Campaign Finance Reform by a 'Stroke-of-the-Pen'

by - May 28, 2013

The 1954 law provides special tax treatment for organizations exclusively engaged in social-welfare. In 1959, without any amendment by Congress, the IRS decided on its own that it would grant such special treatment (donor anonymity and tax-free status for organizations) that were primarily engaged in social-welfare activities. Administrative errors are fixable by administrative action. No act of Congress is required. With a "stroke of the pen", the IRS should announce that it is correcting the error, and returning to the original intent, indeed the original language, of the IRS law. The IRS Commissioner reports to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. Hence, the President, the Treasury Secretary or the Deputy Secretary have the authority to instruct the Commissioner on matters of policy. Let us now "game" the consequences of correcting the error. Virtually all current 501(c)4 organizations would now become taxable and required to disclose their donors. It would instantly clean-up the dark money the American people generally oppose.

Paul Abrams: Campaign Finance Reform by a 'Stroke-of-the-Pen'

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