Boehner, Portman show leadership on IRS reform


In 2013, the IRS Tea Party scandal broke. America found out that the IRS, in the form of Lois Lerner and others, was using its power to try and intimidate people into silence, based on the content of their speech.

Now the IRS wants to do something even worse. They want to apply the gift tax to contributions to 501C4 organizations. The gift tax is a bad tax to begin with but as the IRS wants to interpret it, it is even worse. The IRS wants to selectively enforce the gift tax just like it selectively enforced rules for 501C3 organizations in 2010-2013.

If the IRS were allowed to selectively enforce the gift tax rule on donations to 501C4 organizations, most donors would suddenly cut their donations down to $14,000 a year, which is the maximum exclusion allowed under the gift tax law.

Conservatives have never trusted either Barack Obama or the IRS. Their fear of Obama and the left wing activists who control the IRS is very well placed, given the actions of the IRS in the last few years.

The IRS has tried to use the power it has to silence speech it disagrees with. Amazingly enough, in 2014 all of the 501C4 groups that the IRS chose to audit were conservative. The IRS has long been an abusive agency that works against the freedom and liberty of real Americans and now it wants the right to make rules that institutionalize its past abuses.

No sane person believes that the IRS can be trusted. It might be controlled if a Republican is elected President in 2016, but what happens in 2020 or 2024 if the White House goes back to Democrat control? The IRS will again become the abusive agency it has been under Barack Obama.

Fortunately Congress is acting and for once they are doing something right.

Congressman Peter Roskam introduced H.R. 1104, the Equal Treatment for all Donations Act. This bill takes away the discretion of the IRS on how the treat donations to 501C4 organizations and forbids the IRS from treating donations to 501C4 organizations as gifts.

Conservatives have criticized the House Republican Leadership almost non-stop in 2015. Almost all of that criticism is valid. But H.R. 1104 passed the House. H.R. 1104 could not have passed the House without the cooperation and approval of House Speaker John Boehner, Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the Republican leadership team.

When the Republicans in charge do something right, conservatives need to be grateful and thank them.

But the story of H.R. 1104 does not end with just the Republican leadership. This bill was passed by a voice vote in the House of Representatives on April 15th.

In the Senate, S. 942 the Fair Treatment for all Gifts Act, has been introduced by Ohio Senator Rob Portman. This bill has been sent to the Senate Finance Committee where it will be studied and hopefully passed.

Conservatives have attacked the Republican leadership in Washington for failing to keep their campaign promises. This is one instance where a campaign promise is being kept.

Conservatives should be grateful to Congressman Roskam and Senator Portman for introducing this bill and should be thankful to the leadership especially Speaker John Boehner in the House of Representatives for passing this bill.

Now the Senate leadership needs to show the same courage and pass this bill.

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