This is the fourth day of Free Speech Week, during which we will be celebrating freedom of speech by posting highlights from Cato’s recent work to support freedom of speech in its various forms, whether through legal advocacy, media appearances, or other public outreach.
Today we will take a look at the threat to free speech posed by the IRS’s power over non-profit groups. As many will remember, Tea Party and small government advocacy groups were specifically targeted for harassment, audits, and delays when seeking IRS approval to operate as 501(c)(4) non-profit groups. This was one the bigger scandals of the several to hit the Obama administration in the last year or two, and for good reason. The use of executive agencies to harass and silence political enemies presents a threat to the freedom of political speech and is a smack in the face of the concept of representative government.
This kind of abuse of the IRS’s power isn’t really anything new, however, as the following Cato Institute video explains:
For more on the IRS scandal, check out the briefing below, featuring Cato’s Trevor Burrus and John Samples:
For more information on Free Speech Week and to learn how you can help celebrate free speech, check out www.FreeSpeechWeek.org.