Yesterday, Representative Jim McDermott of Washington attempted to damage the credibility of leaders of several conservative groups when they came to testify before congress about the IRS Scandal.
Complaining about them seeking a “subsidy,” the congressman essentially blamed the groups for bringing the scrutiny on themselves because of their “political activity.”
In so doing, he revealed the hand of the left.
First of all, he obviously believes that the targeting of the conservative organizations was just fine, contrary to his opening statement. He spends so much time justifying what the IRS did, he clearly does not care about the unfair targeting. One does not try to justify actions that are objectively wrong unless one agrees with the activity.
To cover for this breach in ethics, McDermott essentially blamed the victim, claiming their political activities is what drew the unfair attention (and constant delays in the bestowal of 501(c)4 status) rather than intentional targeting by the IRS.
McDermott, leading with mock empathy for those testifying and the groups they represented, the Washington State rep then follows with:
“We’re talking about a tax break. If you didn’t come in and ask for this tax break, you would have never had a question asked of you–you could go out there and say anything you want in the world.”
Also note his attempts to further justify the targeting by pointing to behavior in the George W. Bush administration. He essentially tries to justify bad behavior by pointing to other (allegedly) bad behavior. Which, of course, contradicts the point he made in the beginning (again), where he claimed to believe that the IRS did something wrong.
Congressman, either the IRS did something wrong in targeting conservatives or what they did was okay. You cannot have it both ways.
And, of course, he used the classic leftist refrain equating “tax exemption” with “tax subsidies.” I fully believe he knows the difference between the two, but just doesn’t care. For the uninformed, “not paying taxes” is not the same as “receiving funds from the government.” It is called “getting to keep your own money.”
Then again, to the left, all money is the government’s money. They just haven’t found a way to take it yet.
Another vital element when discussing the point of granting 501(c)3 and (c)4 status to organizations: while such organizations must fulfill certain requirements to gain the status, the primary reason they have it is that they are non-profit organizations.
501c status has little to do with what the specifics of their activities are. It has far more to do with whether or not they are specifically out to make a profit. Like churches, political action groups are not in business nor are they making a profit.
And every dollar the IRS takes from them hurts far more than the dollars taken from a business. Running on donations means running purely off of the goodwill and ability of donors. Businesses can try to improve their bottom line when times are tough. Non-profits cannot.
Considering the past actions of leftists, there are likely only a handful who truly believe what the IRS did was wrong. They will pay lip service to the fact that it was abusive, but their true feelings are far more reflected by McDermott’s victim-blaming and justification. They just happen to be more shrewd with their feelings.