There’s no such thing as the Tea Party.
Rather, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of tea party groups across nation involving tens of thousands of American citizens. They talk to each other, sometimes coordinate with each other. They share similar philosophies of smaller government, opposition to deficit spending and a desire to cut taxes and spending. But they sometimes differ on tactics, strategy and even specific goals.
In short, there’s no hierarchy, no overarching organization. Any group of people can call themselves the Tea Party.
That’s one reason why recent revelations that the Internal Revenue Service was singling out groups that used “tea party” or “patriot” in their names for added scrutiny is so infuriating. Those groups represent nothing more than ordinary citizens trying to exercise their constitutional rights.
The Associated Press reviewed the tax returns of 93 of the groups singled out for scrutiny by the IRS. Only a handful of them could reasonably be called big money groups, with annual incomes in the six-, seven- and even eight-figure range. And some of those big money groups also had set up political action committees or had other political ties.
But the AP found the majority of the tea party groups it reviewed had no overt political ties. All told, those groups had just $16,700 a year in median income. They had just $12,270 a year in median expenses. Most of the expenses reported by the groups included items such as office supplies, insurance, rent for meeting facilities and travel expenses.
The tax law experts who reviewed those returns for the AP agreed that some of the big money groups probably did deserve extra scrutiny but the little groups that made of the bulk of the tea party organizations did not.
These groups saw their applications for nonprofit status delayed for months. According to ABC News, tea party groups were forced to answer dozens of questions about their members, their beliefs and why they chose the names they did for their organizations. The IRS required many of them to provide copies of all of their newsletters, fliers and any literature they provided at their meetings. The IRS demanded that many provide copies of all articles written about them in the press, as well as copies of all the pages on their websites.
The IRS demanded all of this, threw up all of those hurdles, to ordinary citizens simply trying to make their voices heard. That’s outrageous. That they singled these people out for holding certain political views, allowing others who held opposing views to go through the process unscathed, violates every principle of democracy.
On Tuesday, tea party groups across the nation, including Dalton, came out to protest the harassment they have received from the IRS. They had every right to be angry. And all American citizens, no matter what their beliefs are, should be angry, too.
There’s no such thing as the Tea Party.
"We’ve had a great ride"
For 60 years, the Green Spot has been a part of Dalton. It survived long after most other locally owned grocery stores in the area had folded to competition from big chain grocery stores and to big box super stores.
Charles Oliver: Traveler from a district in Columbia?
Jim Gray was traveling out of Orlando International Airport when a Transportation Security Administration officer tried to stop him from boarding his plane.
Letter: Children are not the enemy
We recently read somewhere that our country is at war, not with another nation but with one another.
Ensuring the joy of reading
They’re little, they’re libraries, and best of all, they’re free.
Move carefully, but soon
No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.
Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure
No word. No warning. Little help.
That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.
Sacrifices worth honoring
Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.
We must do better
The numbers tell a sad tale.
Registered voters: 36,843.
Cards cast: 5,307.
That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.
Letter: Control immigration
Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?
Helping with Book Blast betters the community
The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.
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