Political groups don’t deserve tax-exempt status
A May 30 letter writer stated that if MoveOn.org receives 504(c)4 status, Tea Party organizations should too. (Per the Internal Revenue Service inspector general’s congressional testimony, no Tea Party applicant was denied this, though some progressive entities were.)
In my opinion, neither MoveOn nor the Tea Party should have been granted the exemption. Neither is an exclusively social welfare organization, as required by law. Neither is primarily one, as specified in subordinate IRS regulations. Both are politically motivated organizations with political agendas. Being political is to be active in advocating policies regarding government or public affairs. Being nonpartisan does not make one apolitical.
Pretending that Tea Party organizations are not basically political is disingenuous. Anyone cognizant of the American scene over the past few years knows that the impact of the Tea Party has been in political life, not social welfare. They have widely participated in Republican primaries and supported extremely conservative Republican candidates. Favorites Michele Bachmann and Rand Paul have given Tea Party nationally televised State of the Union responses, like the Republican Party. Their rallies are political in nature.
MoveOn’s raison d’etre is to promote so-called left-wing policies. Tea Party organizations’ is to promote so-called right-wing policies. Certainly both are entitled to maintain and advocate their respective beliefs. However, neither should get taxpayer subsidies for their activities or be able to hide politically focused money under the cloak of anonymity by enjoying 501(c)4 exemptions.