.

  • ||

    non prophet status

    Mmm.

  • ||

    Yes, since we all know who the real Prophet is...

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Because there is nothing illegal about political organizations getting non prophet status.

    Yes there is, if political advocacy is central to the organization's activity. Otherwise people could deduct political contributions from their taxes.

  • John||

    A 527 organization or 527 group is a type of U.S. tax-exempt organization organized under Section 527 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 527). A 527 group is created primarily to influence the selection, nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates to federal, state or local public office.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/527_organization

  • tarran||

    .... and the black knight loses his last leg. What will he do? I predict threats to bite knees off.

  • Irish||

    This isn't a 527 organization though, it's a 501(c)(4).

    501(c)(4) organizations may lobby for legislation, and unlike 501(c)(3) organizations they may also participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as its primary activity is the promotion of social welfare.[32] The tax exemption for 501(c)(4) organizations applies to most of their operations, but contributions may be subject to gift tax, and income spent on political activities - generally the advocacy of a particular candidate in an election - is taxable.[33]

    Of course, social welfare is a completely nebulous term so the IRS basically has discretion to do whatever the hell it wants and target whoever the hell it wants.

  • ||

    Of course, social welfare is a completely nebulous term

    Well, it's not completely nebulous. It's biased in favor of left-leaning organizations. On purpose.

    Progressives can easily claim that they are a "social welfare" organizaton because they are advocating for more welfare, and that Tea Party group's AREN'T because they are advocating for less welfare. It pretty much means "if you are advocating for more socialism you're tax exempt, if you're advocating for less socialism, pay up."

  • sam the man||

    Well, at least it's nice to know all those intellectually honest socialists are still paying taxes anyway out of principle.

    Right?

  • John||

    501(c)(4) organizations are generally civic leagues and other corporations operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local associations of employees with membership limited to a designated company or people in a particular municipality or neighborhood, and with net earnings devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes.[31] 501(c)(4) organizations may lobby for legislation, and unlike 501(c)(3) organizations they may also participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as its primary activity is the promotion of social welfare.[32] The tax exemption for 501(c)(4) organizations applies to most of their operations, but contributions may be subject to gift tax, and income spent on political activities - generally the advocacy of a particular candidate in an election - is taxable.[33]

    Contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations are usually not deductible as charitable contributions for U.S. federal income tax, with a few exceptions.[34] 501(c)(4) organizations are not required to disclose their donors publicly.[35]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501(c)_organization

    Non-profit is not the same thing as "all donations to you are tax deductible" you half wit.

    And just auditing organizations with politics you don't like, is using the IRS for political purposes and generally a pretty big deal.

    Why do you do this to yourself? Is there any hill of stupid you won't die on?

  • tarran||

    I can explain, John... he wants to be Socrates, and he thinks if people are shrieking abuse at him, he must be winning.

  • Irish||

    Ah. Ignore my comment above.

  • tarran||

    I must say that there is something inspirationally karmic in Tulpa accusing Reason of misrepresenting the NY Times's editorial because the actual point that Damon Root was sailed right over his head.

  • tarran||

    .. er "Damon Root was making"

  • ||

    He's not very smart. Have you noticed?

  • ||

    I don't know if you've noticed, tarran, that Tulpa is kind of stupid.

  • ||

    What's stupider, Tulpa or a retarded baby moose?

  • Almanian!||

    Ima guess Tulip

  • ||

    Nothing's stupider than Tulpa, you idiot, except perhaps this question.

  • ||

    Clearly this needs to be resolved by a thorough analysis of his commentary but an impartial web site engine.

  • ||

    shit. but = by. Can't goddamn type today. EDIT BUTTON PLUS COMMENT SCORE BUTTON PLEASE.

  • Almanian!||

    6.324/10

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Thus ends another attempt to get the commentariat to think critically about an assertion by a Reason staffer.

  • ||

    Yes, because no one here ever calls bullshit on anything written by a Reason staffer.

    Does your caretaker wipe your ass for you, or he just there to stop you from walking into traffic and groping fatties when you're on shift at Walmart?

