Saturday, September 16, 2006

IRS Has Two Huge Jobs Ahead

Two recent stories reveal the hard work the Internal Revenue Service has ahead of it to keep businesses and churches honest. The first story involved tax havens and the use of offshore companies to shelter deals from U.S. taxes. Presidential Pioneers Sam and Charles Wyly’s practices occupy hundreds of pages of the House report on tax dodgers and cheats. The Carlyle Group has offshore divisions in the Cayman Islands that benefited from the sale of millions of shares of United Defense Industries stock prior to its takeover by BAE Systems in 2005.

The second story involved a liberal church in Southern California. The priest spoke negatively of the Bush tax cuts prior to the 2004 election. That same sale saved Carlyle insiders almost $1 million in capital gains taxes as the Bush team dropped people from Medicaid. Regardless of the accuracy of the priest’s statement, the IRS ordered the church to present any politically charged sermons, newsletters and electronic communications by September 29th.

Our countries tax police have a huge job in going after churches who dabble in politics. The Texas Restoration Project and Reformation Ohio are a blatant attempt to mingle politics and the pulpit. Will the IRS swing both ways or will it be the club used by incumbents to batter their political opposition? Bush likes a club in more ways than one.

No comments: