Originally posted by sonnny1
I wonder what the equivalent is, to the Democratic Party?
Originally posted by FlyersFan
Originally posted by sonnny1
I wonder what the equivalent is, to the Democratic Party?
Lobbiests. Unions. Accepting Soros money with all the strings attached. Etc.
Same type of corruptioin but under different names and differently worded rhetoric.
(R) or (D) .... They all suck.
So. How is it that the vast majority of you are beholden, contractually to Grover Norquist who is the President of a private ( 501(c)(4) — Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees ) non-profit called Americans For Tax Reform and its subsidiary ( 501(c)(3) — Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations ) branch, Americans For Tax Reform Foundation. Both tax exempt lobbying groups?
And, yet, Mr. Norquist is by the very definition of the word partisan. Therefore his involvement in a supposedly nonpartisan entity is very suspect. And your association with this man is therefore suspect as well.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. CFR carries out its mission by: Maintaining a diverse membership, including special programs to promote interest and develop expertise in the next generation of foreign policy leaders;
Many of you signed a pledge to Mr. Norquist and his two corporations.
Americans for Tax Reform is a 501(c)(4) organization with 14 employees, finances of $3,912,958, and a membership of 60,000 (as of 2004). It was founded by Grover Norquist in 1985. The associated educational wing is the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, which is classified as a 501c(3) research and educational organization. The purpose of both entities is to educate and/or lobby against all tax increases.
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]
14. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not, with the intent to influence on the basis of partisan political affiliation an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity– (a) take or withhold, or offer or threaten to take or withhold, an official act; or (b) influence, or offer or threaten to influence, the official act of another.
4. No Member, officer, or employee shall knowingly use his official position to introduce or aid the progress or passage of legislation, a principal purpose of which is to further only his pecuniary interest, only the pecuniary interest of his immediate family, or only the pecuniary interest of a limited class of persons or enterprises, when he, or his immediate family, or enterprises controlled by them, are members of the affected class.
501(c)(4) refers to a section of the U.S. federal income tax code. Corporations that have been granted 501(c)(4) status by the Internal Revenue Service may engage in political lobbying. This includes donations to political committees that support or oppose ballot measures, bond issues, recalls or referenda.
501(c)(3) refers to a section of the U.S. federal income tax code. Organizations that have been granted 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service may only conduct non-partisan activities. 501(c)(3) groups are sometimes referred to as "non-profits." This can be a source of confusion, since all U.S. states allow certain corporations to register as "not-for-profit" corporations. A corporation may be a not-for-profit corporation under the laws of the state in which it is incorporated, but not have federal 501(c)(3) status.
Donations to 501(c)(3) groups are tax deductible for the individual who makes the donation.
Some non-profit groups have two related corporations -- a 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4). Under IRS tax code, it is legal to transfer funds from a 501(c)(3) to a 501(c)(4), but the restrictions on how the money is spend carry over on any such transferred funds.
Q. INCOME INEQUALITY
Thank you for taking some time to chat with readers today. I find a lot of your writing very interesting even though I disagree with much of it. I am curious, though, about how you think about income inequality in terms of the America you wish to bring about. A country with no mechanism to redistribute some of the income that amasses among top earners to people who are simply born into difficult economic circumstances will quickly become a nation starkly divided between a small, very rich population, and a vast, extremely poor one. I'd like to hear your argument about why this sketch of a low-tax society is wrong. Many kind thanks.
– July 13, 2011 11:49 AM
GROVER NORQUIST :
– July 13, 2011 1:00 PM
n. pl. plu·toc·ra·cies
1. Government by the wealthy.
2. A wealthy class that controls a government.
3. A government or state in which the wealthy rule.
No Taxes, No Disclosure: Secret Donors Fund Norquist's Crusade
Norquist is the inimitable helmsman of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the architect of a phenomenally successful effort to get lawmakers and candidates to pledge never to raise taxes. During last summer's debt ceiling debates, the number of Republican lawmakers who wouldn't budge on taxes led former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson to call Norquist "the most powerful man in America."
But Norquist doesn't have to worry much about his own group's tax bill. ATR is a 501(c)(4) organization under the internal revenue code, and thus tax-exempt.
And while ATR retains that tax status by agreeing not to operate primarily as a political group, it is nevertheless extremely active on that front.
In fact, while ATR has been a fixture in Washington for more than two decades, a review of its tax filings and reports to the Federal Election Commission by OpenSecrets Blog suggests that the organization's fundraising and spending ramped up dramatically in the 2010 midterm elections.
