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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 21, 2013 at 7:58 AM

IRS questions political groups

Groups shouldn’t receive tax exemptions
The IRS scandal has caused consternation on Capitol Hill. U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, center, talks about the issue Thursday as Rep. Michele Bachmann, left, Sen. Rand Paul, right, and others look on. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has scheduled a hearing for next week. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

The IRS scandal has caused consternation on Capitol Hill. U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, center, talks about the issue Thursday as Rep. Michele Bachmann, left, Sen. Rand Paul, right, and others look on. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has scheduled a hearing for next week. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

The article about the part of the tax code allowing tax-exempt groups to participate in political activity was informative, illuminating and a welcome reprieve from the breathless “scandal” coverage of the issue [“Why is any political group exempt from paying taxes?,” News, May 17].

The important question to ask is: Why are political groups given any tax exemption at all? The only reason seems to be to hide the identity of their contributors. I am all for free speech, but is it too much to ask who is making that speech?
A billion dollars can make a whole lot more speeches than somebody on the mythical soapbox. I think that money is greatly distorting any ideal of public discourse, and these groups, fronting anonymous, presumably wealthy (How can we tell now?) donors, are vastly magnifying the problem.
Christian Saether, Seattle

Comments | Topics: Internal Revenue Service, IRS, tax breaks

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