  • ||

    Be careful, Zak. This one is very, very stupid. Make sure you wash your hands after you're done handling it.

  • ||

    You're right, I think I'll decompress by watching some Bill Maher. That guy's 100% libertarian commentary always cheers me up.

  • sam the man||

    +1000

  • sam the man||

    To Zakalwe @ 3:50

  • Irish||

    Mindless contrarianism isn't thinking critically, Tulpa. No matter what people say you find something wrong with it. That's not critical thinking, it's you being an asshole.

  • Jerryskids||

    The NYT applauded the IRS for more closely examining the tax-exempt status of the Tea Party chapters and called on the IRS to do the same with other similar groups.

    The IRS has now apologized for their actions which suggests they are saying that their actions were wrong. Is the NYT now going to criticize the IRS for - in their opinion - wrongly determining that they did something wrong or will they apologize as well for applauding the wrongful acts of the IRS and encouraging the IRS to go even further?

    My guess is that the NYT has no opinion on the matter at all, they have absolutely no interest in the story now that the election is safely passed and their one of the candidates won. This is all old news, which makes it not-news.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I mean, that's why some of these true nonprofits have to spin off a political advocacy entity if they want to get really involved in it. For example, the NRA and the NRA-ILA have to keep themselves separate. You can deduct contributions to the former for youth firearms instruction but you can't deduct contributions to the latter for lobbying.

  • John||

    Non profit doesn't not necessarily mean your donations are tax deductible. Just shut up tulpa.

  • robc||

    Dig dig dig, Tulpa digs himself deeper and deeper.

    You would think he would have dug himself out of that hole by now!

  • Xenocles||

    I know the rest of the commentariat likes to rip on you Tulpa, but I am only just starting to understand them myself. Take that for what it's worth.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Because there is nothing illegal about political organizations getting non prophet status.

    Right wing groups always get non-prophet status and left wing groups always get prophet status.

  • Almanian!||

    thus endeth the lesson

  • InlineSkate||

    Someone please help me. Does the NYT have any redeeming editors or columns whatsoever?

  • ||

    They have a science guy that is good.

  • John||

    I have always liked their science articles. But some people say they are just as biased and inaccurate as the rest of the paper.

  • ||

    Nicholas Wade is the one I'm thinking of.

  • sarcasmic||

    There is only one science guy, and his name is Bill Nye.

  • Almanian!||

    what sarc said

  • PACW||

    "There is only one science guy, and his name is Bill Nye."

    Yep.

  • John||

    Its classical music reviews are still good. It used to do interesting reporting on hard science. But I am told the quality of that has gone down. It will occasionally have an interesting, informative and well written article provided the subject is far enough away from politics that it is impossible to even plausibly spin it to shill for the liberal team. Outside of that, no.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    DON'T TALK SHIT ABOUT WILL SHORTZ

  • SIV||

    The home and design, food and fashion coverage used to be very good. Particularly the glossy Sunday supplements. I say "used to" only because I no longer pay for and read the dead tree copies.

  • John||

    All stuff that is very difficult to link to politics or use as an excuse to shill for the leftist side.

  • ||

    Are you kidding? Read Bittman sometime.

  • ||

    At least Bittman went from hidden irritating agenda dude to obvious irritating agenda dude, unlike the rest of their staff. But he is absolutely a holier-than-thou food a-hole. I keep thinking of him as some sort of anti-Bourdain.

  • Almanian!||

    home and design, food and fashion

    faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag!

    /Cartman

  • ||

    The crossword ain't bad

  • Almanian!||

    hipster

  • ||

    Does it still have KenKen? It's pretty fun, the challenge used to be to get them all done before I was ready to wipe my ass. With the rest of the paper of course.

  • Sevo||

    It's still thick enough to use under paint cans so the drips won't leak through to ghe floor.

  • Xenocles||

    I just use trash bags for that.

  • PACW||

    The NYT Crossword is the best puzzle alive.

  • ||

    the Internal Revenue Service officially apologized today for singling out Tea Party and “patriot” groups

    And there lies the error. The Gray Lady very specifically told them they should also be investigating right wing non-profits that exported all the grain from Ukraine right after Walter Duranty wrote about it.

