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Posts Tagged ‘NRA’

The IRS’s History of Attacking Political Dissenters and Opponents | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 6, 2020

As the history of government expansion has shown, government agencies such as the IRS have a nasty way of sneaking into other parts of our lives. What originally started out as an agency solely focused on taxes has morphed into an omnipresent government body that can control political behavior.

Things got even more heated when the New York attorney general decided to investigate the group for “financial improprieties” and threatened to strip the organization of its nonprofit status. None of the investigations have resulted in concrete actions, but the NRA’s interaction with the New York State government illustrates that even the most milquetoast of advocacy groups isn’t safe from the clutches of regulators.

https://mises.org/wire/irss-history-attacking-political-dissenters-and-opponents?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=74a2cf91bb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_12_31_06_15_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-74a2cf91bb-228343965

The US purports to be the land of free speech, but you can always expect politicians to carve out exceptions. Just look at how government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service can slither their way into the political affairs of individuals and organizations.

Americans generally associate the Internal Revenue Service with the hassle of filing income taxes every April. Of course, this is an annual ritual that Americans have been accustomed to for over a century, and it represents one of the numerous ways the federal government violates Americans’ economic freedoms. Income taxation is also one of the main enablers of government growth thanks to its ability to extract hundreds of billions of dollars from hardworking taxpayers annually. In 2019 alone, the IRS collected nearly $3.5 trillion in tax revenue.

The IRS’s misdeeds aren’t just limited to economic activity, though. Most would be surprised to find that the IRS is a violator of free speech rights. When IRS agents aren’t finding ways to squeeze as much revenue as humanly possible from taxpayers, they try to make the lives of America’s most civically engaged miserable.

The IRS as a Political Tool

Former congressman Ron Paul shed light on the IRS’s anti–free speech activity last year in a piece voicing concerns about income tax privacy. In 2019, House Democrats tried to pull every legislative stunt possible to get President Trump to hand over his tax returns. Although these efforts did not materialize into anything substantial, the New York Times published some of Trump’s tax returns from the 1980s and 1990s. The Times’s publication of the returns raised speculation about a potential leaker in the IRS handing this information over to the news outlet.

Right off the bat, Paul understood the bigger picture. As the history of government expansion has shown, government agencies such as the IRS have a nasty way of sneaking into other parts of our lives. What originally started out as an agency solely focused on taxes has morphed into an omnipresent government body that can control political behavior. Paul cited several examples of IRS politicization, including Franklin Roosevelt’s auditing of New Deal opponents, John F. Kennedy’s use of audits against political opponents, and the agency’s investigation of a church hosting an antiwar sermon during the Bush era. One of the more recent cases of IRS harassment of political opponents occurred when it placed Tea Party groups under increased scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

The IRS’s history shows that its abuses go beyond partisan politics, seeing how the agency has been used as a cudgel to smash opponents from across the political continuum. From a big-picture perspective, political advocacy in America is excessively regulated. Thanks to so-called campaign finance reform, now political organizations have to worry about complying with a whole set of new regulations—as if the IRS breathing down their necks wasn’t enough.

Just a minor slipup could have IRS or other regulatory agents storming an organization’s office. This is typical of the administrative state era we live in, in which filing the wrong paperwork could land someone behind bars. Because we all know that those dastardly political rabble-rousers not hitting the right bureaucratic checkboxes present a clear and present danger to the rest of society.

State Governments Have Followed the Federal Government’s Lead on Political Harassment

Even after the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FECwhich ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting the ability of political organizations to use independent expenditures for political communications—government entities still find creative ways to stifle political speech. At the state level, governments have taken advantage of regulatory functions to poke and prod organizations that cause too much trouble. Politicians launch “ethics reform” campaigns, where they use ethics commissions and similar bodies to muzzle speech. Politicians will construct narratives saying that they’re fighting against corruption, when all they’re really doing is curtailing the efforts of dissident groups to expose the political class’s dirty laundry.

