Sorry, Not Sorry- I Kinda Agree with SNL on the IRS Tax Scandal

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

On Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, Amy Poehler said the one thing I keep thinking about the whole IRS Tax Scandal.

To quote: “Also really Tea Party? Really? You’re surprised that you’re targeted by the IRS? You named yourself after a group of people who proudly and historically violated tax laws. Look, if I had a vanity license plate that said ‘weed420,’ I might expect to get pulled over now and then.”

If they were targeted for scrutiny by some malicious administration plan to silence them, that would be terrible. I just don’t think that is likely. I think what is more likely is some poor schmuck at the IRS  trying to figure out a simple way to weed out groups cheating the system went, “oh, hey, it seems like these groups would be pretty likely to be engaging in electoral political activity and trying to dodge taxes, given that they SELF IDENTIFY as anti-tax and anti-government.”

Plus, they wrote on the forms that they were engaged in politics. So you see 20 forms from groups named things like “tea party” and “save America” and they all mention politics. Maybe at some point you go “hrm, maybe I should use these as keywords to find other similar groups.” The intent that is implied in this scandal seems unlikely to me. I think some bureaucrat was trying to their job efficiently and made a choice that had unfortunate unintended consequences.

Not consequences like their statuses getting denied, mind you. Rather they had to answer some additional questions about the political activity they had ALREADY SAID they were involved in. Maybe if you want that status you should just all have to answer all the additional questions up front. Or maybe not.

Because you know what the real scandal is? That non-profits that engage in politics (not providing services for people in need) are tax exempt anyways.

Feeding the poor? Running a free health clinic? Providing crisis counseling? Sure have tax exempt status.

Make ads about taking America back? Pay some damned taxes. Or I guess throw your tax return in the river- but don’t act shocked if someone asks why you did that.

((Note: “Sorry, Not Sorry” for those of you who don’t read xojane.com or the like is basically saying “hey, I should maybe feel bad about thinking/doing this but I really am not sorry”))

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