Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Superimposition* of a False Scandal upon a Real One at the IRS

Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times provides us with much needed context and perspective on the so-called “IRS Scandal.” 

As Juan Cole notes, “The IRS scrutiny of Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt charitable status derived from a legitimate concern at the more than doubling of such requests after the Citizens United ruling, and a suspicion that the groups were backed by Republican billionaires intending to use them for politics, not charity. It may be that the scrutiny was sometimes invidious, but it is not obvious on the surface as to whether the bureaucrats actually did anything out of the ordinary (left-wing requests for tax exempt status were flat; if they had suddenly doubled presumably they would have attracted attention, too).”

See too Peter S. Goodman at The Huffington Post: “The IRS was Dead Right to Scrutinize Tea Party.”

* Adhyāsa (Sanskrit: अध्यास) in Advaita Vedānta philosophy: “Throwing over or casting upon; misconception or erroneous attribution, the significance being that the mind casts upon facts, which are misunderstood, certain mistaken notions; hence false or erroneous attribution. Simply put, adhyāsa means superimposition or false attribution of properties of one thing on another thing.” [Adapted from Wikipedia entry]

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