In 2014, a grassroots gun rights organization, Palmetto Gun Rights, faced harassment from the most unlikely place—the office of then Republican governor Nikki Haley. The South Carolina governor was supporting an ethics reform bill (H 3945) that would have forced an organization or an individual making an “an electioneering communication” to report the “top five donors to the reporting person” to the State Ethics Commission. “Electioneering communication” in this case meant “any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication or mass postal mailing or telephone bank” referring to “a clearly identified candidate for elected office” and that is publicly “aired or distributed within sixty days prior to a general election or within thirty days prior to a primary for that office.” So, if a political organization in South Carolina had some mean things to say about a politician in the finals days of election season, their biggest donors could potentially be fair game for political harassment.

On the other side of the spectrum, groups such as the National Rifle Association have recently witnessed government agencies launch politically motivated investigations against them. Despite what the media says about the NRA, they’re no extremists on the gun issue. However, that has not kept states such as New York from trying to snoop around their private affairs. Twenty nineteen was a rough year for the NRA due to various episodes of internal drama and leadership disruption. Things got even more heated when the New York attorney general decided to investigate the group for “financial improprieties” and threatened to strip the organization of its nonprofit status. None of the investigations have resulted in concrete actions, but the NRA’s interaction with the New York State government illustrates that even the most milquetoast of advocacy groups isn’t safe from the clutches of regulators.

The regulation of economic activity in this stage of American history has undeniably evolved into a mechanism of behavioral control. It’s no longer about whether an individual will have X amount of dollars left after the government takes its share of the loot. Now, people’s political activities, such as their speech, can be subject to political micromanagement.

It’s not enough to just talk about the numbers when making the case against economic regulations. These regulations are ultimately enforced by massive government agencies, which politicians can manipulate in clever ways to suit their own ends. Add in the round-the-clock growth of government agencies, and you’re now dealing with institutions that have the power to branch out into other activities.

By limiting themselves to ho-hum discussions about tax policy, advocates of government restraint ignore some of the biggest threats coming from bureaucratic mammoths. A crusade against bureaucracy is long overdue in America.

 

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propertyn tax

 

 

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Washington Has Destroyed Western Liberty: The Era of Tyranny Has Begun – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on April 27, 2019

The “war on terror” was a disguise for an attack on the US Constitution, an attack that has succeeded. The worst act of treason in history is the US government’s destruction of the US Constitution.

The era of tyranny has begun. Elections cannot stop it.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/04/26/washington-has-destroyed-western-liberty-the-era-of-tyranny-has-begun/

Paul Craig Roberts

A fish rots from the head. In the Western world rot is accelerating. The rot in Washington is swiftly spreading to state and local governments and abroad to the Empire’s vassal governments.

Washington’s attack on journalism represented by the illegal arrest of Julian Assange has now spread to France. The US government’s policy of sanctions against sovereign countries that do not follow Washington’s orders has spread to the state of New York, where the governor has threatened sanctions against financial institutions that do business with the National Rifle Association.

In France the vassal president Macron has ordered three journalists — who revealed that Macron’s government knowingly and intentionally sold arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE to be used for the slaughter of women and children in Yemen — to report for police questioning. The report proves that Macron’s government deliberately lied when it said it was unaware that French weapons were to be used for attack rather than defense use in violation of the Arms Trade Treaty of 2014. The journalists are under investigation by the French gestapo for “compromising national defense secrets.”

In other words, when the French government lies, it is a violation of national defense secrets to report it.

The entire Western world is adopting Washington’s approach to Assange and criminalizing the practice of journalism, thus protecting governments’ criminality. If you reveal a government crime, as Wikileaks did, you will be prosecuted by the criminal government for doing so. It is like permitting a criminal to prosecute the police and prosecutor who want him arrested…

Cuomo revealed that his threat of sanctions against financial organizations has the purpose of putting “the NRA out of business. We’re forcing NRA into financial jeopardy. We won’t stop until we shut them down.” The tyrant Cuomo knows that the NRA cannot operate without a bank account and insurance coverage.

