On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the IRS quietly proposed major changes to the rules governing nonprofit social welfare groups, or 501(c)(4)s. For years, pundits and politicians have attacked (c)(4)s as so-called “dark money” groups that are illegitimately trying to influence elections. Last year, Congress heard testimony that the IRS had targeted conservative (c)(4)s with demands to answer onerous questions and to fill out endless forms, purportedly in order to assess the scope of a (c)(4)’s “political activity.” Now, with the proposed rules, the IRS seems intent on codifying many of those practices and thus greatly limiting what (c)(4)s can do. Get-out-the-vote initiatives, candidate scorecards, and voter registration are just some of the activities that, under the proposed rules, will be considered “candidate-related political activity,” even though no candidate is directly supported or opposed. The proposed rules have both frightened and baffled people from all over the political spectrum, and the IRS has received a record number of public comments. Why has the IRS decided to heavily regulate political activity via the tax code, how do the proposed rules work, and how will the political landscape change if these rules are codified as proposed? Ideologically diverse panelists will be discussing these questions, as well as the broader issue of outside election spending.
Featuring Dan Ikenson, Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Simon Lester, Policy Analyst, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Daniel Pearson, Senior Fellow, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; and Bill Watson, Policy Analyst, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
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In this issue of the Cato Journal, economists Geoffrey Black, D. Allen Dalton, Samia Islam, and Aaron Batteen offer one prominent example of allowing the market to work. Also in this issue, economists Jason E. Taylor and Jerry L. Taylor reexamine the relationship between marginal tax rates and U.S. growth, and Robert Krol looks at bias in CBO and OMB economic forecasts.
The 2008-2009 financial crisis and Great Recession have vastly increased the power and scope of the Federal Reserve, and radically changed the financial landscape. This new ebook examines those changes and considers how the links between money, markets, and government may evolve in the future.