CA lawmaker: Use tax code to punish unpopular views

Ricardo LaraApril 10, 2013

By Chris Reed

As a libertarian who supports gay marriage, I’m not a social conservative cultural warrior. That said, I still think there’s something extremely troubling about government power being used to punish those whose views are different than the California political mainstream. That’s just what state Sen. Ricardo Lara wants to do, AP reports:

“SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California lawmakers are considering taking some tax exemptions away from youth groups that do not accept gay, transgender or atheist members — a move intended to pressure the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on gay Scouts and troop leaders.

“Some cities have withdrawn free rent and other subsidies from the Boy Scouts over the years, but legislation introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara would make California the first state to target the Scouts for its anti-gay policy.

“The Long Beach Democrat’s bill, SB 323, is scheduled for its first committee hearing on Wednesday. …

“The legislation, also known as the Youth Equality Act, would deny tax-exempt status to nonprofit youth groups that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or religious affiliation.

“As a result, it would require those organizations to pay corporate taxes on donations, membership dues, camp fees and other sources of income, and to obtain sellers permits and pay sales taxes on food, beverages and homemade items sold at fundraisers. Because all tax returns are private in California, supporters do not know how big a tax hit the Boy Scouts would take if the proposal passes.

“Churches that sponsor Boy Scouts troops would not lose their underlying tax-exempt status, but an array of nonprofits, ranging from the Young Men’s Christian Association and Pop Warner football to the American Youth Soccer Association and 4-H clubs would have their tax returns and membership policies scrutinized by the state Franchise Tax Board, according to an analysis by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.”

So much for tolerance of divergent views. The authoritarian impulse on the left seems to grow stronger by the day. The left knows what’s best, and you’d better agree — or else.

 

21 comments

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  1. Deeply Anti-Intellectual
    Deeply Anti-Intellectual 10 April, 2013, 11:18

    Boy Scouts? Puny. The LUCRATIVE target is churches, particularly the Bible-believing “mega-churches” with significant property assets.

    From my post last week in response to “L.A. Times intolerant toward ‘intolerant’ conservatives over Google on Easter Sunday”:

    “Christian mega-churches that have huge numbers of ‘members’ will lose their tax-exempt status (which may not have been appropriate in the first place, by the way). In their continuing quest to bring in high numbers of unaccountable members (who provide funding for the church bureaucracies and all those desirable church ‘programs’), they will fail to filter out members and membership applicants who subsequently want their church to recognize and celebrate same-sex marriage. In fact, it’s likely activists will deliberately infiltrate membership of these churches and then file lawsuits. That will cost churches a lot of money.

    I recommend this to Bible-believing Christians: “Join a church small enough (about 150 max) for the church leadership to know everyone and everyone to know each other. Make sure the church has well-defined, Biblically-based membership qualifications and discipline procedures. Evangelize in a humble and personal way, rather than through public spectacles.”

    Also:

    In the next 20 years, Christians who hold to the Bible as the word of God will begin suffering professionally, financially, and socially for holding onto the traditional Christian moral codes…And for those Christians intending to parse their answers during the New Humanistic Inquisition, give up. The question won’t be “Do you think the government should recognize unions between same-sex couples?” It will be “Do YOU see same-sex marriage as EQUAL in nature to opposite-sex marriage?”

    I recommend this to Bible-believing Christians: “You may want to start planning for the end of your employment with large corporations or government agencies and for taking your kids out of the public schools. Christians working for secular colleges are especially at risk.” And “Pray that you show love for your enemies and turn the other cheek when hated. Control your anger. Don’t do anything that gives the majority an excuse to persecute you. (They’re itching for a Christian to respond with violence, which will allow them to take away your guns.)”

    Reply this comment
  2. Brown delta trout
    Brown delta trout 10 April, 2013, 13:42

    The reason why we have non-profit status for churches is because historically Americans believed these institutions were good for society and should be encouraged. Additionally everyone was free to support whatever church group/clergy it believed in verses having a state supported church/clergy and thus being force to give you money (tax dollars) to supporting a clergy you didn’t believe. So to pass some such test for recognition would be a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. Not that the commies won’t try. Hopefully it will toughing up the Boy Scouts.

    Reply this comment
  3. Donkey
    Donkey 10 April, 2013, 14:41

    The Libs are out of control!! The tyranny of the left will be broken!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 10 April, 2013, 17:15

    Unfortunate. Pack and ship.

    Reply this comment
  5. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 10 April, 2013, 17:54

    Same arguments people were using 50, 60 and 70 years ago in opposition to equal rights for black Americans. If you wish to discriminate against people for their race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or any other reason incompatible with ensuring the blessings of liberty to all, you’re certainly free to do so. You’re just not free to express your bigotry in a public accommodation or expect me to support some kind of tax write-off that supports your position.

    Reply this comment
  6. Ironsun
    Ironsun 10 April, 2013, 18:16

    Mr. Reed,
    You need to rethink your support of ‘gay’ marriage as it is not marriage that you are supporting. Try to be a deep thinker on this and all so called cultural issues.

    Case in point: Skippingdog does not wish to give public accommodation nor support through some kind of tax write-off to persons or entities of certain beliefs. He equates being gay to being black in the 1800 & 1900’s.

    As a libertarian do you not understand that the slippery slope begins with feelings? I feel homosexuals should get married because of love. I feel it is only fair. I feel that they are equal to blacks in the 1800’s. Can you not see that the ‘state’ is insidious and does not stop for anything. At this point the ‘state’. . . federal and state governments. . . . must be opposed on all fronts. There is nothing, I repeat NOTHING that it can do that is of any good in our society. It is corrupt through and through. Laws for thee but not for me is the mantra of government on all levels. You must reflect and think deeply on this. Re-read Mises, Hayek et al. The road to serfdom is paved with feelings. Reflect and understand that the family and religion, specifically Christianity, are the true targets of the left. Look around, think and reflect and you will see the truth in this.

    Skippingdog is a useful idiot, you should not be one also.

    Reply this comment
  7. Donkey
    Donkey 10 April, 2013, 19:08

    Ironsun wrote: “Skippingdog is a useful idiot…,” so true, but he is also a RAGWUS fedder and a fascist.

    Ironsun, I agree with your words. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  8. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 10 April, 2013, 19:08

    Skipping Dog: So you would take away the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church, Southern Baptists (and other conservative Protestants), Eastern Orthodox Christians, Orthodox Jews, and most Muslim organizations — all of whom do not allow women priests, ministers, rabbis, or imams, and therefore by your definition are “bigots”?

    — John Seiler

    P.S. Of course, the real way to solve this problem is to repeal the income tax; and end government involvement in marriage.

    Reply this comment
  9. stolson
    stolson 10 April, 2013, 19:13

    the real way to solve this problem is to repeal the income tax; and end government involvement in marriage.

    Agreed upon! The IRS is a holdover as is the doings of the Federal Reserve. Politicians will gab about changes to the system, and then go quiet. It will take the people to figure out a better way for all.

    Reply this comment
  10. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 10 April, 2013, 21:03

    Yes, John, I would propose removing the tax-exempt status of churches, as well as most other 501(c)3 or similar tax exempt organizations. There’s no reason contributions to these groups should net anyone a tax deduction, for the same reason that we don’t give deductible status to political party contributions. If people value their services or activities, they will receive contributions regardless of their tax-exempt status.

    Reply this comment
  11. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 10 April, 2013, 21:06

    Just so I’m clear, John, I would remove the tax exempt status of churches even if they did have women priests, etc. I’m surprised with your clear libertarian bent that you would support such a thing, since it’s really nothing more than indirect government support for these religious institutions.

    Reply this comment
  12. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 10 April, 2013, 21:12

    It was the “feelings” you disregard, Ironsun, that prompted the growth of abolitionists in the 19th Century, supported the creation of basic laws against animal abuse through the ASPCA, put muscle behind the effort for women’s suffrage, and challenged our moral claims enough to make changes in child labor and workplace safety laws. Every one of those improvements in our civilization began with “feelings.” Your disparagement of that locus tells us much more about your own lack of a moral compass than anything else you could possibly say.

    Reply this comment
  13. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 10 April, 2013, 22:40

    SkippingDog: I understand your position. It might actually be a good idea. If churches were taxed, then they would stop being such sheep in opposing the repressive government. (Except that I never favor raising anybody’s taxes for any reason.)

    However, my question was not whether the tax exemption should be removed from all religious groups. But whether it should be removed ONLY from religious groups that do NOT have women clergy.

    Which seemed to be your position when you wrote, “If you wish to discriminate against people for their race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or any other reason incompatible with ensuring the blessings of liberty to all, you’re certainly free to do so. You’re just not free to express your bigotry in a public accommodation or expect me to support some kind of tax write-off that supports your position.”

    Am I correct?

    — John Seiler

    Reply this comment
  14. Donkey
    Donkey 11 April, 2013, 06:14

    Skdog is only after more taxpayers dollars, it matters little to him how it is derived, if an untapped source available he wants it. The Beatles song “Taxman” makes him glow.

    The RAGWUS needs revenue, it is dying. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  15. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 11 April, 2013, 15:50

    I believe I answered your question about my personal preferences for tax exemptions, John. But, absent the overall changes I support for all such exemptions and deductions, yes, I think it would be appropriate to use our tax code as a tool to encourage compliance with our basic social policy of non-discrimination in the public sphere. That still provides the opportunity for bigots to exercise their liberty by being bigots, but doesn’t reward their behavior with preferential tax treatment for them or their funding sources.

    I feel the same way about colleges that won’t allow ROTC recruiters on campus, businesses that refuse to comply with labor laws like those in our Veteran’s Code, and any organization that operates outside compliance with the laws creating the legal framework of our social policies.

    Reply this comment
  16. Donkey
    Donkey 12 April, 2013, 02:11

    Skdog, your “non-discrimination” mantra is government being used to discriminate to those that don’t think like you. Typical fascist!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  17. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 13 April, 2013, 12:37

    Sorry, Donk. Non-discrimination means just that. It all goes back to equal protection under our laws and the national foundations you claim to admire and respect. A carrot-and-stick approach through our tax code is far preferable to you folks having to appear before a magistrate for a criminal violation every time you let your bigotry get out of hand, don’t you think?

    Reply this comment
  18. Donkey
    Donkey 13 April, 2013, 17:37

    Skdog, you don’t even know the meaning of bigotry!!!! It means
    intolerance or prejudice, traits that every human uses to avoid contact with people that they find offensive or deranged. Traits that your cabal uses everytime you costume clad clowns come in contace with a citizen.

    There is and never was anything in the Constitution that allows the government to dictate to individuals who they can associate with, but mettlesome folk like you, have been on a crusade to dictate and control every single persons likes, dislikes, beliefs, habits, customs, learning, what they can and cannot own or do, and many other fascist ideas along these lines. People like you continue to oppress as often as you can with your nanny state agenda, freedom for the non-connected makes you sick and weak. The mere thought that a free citizen in the private is successfull causes the hamsters in your brain to spin the wheels of control, the doer must be held back by mettlesome RAGWUS feeder.

    The real truth here SKdog, is you are only seeking control of other people lives so you can loot their earning. You will use any excuse, any act, any study, and any quack science to get your filthy paws on the money of the doers in this nation, and You will do this just to keep your dishonest pension checks coming. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  19. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 14 April, 2013, 00:55

    A fine defense of bigotry, Donkey! I’m sure it’s something you’re proud of.

    Your argument that our Constitution doesn’t mention discrimination or bigotry, therefore you should be free to engage in it to your heart’s content, hasn’t held water in our country for over a century now. Equal protection under the law means just that, regardless of whether you wish to discriminate or not.

    There are fundamental social needs and obligations that outweigh your desire to exercise unfettered bigotry, as least in the public sphere of our lives. You’re just wishing for a return to the world where white property owners, like you claim to be, comprised the real cabal you like to invoke and everyone else was just faceless inputs for their enterprises.

    Reply this comment
  20. Donkey
    Donkey 14 April, 2013, 06:26

    Skdog, not at all surprised by your words, exactly what evey commie, socialist/fascist, race baiter, RAGWUS feeder would respond with, very predictable. A poster child copy for the tyrants in a George Orwell article.

    I now see that the ownership of property disturbs the little commie/socialist hamster in your head, and that fits well with your participation in the police state and the PIC.

    Again Skdog, you don’t even know the meaning of “bigotry!” It is clear from your writings your are bigoted against, Whites, propoerty owners, free speech, guns, and freedom of any kind without state approval. I on the other hand believe in unfettered freedom and the actual words of the Founders> 🙂

    Reply this comment
  21. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 15 April, 2013, 20:29

    You, Donkey, are a crackpot. I sure hope you weren’t anywhere near Boston today.

    Reply this comment

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