IRS scandal the newest fetish for the right wing

The right wing’s next fetish is going to be an Internal Revenue Service scandal, complete with an avalanche of months of House hearings and around-the-clock armageddon coverage by Fox News alleging a government attack on the nut-case wing. It’s the next strawman in the making, perhaps even replacing the Benghazi strawman.

Here’s a snippet from what history eventually will say.

The issue relates to the tax-exempt status of two types of groups – one political, which files a 527 form, and the other nonpartisan social-welfare, which files a 501(c)4.

To claim an exemption, even on a 1040, you must show you are qualified. For a 527, you must be political, so you have to list donors to indicate that. If you are a 501(c)4 group, you do not have to.

There has been an explosion of 501(c)4 applications in recent years, many indicating by their very name they actually are political groups. Many even say Tea Party or use words key to right-wing politics. The Maui News emphasizes as much by capitalizing references to Tea Partyers. See?

Seeing that flood and not a similar one from groups with titles such as “progressive” or “welfare,” the IRS correctly set out to block an apparent massive attempt by political groups to avoid listing donors. IRS agents bungled the process, however, by asking 527 questions of 501(c)4 groups instead of asking subtle questions any cub reporter would have known.

And so is born another strawman for a party and its network bereft of substance.

Howard Fields