Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mark Mix Responds to IRS Proposal

If people earning decent incomes choose to make large monetary donations to 501(c)(3) charities rather than pay taxes, should they make it easy for the IRS to verify that those donations were actually received and processed by those charities? Absolutely. Should that verification involve yet another IRS form? Possibly. Should that form be electronically tracked using individuals' Social Security numbers? I say no. Two reasons:

(1) Every time identity information is transmitted online presents a separate security risk to an individual, comparable to every time the person leaves a car parked with the window rolled down and the keys lying on the front seat, but potentially much more expensive.

(2) I've done some fundraising, and I know...every step you add to the process of donation costs your organization support. If you stand outside a store wishing people a Merry Christmas and holding out a kettle for them to drop coins into, about half of them will toss in a few coins, another ten or fifteen percent will dig out a few bills, and one or two percent will write a cheque. (If you sing traditional Christmas carols on a cold or snowy day, nine out of ten people will give you money.) If you ask people to sign something, even if it's as uncontroversial as "Littering is not nice," fewer than half will sign, a lot of the names and addresses will be fake, and only about ten percent will donate money. If you ask people to verify their legal identity, trust me, you are killing your cause.

For e-friend Mark Mix, however, the issue stirs up more emotion than that. His cause is the right to work without being obliged to pay dues to a union that may not represent you. Social Security numbers are used on job applications. In states where unions have been allowed to become an extra tier of management, it would be easy for unions to pressure employers to refuse to hire right-to-work supporters.

In fact, if the IRS' proposal were taken seriously, it'd be easy for bigots to refuse to hire people based on their support of any kind of charities. Anti-Semites would be free to blackball anyone who's supported a Jewish charity, Christian-phobics anyone who's supported a Christian charity, whatever kind of people support the e-mail pest known as Eugene Delgaudio anyone who's supported an AIDS-related charity, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

Now, in case you're wondering: I don't make purchases or donations online, ever. (I don't really recommend that you do; Paypal payments will be gladly accepted, but I encourage U.S. readers to send U.S. postal money orders to my post office address.) And at no time since I e-met Mark Mix have I had enough income to make more than a few tiny donations to local disaster relief and educational funds. Political funds get moral support from this web site; they get cash elsewhere.

If I ever manage to win a multimillion-dollar lottery (without buying tickets) and do send the National Right to Work Committee money, the Committee will be welcome to publish my name. I already know that no corporation is interested in hiring a fifty-something woman with a long record of successful self-employment.

For most of the people who can afford to support the Committee, of course, the situation is different.

The threat to Mark Mix's right-to-work organization seems urgent enough to justify sharing the gist of his e-mail here, with links. I'm not presuming to tell readers whether paying dues to this organization is more important to you, this year, than supporting your local emergency shelter, donation-funded ambulance service for Social Security pensioners, volunteer fire department, alternative school, or inner-city mission--or paying off your debts, or whatever...even paying dues to a union that does represent you, if you belong to such. I would just like to remind you that if this is a cause you want to support or fund, you might want to get your support or funding in now, while the process is simple and relatively secure.

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Every year I have to be ready for a knock on my door.

Waiting for me will be a dark-suited man with an angry expression and a folder thick with legal papers.

Papers demanding I turn over the National Right to Work Committee’s records, pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and swear to stop informing you where your politicians stand.

Big Labor’s favorite federal bureaucracy -- the Federal Election Commission (FEC) -- will be at it again.

And now the FEC has teamed up with the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) and the IRS to paint targets on any organization that dares to stand up to powerful politicians and their special interest benefactors.

In fact, emails from IRS director Lois Lerner detail how the FEC, DOJ and IRS are pressing for fraud prosecutions for non-profit organizations like your National Right to Work Committee.

“One IRS prosecution would make an impact,” Ms. Lerner stated.

The Washington Times decried these schemes saying, “The scandal rises to another level when three government agencies hold meetings to determine which political enemies should be the first to hear the knock at the door from federal agents.”

And now, with the Presidential election right around the corner, time may be running out for the jackboots in the Obama bureaucracy and for Obama’s most ardent backer -- Big Labor.

So you and I can be sure the union bosses will pull out all the stops to ensure the Obama Administration delivers their forced-dues wish list through bureaucratic power.

And muzzling or even shutting down your Committee would be the Holy Grail for Big Labor and their pet politicians.

After all, the union bosses know one thing stands between them and the paychecks of millions of hardworking Americans -- you, me and the other members of the National Right to Work Committee.

You see, the Committee’s strength is in its members -- the small business owners, school teachers, carpenters, stay-at-home moms, assembly line workers and entrepreneurs who have banded together under one banner -- no worker should be forced to pay tribute to a union boss as a condition of employment.

That’s why the FEC has been the union bosses’ “go to” government agency to do their dirty work.

The FEC targets the heart of the Committee -– its members.

And you and I know from decades of battling Big Labor and the FEC -- we can always count on their worst.

Back in 1978, Right to Work President Reed Larson was served his first FEC subpoena by a hostile young entry-level FEC lawyer -- a subpoena demanding the names and addresses of every Committee member!

Similar subpoenas would be served again and again over the years, including the time when your Committee dared to challenge the misnamed “Campaign Finance Reform” law.

Once again, the FEC demanded the names and personal information of Right to Work supporters, and we had to fight them in court.

Now, with everything that’s at stake in the November elections, Big Labor is eager to prevent the Committee from exposing their handpicked politicians to the nearly 80% of Americans who think forced unionism is just plain wrong.

And burying the Committee under a mountain of subpoenas could accomplish that goal.

So it’s vital you and I are prepared as we head into 2016.

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