IRS Not Sure If Asking Tea Partiers About The Contents Of Their Prayers Is Inappropriate

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There’s so much coming out about the IRS scandal today that it’s hard to keep up with it all, but as the dust settles and we head into the weekend news cycle let this exchange during the Ways and Means hearing today serve as a case-in-point for just how disturbing this entire fiasco is.

Rep. Adam Schock asks the IRS commissioner why it is a tea party group was asked to provide details about the content of their prayers. The answer won’t exactly fill you with confidence:

Meanwhile, there’s been spin from the left about this suggesting that the IRS targeting may have been justified since there was such an uptick in filings for non-profit status as the tea party movement got going. There was certainly a wave of new filings, but if this targeting were in good faith, why was there a double standard for liberal groups?

And why were tiny tea party groups targeted, instead of the enormous 501(c)4’s which have a national impact on politics?

The AP reviewed 990 tax returns for nonprofit groups that were made publicly available and posted on both the Guidestar and the Foundation Center websites, searching between 2009 and 2011 under the terms “tea party,” ”patriot” and other terms frequently used by tea party groups. Several tea party groups also made their tax returns available to the AP. The returns detailed revenues and expenses for the groups, as well as other details. Donors’ identifies, however, are shielded from disclosure under federal tax code provisions.

Only 21 of the 93 groups reported annual gross receipts higher than $25,000 between 2009 and 2011, according to the AP review. The $25,000 figure is a threshold for the IRS because an organization’s financial strength and revenue sources are important factors in determining its tax-exempt status. Nonprofit groups reporting less than $25,000 a year are allowed to file a short-form, postcard tax return instead of a detailed filing — one indication of a low-budget operation.

The median income for all the groups was just $16,700 a year. That figure includes several tea party organizations that boasted million-dollar budgets and a cluster of others with more than $100,000 in annual revenues. The well-funded activist groups were led by the Georgia-based Tea Party Patriots Inc., the nation’s biggest tea party group, which started out with more than $700,000 in annual revenues in 2009 and grew to $20.2 million annually in 2012.

Going after the smaller groups makes it seem as though the motivation was sandbagging the organization of the tea party movement. Which, of course, is explicitly political.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • mickey_moussaoui

    These people don’t believe in God so why would they care about the content of one’s prayer?

    • Neiman

      This is anti Christ, this is liberalism and atheism working together to silence the Christian Church, they must if they are to build their socialist utopia in America. If these people prayed for Romney, they are terrorists and not only should not get tax exempt status, they should be prosecuted for such anti- Obama prayers.

      • $8194357

        IT IS WHAT IT IS,
        not whatever they choose to call it.

        The IRS has been “the tool of choice” by central soviet planners since its inception along with the Federal Reserve System for usurping the lives, labors and wealth of the dhimmi taxpayer mules to the elitist olagarchys global cause.
        When they hitched Americans to the “debt ponzi plow” to pay for
        our own destruction and their globalist government agendas.

        “Redistributing the wealth for 100 years now.”
        The “to destroy from within” goals nearing completion?

        • Neiman

          Obama’s IRS is now in charge of collecting taxes, deciding who gets what tax status and of Obamacare, essentially most of the economy and the people at last, are beginning to realize the IRS is an agency to be feared. They answer only to Obama and the Democrats and if you oppose the Democrats or Obamacare or massive taxation they are jack booted thugs accountable to no one, agency bureaucrats that can and do destroy innocent people..

          • $8194357

            The Illuminati bankers designed this current soviet central banking and IRS enforcement system to do exactly what it has accomplished…
            The destruction of the separation of power rule of law Constitutional Republic and to have the sheople pay for their own enslavement all the while enriching the elitist oligarchy who manipulate the Ponzi for their risk free venture capital….

            It is what it is Neiman,,,
            The devils one world agenda being run by his disciples.
            The UN operates on the same financial slush fund style Ponzi.

  • Traditional American

    Get rid of the IRS. Will save us a lot of money that is spent paying the IRS workers, and they won’t be around anymore to put the screws to good Americans.

    Simply have a low Consumption Tax that goes straight to the Treasury Dept without middlemen like the good old days, so that taxpayers don’t get a complicated time consuming fleecing. BTW The less taxes there are the more money that employers have to hire more employees. The less taxes the more money that consumers have to spend at businesses. The less taxes the easier it is for a business to start, remain afloat, or expand. Less taxes means more money for the Citizenry to voluntarily donate to Charities of their choice.

  • $8194357

    The IRS came into being as the “law enforcement arm” of the international progressive illuminati Federal Reserve System…Neither of which are Constitutional
    in the first place, IMO….This federal central planning debt Ponzi fiat chit structure now or was never Constitutional.
    It has sold our Republican rule of law society out from under us to the international communities agendas for global governance…
    That was and still is, its reason for being.

  • $8194357
  • toomuchguvmint

    Liberals’ lack of moral compasses proves that liberals should not be allowed anywhere near government. We can depend on most liberals to be dishonest, irresponsible, and crooked. In the past there were individuals with integrity in the democratic party. Now the only individuals with integrity left in the democratic party would fall into the totally uninformed low information category. What kind of a person would support a party that selects a man for president that has voted for partial birth abortion numerous times?

    • toomuchguvmint

      The unfortunate reality is that we also have Republican leaders that share these liberal characteristics and are just as corrupt.

  • KJUU

    Rob, has there been any investigation of how much “activity” there was during the OWS stuff? Would be interesting to see a comparison.

  • oljarhead

    Simply to ask the question means that we are in very deep trouble as a free nation.

  • $8194357

    Well ya know my tin foil hat is on way to tight again as I see pretty much everything I been telling the folks is still happening right out in the open….Sinister anti big government voice that I am and all….