"That's refreshing," you're probably saying. You're probably also wondering what important issue united our historically incompetent United States Congress. Was it infrastructure? Our over-crowded prison system? What about climate change reforms?
Nope, none of the above.
The pressing issue that required the full attention of our legislative body was the perception that huge political donors might have to pay a gift tax on the vast amounts of money they give to nonprofit political groups who are not required to disclose their donors.
As Politico reported Thursday, money that is donated to political parties or candidates is tax exempt -- that much is clear. What is not so clear is if donations to all 501(c) groups are exempt from the gift tax. These groups include big money players like:
"...the Karl Rove-conceived Crossroads GPS and the Tom Steyer-funded NextGen Climate (both of which are registered under section 501(c)4 of the Tax Code) to major labor unions (501(c)5) to the Koch brothers-backed Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce (501(c)6)." - Politico
Okay, so right now all these big donors are paying a lot of taxes on donations to these organizations, right? Wrong. In fact, most donors do not pay any taxes on the absurd amount of donations made to groups who constantly bug you during the commercial breaks of The Walking Dead.
It was the perception that these donations could be flagged by the IRS that got giant mega-donors all hot and bothered.
So, in yet another example of how Washington has become a concierge to powerful interest groups, the House passed a law to make sure that people who can afford to buy public servants don't have to put a dime toward anything that would actually serve the public interest.