From 2008 to 2010, contributions to ATR increased 124 percent, from $5.5 million to $12.4 million. ATR's expenditures totaled nearly $11.4 million in 2010, more than doubling the $5.7 million it spent two years earlier.
The increased spending was reflected in its payments to vendors: In 2008, ATR paid over $100,000 to only two contractors, HSP Direct and Meridian Strategies LLC, for fundraising services and advertising, respectively, according to its Form 990. In 2010, nine companies crested that mark, totaling at least $8.2 million. The top five were all reported as providing "advertising" services.
"Advertising," for ATR, refers to political advertising. That's not a foreign concept for the group, but a fundamental change took place in 2010: For the first time, ATR ran ads explicitly opposing and supporting candidates in their campaigns for the House and Senate.
ATR's rapid growth in 2010 receipts and expenditures was shared, even outpaced, by other 501(c)(4) groups, especially ones that favored conservatives. Americans for Prosperity, for instance, the group started by conservative billionaire David Koch of Koch Industries, increased its receipts in 2010 by 214 percent over 2008, to $22.1 million, and boosted its expenditures by a nearly identical percentage
Its tax return for 2010, however, shows nothing on the page where such groups are supposed to record any political expenditures. On a different part of the return, though, ATR lists $1.9 million as political expenditures.
And in yet another section of the filing, a supplemental note on "Advertising and Promotion," ATR says that in 2010, it "spent over $8 million in election related advertisements. Over $4 million of the advertisements supported specific legislation or candidates. The remaining advertisements were program-related advertisements."
The discrepancies in the numbers on ATR's Form 990 filing and its reports to the FEC were the basis for a complaint in March by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, asking the IRS to investigate ATR.
A March 30 federal court ruling in the case Van Hollen v. FEC could require all groups, including 501(c)(4)s, that run electioneering communications -- those within the 30-and-60-day windows -- to disclose donors, but the case will likely be considered by an appellate court before that requirement would go into effect.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate whether Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and its president Grover Norquist violated federal law by filing a tax return that left out more than half the political activity ATR conducted in 2010. ATR disclosed more than $4.2 million in independent expenditures to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), but asserted on its 2010 tax return that it spent only $1.85 million on political activities.
“Grover Norquist’s numbers just don’t add up,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Americans for Tax Reform spent millions of dollars in 2010 trying to defeat candidates who disagreed with its agenda, then left most of that spending off its own tax return. Perhaps Mr. Norquist should sign a pledge that he won’t lie to the IRS about his group’s political activity.”
Tax-exempt organizations such as ATR are required to report on their annual tax returns the amount they spent on political activities. This information helps the IRS determine whether a tax-exempt organization is complying with its tax-exempt status and provides at least some transparency for groups involved in politics. Reporting inaccurate information can result in civil penalties and criminal prosecution. CREW previously filed a complaint with the IRS against ATR in 2006.
I think ole' Grover is absolutely one of the major factors in that sharp shift to the right. Which is why I am becoming a bit surprised that this thread is getting as little input as it has...
More than 200 Democrats have signed onto a pledge to protect Social Security from any interference, amid some Republican calls for partial privatization of the entitlement program.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee circulated the petition and set up the web site socialsecurityprotectors.com to promote it.
Seventy five Democratic House candidates, 11 Senate candidates, and 133 congressional incumbents signed the pledge. Democratic House leaders touted their support of the program last week, even as seniors learned they won’t get an increase in their benefits for the second year in a row because of low inflation.
Pledges are gimmicks. Their meaning can be distorted. Signing one is the equivalent of voluntarily slipping on a straitjacket; it denies politicians the flexibility needed to meet unforeseen challenges. As Politico reports, plenty of lawmakers who willingly bound their hands are now regretting it, and leery of signing onto any more:
“I think I’ve kind of supported enough pledges,” freshman Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told POLITICO. “I’ve restricted myself too much this Congress.”
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), one of Sarah Palin’s conservative “Mama Grizzlies” who signed Norquist’s anti-tax pledge while running for election last year, said she wouldn’t ink her name to the new pledge. And she’s not certain she’ll sign any others in the future.
“I support the concepts in their pledge, but what matters most is my pledge to uphold the United States Constitution,” Ayotte told POLITICO. “I’m looking very carefully at all pledges because I want to make sure I support the underlying concepts. People who draft pledges tend to define what they mean differently.”
Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, Republican Conference chairman, said much the same: “My only pledge is to the United States of America.”