To be clear, Washington’s success in weaponizing government against the people has spread throughout the empire and down into the state governments of the United States.

When we add to this the mass spying on citizens made possible by the digital revolution, we have as the result the death of liberty…

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banksy-anarchism

Banksy

 

 

 

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New Deals (Even Green Ones) Are Bonanzas For Big Business

Posted by M. C. on February 18, 2019

https://townhall.com/columnists/jonahgoldberg/2019/02/15/new-deals-even-green-ones-are-bonanzas-for-big-business-n2541520

Amazon is taking its ball and going home, and New York Democrats are actually celebrating.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the deal New York and Amazon worked out. I don’t like corporate welfare, and the race among municipalities to bribe businesses to set up shop in their backyards has a lot of problems. The news that Amazon is spurning the Big Apple and searching for a different location will undoubtedly spark an unseemly frenzy among other cities, reminiscent of the search for the last golden ticket in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

But what’s just astounding to me is how Democrats can (almost in one breath, figuratively speaking) champion a Green New Deal that would use the powers of the state — taxes, subsidies, regulatory bullying, etc. — to herd whole industries into alignment with their vision of a just and green society, and at the same time denounce these very tactics when actually put into practice.

The most prominent architect of the GND is New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Under her proposal, cows might suffer, but humans will thrive thanks to all the wonderful new jobs and free health care her utopian scheme would provide.

AOC, as she’s ubiquitously called, rejects the idea that traditional market economics or fiscal bookkeeping should be any hindrance to her scheme.

“I think the first thing that we need to do is kind of break the mistaken idea that taxes pay for 100 percent of government expenditure,” she recently told NPR’s Steve Inskeep. “It’s just not how government expenditure works. … Government projects are often financed by a combination of taxes, deficit spending and other kinds of investments — you know, bonds and so on.”

When Inskeep pointed out to her that deficit spending is “borrowing money that has to be paid back eventually through taxes,” AOC reversed herself with an impressive lack of embarrassment, saying that’s OK because this isn’t spending, it’s investing. Borrowing tens of trillions for her “investments” will pay for itself, “Because we’re creating jobs.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Russian Spy Who Wasn’t | The New Republic

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2019

Quite a story from an anti-gun author in a progressive publication.

https://newrepublic.com/article/153036/maria-butina-profile-wasnt-russian-spy

By JAMES BAMFORD

On a steamy Sunday last July, at about half-past noon, a caravan of unmarked SUVs exited the FBI’s Washington, D.C., field office, an eight-story concrete building that exudes all the charm of a supermax prison. The cars moved swiftly across the city; speed was critical. There were indications that the target, who had canceled the lease on her apartment and packed her belongings, was about to take flight.

Just before one o’clock, the SUVs turned off Wisconsin Avenue and into a parking lot at 3617 38th Street NW, a low, red-brick apartment building near American University. Armed agents in bulletproof vests filled a narrow corridor outside apartment 208. Inside, Maria Butina was watching the Wimbledon men’s final on TV and preparing for a long drive in a U-Haul truck to South Dakota. Having just graduated from American University with a master’s degree in international affairs, she was about to start working as a consultant in the cryptocurrency industry. Her boyfriend of five years, a 57-year-old Republican activist named Paul Erickson, would be traveling with her to his home in Sioux Falls.

“Everything was boxed up,” Erickson told me. “The last thing to do was to pack the electronics, to unplug the TV and the internet. And then pound! Pound! Pound! I answered the door, and there was a team of six agents in the hallway.” Three of the agents surrounded Erickson while the other three went after Butina. “The team went in, dragged her out, spun her around, cuffed her in the hallway, and announced her arrest,” Erickson said.
…

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hoover

The FIB man is your friend.