  • Paul.||

    Fancisco d Aconia looks forward to our New York Times overlords...

  • John||

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-P.....the-record

    Speaking of shilling. The White House is apparently having a private meeting with its operatives in the media to hand out the talking points over Bengazi. They don't even pretend not to take their orders from the White House anymore.

  • ||

    Remember: the Tea Party, to TEAM BLUE, is evil. Therefore harassment is thoroughly warranted. Just like David Koresh was evil so killing children was warranted.

    This pattern will continue to repeat, folks.

  • ||

    "All this has happened before. All this will happen again."

  • ||

    I don't really appreciate you using BSG quotes, Starbuck. Because you're some kind of angel or something.

  • ||

    I can't hear you. I'm too busy fucking all these Homo Erectus babes on this planet I decided to give up on.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    "Do you have a plan?"

  • ||

    "I'm going to go all Neanderthal on you, baby."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I would expect an unsigned Times editorial taking the IRS to task for apologizing for doing its job, which is apparently the partisan application of the law.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    In an unsigned editorial titled "The I.R.S. Does Its Job," the Times offered its unconditional support to the IRS

    Not justified by linked material. The full paragraph Mr Root snipped the first few words from:

    Such I.R.S. inquiries are long overdue and should be applied across the board to the growing number of organizations, allied with the major political parties, that are also ludicrously posing as “social welfare” groups. Legitimate social welfare organizations are allowed limited political activity. But these political offshoots are using that tax status in a transparent ploy to keep big donors secret while funneling the money to campaigns. Chief among these groups are American Crossroads, the campaign machine created by Republican guru Karl Rove, and Priorities USA, the Democratic counterpart founded by former White House aides, now openly encouraged by President Obama as he runs for re-election.

    They're calling on the IRS to more thoroughly vet groups from all parts of the spectrum/ideological landscape. Hardly "unconditional support for the IRS".

  • ||

    Call me when they start saying the NYPIRG should be stripped of it's non-profit status.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    They're calling on the IRS to more thoroughly vet groups from all parts of the spectrum/ideological landscape.


    Yes, Tulpa, sure. That's what the good and objective people at the NYT want.

  • ||

    Did anyone else hear something stupid just now?

  • ||

    All I heard was something really, really stupid. Kind of a moronic drone.

  • ||

  • tarran||

  • ||

    Oh, look, tarran, what we're listening to collided and made a mutant baby.

    I bet you didn't even know that a Tuvan throat singer had covered Motorhead, did you? Idiot.

  • Almanian!||

    I can't hear anything you guys have posted, due to the stupid droning on all around.

    SHUT THE FUCK UP!

  • tarran||

    THAT IS AWESOME!

  • ||

    Apropos of nothing, I found this comment on CNN. Great, huh?

    Little_2Note Troyh46 • an hour ago −
    The MAJORITY of us who swept Barack Obama into office twice, and who are anxious for the opportunity to sweep Hillary into office next....simply don't care about your Benghazi scandal. From Barack Obama, to Hillary Clinton and straight on down the line, we believe that our leaders made all the correct decisions, and no amount of second guessing is going to sway even one of us from propelling Hillary into her devinely ordained, historic role as America's next President.

    Please take it to heart, what I'm telling you. And move on to something else, bub.
    3 •Reply•Share ›
  • Almanian!||

    He forgot

    *mic drop*

  • Irish||

    That's either some genius sarcasm or the dumbest man to ever live.

  • A Serious Man||

    I guarantee you that if you asked that person to name Hillary Clinton's greatest accomplishment he'd get all pissy and defensive because he couldn't think of one.

    Hillary has gotten to where she is today purely because of her husband's stature and party politics, not merit.

  • John||

    I keep saying, a Hillary Clinton candidacy gives stupid people a stupid reason to choose a candidate to support.

    They don't even try to pretend they have principles anymore. None of them have any idea what Hillary Clinton would do in power. And they don't care. Nothing scares them except their team losing power.

