Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Former New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner David Cay Johnston, a columnist for Tax Analysts, and who teaches tax and regulatory law at Syracuse University Law School, explains The other IRS scandal : Columbia Journalism Review:
The burgeoning “scandal” over how the IRS chose for review 75 applicants for tax-exempt status puts on full display an unfortunate tendency in journalism—to quote people accurately without explaining the underlying context. Yes, it is as wrong for IRS employees to select groups to scrutinize based on their names as it is for police to stop and frisk young people based on the color of their skin. Still, the facts here are not so black-and-white as with racial profiling.
There is a scandal in all of this—several, actually, and some are more significant than the one that is getting all the attention. As the story unfolds, here are some important points to keep in mind:
• Missing from much coverage is the relevant recent history—the role of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision and how it prompted a deluge of requests from new organizations seeking tax-exempt status under tax code Section 501(c)(4) as “social welfare” organizations—despite the fact that many of these are blatantly political operations.