Three T’s | Tea Party, Taxes, Trump

by Deborah Baber Savalla

Three days before the 2019 April 15th  IRS deadline for filing Federal Income taxes,  119,427,000 people had sent his/her returns to the IRS.

Two days later on April 15th the Thousand Oaks Tea Party rallied at the local post office!

Theirs was a reprise of the National Tea Party’s “call to arms” ten years earlier! Stalwart, dedicated, and congenial folks turned out as much to remind all Americans to engage in our political life as it was to applaud the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

“Money in our pockets… a booming economy… and jobs, jobs, jobs!” Life is good in America! This is a message to celebrate!

The Tea Party formed 15 years ago in September 2004 as a grassroots group that “…represents the true owners of the United States: WE THE PEOPLE”. Their website goes on to describe their makeup as… 

“The Tea Party includes those who possess a strong belief in the Judeo-Christian values embedded in our great founding documents. We believe the responsibility of our beloved nation is etched upon the hearts of true Patriots from every race, religion, national origin, and walk of life sharing a common belief in the values which made and keep our beloved nation great. This belief led to the creation of the modern-day Tea Party.”

Ten years ago, in 2009 this storied, grassroots movement held a Tax Day Rally. According to Americans for Tax Reform over a quarter million people attended rallies held throughout the United States. Clearly this not-so-insignificant band of patriot brothers and sisters created a stir! Indeed, history will record the extraordinary influence the Tea Party had on winning elections with their conservative, Constitutionally-based message.

The chord the Tea Party hit then was so strong and influential that it led the Obama Administration IRS to tighten the noose around tax-exempt 501(c) organization applications which, not coincidentally, included many Tea Party chapters!

By 2012, three years after the Tea Party was founded, Republicans won enough seats in Congress to command an investigation.

In 2013, the Treasury Department’s Inspector General (under the Obama Administration) issued a report which found the Obama IRS did target conservative groups’ applications, denying them tax-exempt status and that “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review.” During the same period the Obama IRS conferred a disproportionate number of tax-exempt statuses on non-conservative groups.

The published report found the IRS had used two operative words/phrases closely associated with the Tea Party which, not coincidentally, isolated their applications. The Inspector General’s 54-page report gave “Tea Party” citations 55 times and “Patriot” mentions 18 times! Even so, Obama IRS officials claimed the groups were not targeted. Obama IRS head Lois Lerner, when testifying before Congress, took the Fifth, was able to retire, and to retain her taxpayer-paid pension. If you have never listed to Congressional testimony on this IRS scandal, likely precipitated by the enormous success of the Tea Party, it is well worth 7 minutes of your time to hear Catherine Engelbrecht’s  testimony before the House of Representatives in 2014. 

For three years, conservative groups claimed the Obama Administration was targeting political foes, denying their applications. Foremost among the applicants and complainants were Tea Party Patriot chapter applicants.

In September 2017, long after President Obama left office, the Trump administration agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by over 400 conservative non-profit groups who had claimed discrimination at the hands of the Obama IRS. President Trump’s administration also agreed to settle a smaller lawsuit brought by 41 conservative organizations apologizing for “the heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays”.

Unlike many past Administrations, President Trump spends far less time blaming his predecessors for the government mess and corruption his Administration inherited. He is simply too busy “Making America Great Again!” Thank you, Mr. President!

And thank you, Tea Party Patriots, for reminding us how precious our country is and the founding documents that make it so!

 Deborah Baber Savalla is a member of the Channel Islands Republican Women Federated: I am a former New York City book publishing executive with over 20 years of experience. I believe in moral clarity because it leads naturally to personal responsibility which WILL RESULT in small governments. I am honored to be the President of the Channel Islands Republican Women Federated (CIRWF) and privileged to work for Citizens Journal. I write columns and editorials for the Journal as a private citizen and not as staff or as President of CIRWF. I strive to be scrupulous when identifying my work as a private citizen versus that of a reporter or Journal contributor. The views expressed as a private individual are mine alone and are not necessarily that of Citizens Journal nor that of CIRWF.

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