Support the Café

Search our Site

Fuzzy logic

Fuzzy logic

As the on-going scandal about the IRS’ scrutiny of conservative groups grinds on, the underlying issue–the fuzzy logic that leads to poor enforcement–is almost never discussed.

Gary D. Bass and Elizabeth J. Kingsley write in the Washington Post of a proposal to change and clarify the regulation in question.

The IRS’s improper scrutiny of conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status certainly warrants investigation. But we must not lose sight of the underlying problems that led to this situation: the lack of workable standards to determine what activity the Internal Revenue Service considers “political” and how much of it a nonprofit group can do.

This issue was highlighted last Friday during a House hearing on IRS activity. Asked if he could define when a group applying for tax exemption as a 501(c)(4) “social welfare organization” is being too political, Steven T. Miller admitted that he could not say for sure. If the IRS’s former acting commissioner doesn’t know, it is impossible to expect front-line staff reviewing applications to know what to look for, nor for citizen advocacy groups to understand what rules govern their conduct.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café