 

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NRA Fires Back At Delta Airline CEO

Posted by M. C. on May 2, 2018

Few people even use the NRA discount. Delta’s political pandering is costing it big time.

https://bearingarms.com/tom-k/2018/04/27/nra-fires-back-delta-airline-ceo/

Instead, all Delta’s getting is some accolades from people who already hate them and will soon hate them all over again because it’s a big company and these people will always hate big companies. Bastian doesn’t seem to get that. Sooner or later, the anti-gunners will hate you for something else you did that they didn’t approve of, even if it has nothing to do with guns.

But the Second Amendment advocates have a longer memory. We tend to not get as distracted by shiny objects. Once you earn our enmity, you keep it.

Seriously, some people still won’t buy a Smith & Wesson because previous ownership signed a deal with the Clinton administration. Do you think we’re going to forget the middle finger Delta gave us? Not likely.

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Black Political Power – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 11, 2018

Things used to be a lot better for blacks and a lot of the rest of US. What has changed?

When did things change? November 23, 1963 might be a good place to start looking.

Clue: It has nothing to do with the NRA

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/04/walter-e-williams/black-political-power-means-zilch/

It’s often thought to be beyond question that black political power is necessary for economic power and enhanced socio-economic welfare. That’s an idea that lends itself to testing and analysis.

Between 1970 and 2012, the number of black elected officials rose from fewer than 1,500 to more than 10,000. Plus, a black man was elected to the presidency twice. Jason Riley, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, tells how this surge in political power has had little beneficial impact on the black community. Read the rest of this entry »

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Robert De Niro Slams the NRA: ‘Things in Our Country Are So Bad, and It Comes From Trump’

Posted by M. C. on April 5, 2018

http://www.indiewire.com/2018/04/robert-de-niro-nra-gun-violence-criticism-1201949215/

Hypocrite. Part of the problem. Need I $ay more?
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CNN’s Van Jones Race-Baits By Trying To Compare NRA To The KKK

Posted by M. C. on February 26, 2018

What do expect from a Weather Underground co-founder, Obama appointee and admitted communist hired by the Clinton News Network?

https://bearingarms.com/tom-k/2018/02/25/cnns-van-jones-racebaits-trying-compare-nra-kkk/

The roots of gun control lie in the policies of the Klan and people who thought like the Klan. The idea of gun control in its early days was to disarm the black man, to make it impossible for him to defend himself against aggression from racists. Lynching, you see, is a much riskier proposition when your target has the means to fight back. Read the rest of this entry »

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No, the GOP Did Not Just Repeal the Background Check System or Give Guns to the Mentally Ill

Posted by M. C. on February 16, 2018

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/444582/no-gop-did-not-just-repeal-background-check-system-or-give-guns-mentally-ill

CHARLES C. W. COOKE

…And why would it, given the details? Here’s the American Association of People with Disabilities explaining what was at stake: This rule would require the Social Security Administration to forward the names of all Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit recipients who use a representative payee to help manage their benefits due to a mental impairment to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Or, in layman’s terms: The rule would have allowed bureaucrats within one of our federal agencies to bar American citizens from exercising a constitutional right — and on the highly questionable grounds that to be incapable of managing one’s finances is, by definition, to be a “mental defective.” There were a host of reasons to object to this measure. Read the rest of this entry »

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The real reason Hollywood is gunning for the NRA

Posted by M. C. on October 20, 2017

Hollywood scum are racing to see how quickly they can climb on a soapbox and claim they had no idea this was happening! This is what hollywood has run on since its inception. The sheeple eat it up when twits like Streep claim holier than thou ignorance.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/10/the_real_reason_hollywood_is_gunning_for_the_nra.html

When a sex scandal erupted against producer Harvey Weinstein, his first response was to pledge that he would “channel anger” in a campaign against the National Rifle Association, one of the most reliable devil-dolls liberals stick pins in to prove their bona fides.

Weinstein must have been shocked when this gesture did not gain him instant forgiveness for his sexual sins and shortcomings.  After all, were not guns phallic symbols?  Was not his anti-gun gesture therefore a symbolic repudiation of his own out-of-control manhood? Read the rest of this entry »

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