From Patriot Update:
What the IRS was doing behind closed doors may soon be official policy in California. Last week, the State Senate voted to revoke the nonprofit status of any group within the state that does not allow full participation of homosexuals, a move aimed directly at the Boy Scouts of America. According to the Associated Press, the bill “would require those organizations to pay corporate taxes on donations, membership dues, camp fees and other sources of income, and to obtain sellers permits and pay sales taxes on food, beverages and homemade items sold at fundraisers.” Groups that sponsor troops would also have their tax returns and membership policies scrutinized by the Franchise Tax Board, California’s version of the IRS.
The thread that connects California’s proposed tax policy with the IRS scandal of recent weeks is the unmistakable trend toward weaponizing the tax code. What was once a neutral instrument used for the purpose of collecting revenue for legitimate governmental functions is now employed to punish behavior that powerful people don’t like. …
The government can indeed punish citizens monetarily. Until recently, monetary punishments were called “fines” and they were extracted for offenses such as parking in front of a fire hydrant. California cannot however, fine the Boy Scouts for their membership policy. Thirteen years ago the Boy Scouts fought and won a legal case called Boy Scouts v. Dale, which affirmed the organization’s right to freely associate. Private organizations are private and, as such, have the right to set their own membership requirements. Membership in a private club is not an equal rights issue.
Yet the totalitarian impulse of Left Coast liberals knows no bounds. What was once called a “fine” is now called a “tax” and is specifically targeted at ostracized groups such as the Boy Scouts, even if what they are doing has been upheld as constitutionally protected behavior by the Supreme Court. If the tax code were an “assault rifle,” the Boy Scouts would be looking down the barrel of it.
To cite just a few examples, the IRS required pro-life groups to provide information on “both sides” of the abortion issue, as well as to pledge not to picket Planned Parenthood. They even asked the Albuquerque Tea Party why they weren’t having a rally for the Democratic candidate for governor! The IRS was out of line in these cases for two reasons. First, because no private organization should face a fine—er, tax—for exercising their rights, and second because the same treatment was never applied to groups on the left.
But at least the IRS had the good sense to hide their tyrannical machinations. The California Senate wants to do the same thing, right out in the open. The right of private organizations to exclude anyone they want is well established and there’s nothing California can do to stop them; nothing, that is, except to extract a punitive “tax.”
Some of this really isn’t that new. There have been punitive taxes and excise taxes levied against all forms of things that progressives in government dislike, from liquor to tobacco taxes to beer taxes to gun taxes to gas and car taxes.
Someone in government decides what they think is good, and they “nudge” you by inflicting crippling taxes. Your behavior gets modified by some Cass Sunsteinesque soft tyrant who will simply make it financially burdensome to engage in an activity they have deemed is unsuitable for you. If you’re filthy rich, the taxes are meaningless, but if you’re Joe or Jane Average, the taxes are behavior modification punishments intended for you. You are being dictated to by a bureaucrat who’s decided that you need to be fundamentally changed.
The function of government is not to tell you how to live – the function of government is well-outlined by the Constitution as an entity that exists to preserve your freedoms to make decisions. “Freedom” to be steered one way or the other by some progressive with the ability to tax your decisions away with “choice architecture” is simply a return to tyranny – a coercive paternalism that most on the left favor. You aren’t doing what they want, and they will use every tool to make you do what they want.
This story isn’t about the Boy Scouts, it’s about government and government interference in free association. But there is one overlooked point in the gay scouting controversy well addressed by Dr. Rusty at Jawa Report:
So, the Boy Scouts of America is contemplating letting openly gay men serve as Scout leaders?
This is the dumbest thing I’ve heard gay rights advocates push for — ever.
The idea that a gay man should go camping with a bunch of teenage boys? Yeah, that’s insane.
Not because homosexuals are predatory by nature. Not because they are going to lure impressionable youths into the gay lifestyle. Foolishness, all.
Gays aren’t any worse than the next man when it comes to normal human impulses. But they certainly aren’t any better.
Would you let me take your 14 year old daughter camping? Kind of seems inappropriate.
So, you acknowledge that no matter how decent of a guy I might be, because I am a normal man subject to normal male passions, it’s probably not a great idea for me and my buddy — let’s say, Howie — to take a group of 14 – 15 year old girls on a camp out. Don’t forget to bring a pillow for the mandatory pillow fight!
Read the whole post here, and remember that the government is trying to force that situation by using weaponized taxation against the Boy Scouts. The progressives have decided that it is a Greater Good, and to hell with any group that would disagree with their worldview.
Those inflicting the taxation will never have to deal with the consequences of their actions, because they’re hidden several layers away from their intended target. If a boy scout is molested by a gay scout leader (who is an authority figure in the organization, remember), it won’t be the California taxation official who will be held to task for creating the situation – it will be the Boy Scouts. Heck, the ensuing crisis that would push people away from scouting may even be the objective of the leftist government – to simply destroy the scouts by making them live under nonsense rulings that lead to their own demise. It’s a win-win-win for the progressive – the scouts are financially punished, forced into the mold of what the progressive desires for society, or destroyed by the leftist demands that are incompatible not only with scouting, but with human nature.