In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the latest illegal leak of thousands of supposedly confidential…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
ProPublica/IRS Leak: There's No Underlying "There" There

In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the latest illegal leak of thousands of supposedly confidential Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxpayer returns spanning over 15 years, confirming that the partisan and power-hungry IRS simply cannot be trusted to safeguard our sensitive records, let alone to begin collecting sensitive private information from nonprofit organizations on donors who contribute to them in violation of the First Amendment.

Getting to the substance of the ProPublica/IRS leaked documents themselves, former Senator Phil Gramm and U.S. Policy Metrics partner Mike Solon explain in The Wall Street Journal how there's nothing scandalous in the least in what they reveal:

ProPublica’s 'blockbuster' story showing that the wealthy 'pay income taxes that are only…[more]

June 18, 2021 • 04:40 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Senators McConnell, Braun Introduce “Don’t Weaponize the IRS Act” to Protect First Amendment Freedoms Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, June 03 2021
[T]he bill introduced by Leader McConnell and Senator Braun would safeguard Americans’ First Amendment rights by codifying the Trump Administration’s rule ending IRS collection of private data that it doesn’t need for legitimate law enforcement purposes, and which can be used to target and persecute American citizens.

Despite securing power last November by the slimmest of electoral margins – which should have imbued them with humility rather than arrogance – the Biden Administration and Pelosi-Schumer Congress commenced a wholesale assault upon American freedoms on everything from the Bill of Rights to the economy to healthcare to education.  

Stubbornly resisting that onslaught stands Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky), the Senate Minority Leader who enabled a 6-3 conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court by thwarting Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland and subsequently orchestrating the confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett against maniacal leftist opposition.  

Now, Leader McConnell has taken another strong stand on behalf American individual freedoms alongside Mike Braun (R – Indiana) and 41 other Senators by introducing the “Don’t Weaponize the IRS Act.”  

Their bill would counteract the farcically misnamed “For the People Act” introduced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D – California) and Chuck Schumer (D – New York), and codify a Trump Administration regulation relieving nonprofit organizations of abusive Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules requiring nonprofit organizations to surrender sensitive donor information such as names, addresses and other intimate information.  For years, especially during the Obama Administration, the IRS had systematically targeted conservative and pro-Israel tax-exempt groups on the basis of their political beliefs, as Leader McConnell noted:  

Remember President Obama’s IRS scandal?  Unelected bureaucrats treated organizations differently, subjected Americans to unequal scrutiny, depending on their beliefs.  Nonprofits with a whiff of conservative beliefs were slow-walked and singled out for unfair treatment.  

Or think back to 2014.  The Obama Administration had to reach a settlement after a government worker leaked confidential information about a conservative group in violation of federal law.  Unsurprisingly, those private details found their way to a liberal group that had plenty of ideas about what to do with it.  Courts have found that the state of California has “repeatedly” leaked or inappropriately released confidential information about nonprofits’ donors.  

The Trump Administration finally put an end to that abuse, but now Biden, Pelosi and Schumer seek to reverse that progress amid their broader attempt to overhaul the nation’s electoral system for their own benefit.  

Specifically, their so-called “For the People Act” would chill Americans’ First Amendment freedoms by “outing” donors to nonprofit organizations, listing their names and personal information on a searchable government database.  Keep in mind that despite government assurances of privacy, such databases have repeatedly been hacked.  The bill would further chill free speech by regulating nonprofit organizations that only incidentally or occasionally opine on such issues as judicial nominations, requiring them to expose donors, even when those donors had no input on the groups’ communications on the particular communication at issue.  

Furthermore, their “For the People Act” would force nonprofit groups to identify supporters on advertisements, which poses obvious privacy concerns, and would deter citizens from running for office or engaging in public debate by forcing them to disclose donations they’d made to nonprofit organizations or causes.  

Tellingly, the private donor information that the IRS would resume collecting serves no substantive purpose, and in instances of potential fraud the IRS remains able to subpoena records for investigation.  Accordingly, the primary consequence of collecting this data is restriction of First Amendment freedoms, as Leader McConnell highlighted:  

If there’s no legitimate reason for the IRS to have certain information, then the IRS shouldn’t be collecting it…  Contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations are not tax-deductible.  The IRS doesn’t need these details just for kicks and giggles.  The prior administration had the IRS stop blanket collection of nonpublic information about citizens who make non-tax-deductible contributions to certain organizations.  But now, Democrats’ political takeover bills would roll back this step and open new fronts in the far-left war on privacy and free speech.  S. 1 would narrow the protections of the First Amendment.  It would empower the feds with new authority to track and police Americans’ speech.  

Accordingly, the bill introduced by Leader McConnell and Senator Braun would safeguard Americans’ First Amendment rights by codifying the Trump Administration’s rule ending IRS collection of private data that it doesn’t need for legitimate law enforcement purposes, and which can be used to target and persecute American citizens.  

For their ongoing efforts to protect individual freedoms against an unrelenting far-left onslaught, Senators McConnell and Braun, along with their cosponsors, merit our congratulation and appreciation.  

Quiz Question   
What was the highest year-over-year inflation rate since the consumer price index has been used to calculate it?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"For the past year, liberals unleashed on the nation an avalanche of ideological nonsense, coupled with brutal pressure to conform. Those who bucked the party line found themselves canceled and unpersoned and had their opinions subjected to mockery and claims of delusion and 'anti-science' prejudices.Until now. Because the tide is turning. And sometimes the break from the party line comes from surprising…[more]
 
 
—Glenn Harlan Reynolds, InstaPundit.com Founder and Univ. of Tennessee Professor of Law
— Glenn Harlan Reynolds, InstaPundit.com Founder and Univ. of Tennessee Professor of Law
 
Liberty Poll   

Are your local schools currently facing open debate with parents regarding the introduction of radical leftist ideological positions into the curricula?