  • Almanian!||

    Yeah, I'd fuck Amy Grant.

    I mean - wow! I didn't know Amy Grant was still around! Yet here's an ad on reason.com about some concert or record or something! Weird!

  • ||

    52, dude. Clinton was governor of Arkansas last time that was a good idea.

  • Jerryskids||

    There's at least one commenter on H&R that doesn't think 52 is too old for getting a little action.

    Now get off my lawn!

  • Sevo||

    2

  • ||

    The progressives are just afraid that the right wing is going to set up their own network of political advocacy groups disguised as non-profits.

    See the PIRGs, Acorn, etc. They've been doing leftist political advocacy while pretending to be non-partisan public service organizations for decades. Probably half the writers at the NYTimes had at least some interaction with a PIRG while they were studying journalism.

    The only difference between the PIRGs and the Tea Party is that the PIRGs have been able to maintain a thin veneer of political independence. Even though anyone with half a brain can tell they are Democratic party shock troops.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So maybe we should get on the IRS to enforce the laws? Like the NYT was doing in the editorial that Root was slamming.

    Sounds like breaking up the tax-free leftist advocacy barnacles would do a lot more good than whining about having to send printouts of Facebook pages.

  • ||

    Right, because the Times, and the rest of the liberal media establishment is going to admit that NYPIRG is a Democratic party tool?

    I guarentee you, talk to one of these people, and they will smugly claim that all they are doing is "public service" by "registering younger voters" and advocating that the government do things that are "in the public interest". That's what "public service" MEANS to them.

    They are fucking socalists! Their whole political philosophy informs them that all and ONLY socialist public advocacy is TRUE public advocacy. They honestly believe that everyone else's perspective and everyone else's political advocacy is illegitimate BECAUSE it isn't socialist in nature. As far as they are concerned, advancing Democratic party interest IS public service.

    And then they will smile at you, like they think they've pulled the wool over your eyes, or just because they know that they can lie and lie and lie about their agenda and nobody will ever call them on it.

  • robc||

    tax-free

    You are going down swinging on this arent you?

    Non-profit != tax-free

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa (LAOL-VA)| 5.10.13 @ 3:45PM |#
    "So maybe we should get on the IRS to enforce the laws?"

    Yeah, great idea! Sort of like getting the prez and congress to adhere to the constitution!

  • tarran||

    The problem for the progressives is that the laws they've set up are explicitly designed to allow this sort of advocacy.

    So they've got a problem; the system they crafted to funnel government social spending quietly into Democratic coffers can also be used by private individuals. Some progressives want to take a scorched earth policy and kill the legal conduits. I expect they're confident they can come up with a legislative regime that will quickly replace the conduit while frustrating non-state actors. Hence the editorial.

    The NYT isn't necessarily being dumb; the IRS overreach they were shilling for would benefit the state over insurgents outside the state who want to change its course. Since progressives control the government apparatus, killing the money conduit to progressive friendly non-profits wouldn't be a fatal wound to their control of the govt, at least in the short term.

  • ||

    Right, they wrote the laws giving "social welfare" "public advocacy" groups non-profit status explicitly so they could manipulate the system in favor of Democrats, then Republican start doing it and -surprise - low level IRS functionaries are all over them claiming they aren't "really" social welfare organizations. Why? because they aren't advocating the correct socialist policies.

    I find it highly revealing that the DP apparently has operatives in the IRS who are ready to go after right-leaning groups who are trying to use the same tax loopholes that left-leaning groups use. Within a couple of years of these groups' creation. That tells you just how strong the progressive grip on the organs of power really is. They can actuall call in shot troops planted at the lowest levels of the IRS to stop their opponents from using the same mechanisms they use to get an advantage.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    From Barack Obama, to Hillary Clinton and straight on down the line, we believe that our leaders made all the correct decisions, and no amount of second guessing is going to sway even one of us from propelling Hillary into her devinely ordained, historic role as America's next President.

    Cultists.

  • GILMORE||

    Will The New York Times Apologize for Applauding IRS Harassment of Tea Partiers?

    oh, yeah... in T-Minus, 3, 2, 1..... never

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