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Old 09-12-2003, 11:43 AM
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Default Tax Code Revolution

In their continuing effort to raise money, I received a fancy, four-color hard paper brochure from one of the national charities. It contained all the usual blather and sob-stories, much of which doubtless was true. But then came the questions in my mind: how much do these organizations really take in each year, compared to how much they actually spend on their core group? What sort of other tax-free grants and other largess do they receive? How many thousands more organizations are there, just like this one, operating as a private, non-profit, i.e., 501c(3) entity?

What if the US Tax Code were amended so that so such tax-dodging apparatus was no longer available? Would Americans still give monies to these charities, churches, temples, etc.? What if all current 501c(3) organizations were to be taxed on the current wealth and current income? How much income would this generate on an annual basis?

BOTTOM LINE: Like it or not, we are forced indirectly to support some philanthropic endeavors that may run violently counter to our core belief system, but under the current tax code, there's not a blessed thing we can do, legally. If somebody could crunch the numbers, I'll wager we could eliminate the tax-free ride now offered to some, and lower or even eliminate the federal income taxes on individuals.
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Old 09-15-2003, 05:25 AM
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Default More reason for change

Oregon group thrives despite al Qaeda ties

THE WASHINGTON TIMES



An affiliate of a Saudi-based Islamic group said to have ties to al Qaeda continues to operate with tax-exempt status in Oregon while many of its international offices have been shuttered.
The Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, located in Ashland, Ore., near the state's southern border, continues to operate despite promises from Saudi officials last year to close all of the group's affiliate offices.

Its Somalia and Bosnia offices were shuttered last year at the demand of the United States, which said the group was tied to al Qaeda.

A lawyer for the foundation said that the Oregon group does accept money from its Riyadh-based main office and is independently run, with no ties to terrorism.
"This is a separately incorporated group which is loosely affiliated with the Saudi group," said attorney Lynne Bernabei, who is based in Washington. "We have no idea what is going on in Saudi Arabia, because this is a completely separate group."
She said her clients are being lumped with terrorist groups when "all they are doing is reaching out to people who want to learn about Islam."
Miss Bernabei is defending the group in a $1 trillion lawsuit filed by more than 4,000 people who were injured or lost relatives in the September 11 attacks.
A federal judge last summer refused to dismiss Al-Haramain from the lawsuit but rejected claims that the foundation was negligent in failing to track how its charitable funds were used.

"We've closed down the ones that we promised to," said Nail Al-Jubeir, director of information for the Saudi Embassy. "In fact, we ordered those in our country closed immediately. It makes no sense that they would have an operation in this country. If they are operating here in the U.S., why hasn't this country shut them down?"
Representatives from the Justice Department, which has closed several Muslim organizations for raising money that it says was used to fund terrorism, did not return calls.
In July, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee discussed the danger of Al-Haramain during hearings, but was not aware of the Oregon affiliate.
"The committee's investigation encompasses all Saudi-related terrorist financing organizations," said Andrea Hofelich, a spokeswoman for the committee. "To the extent that we can develop reliable information on this matter, it will become part of our investigation."
With prayer houses in Ashland and Springfield, Mo., the Oregon group claimed to have $663,000 in assets in tax year 2001, the last year records were available. During the past several years, Al-Haramain has received donations from individuals of more than $150,000, including gifts of $271,740 and $149,985 in 2000.
The tax forms blocked out the names of the donors, as permitted under federal law.
The international Web site for Al-Haramain recently was taken off-line, but the U.S. group is still holding services and accepting donations.
"They are still in operation," said Tom Wilcox, who has prepared the group's taxes for the past several years.
Mr. Wilcox said he was provided with the group's 2002 tax information this summer, completed the tax form and was paid recently for his work.
The Al-Haramain Web site had provided bank account numbers for donors to send funds to Alrajhi Banking and Investment Corp., one of the largest financial institutions in Saudi Arabia.
Also on the Web site were the foundation's goals, which include, "Confronting ideological and atheistic invasion" and "calling non-Muslims to Islam and propagating it among them."
In 1999, Al-Haramain cited a budget of $245,388 a month, with offices in seven countries that held 18 Islamic centers worldwide with 4,881 students.
Al-Haramain was listed, with 27 different spellings and variations of its name, in a presidential order in 2001 that allowed the United States to block the resources of individuals and institutions determined to be involved in possible terrorist acts. The group was banned from Kenya after being connected to the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy there.
According to a report in May by the Al Jazeera news network, "Al-Haramain raises almost $30 million a year in donations for charity work across the world."
The Sunday Times of London reported in November that the CIA had linked Al-Haramain to the nightclub bombing in Bali that killed 202 persons.
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  #3  
Old 09-15-2003, 06:07 AM
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Scout -
Yes. Yes. Yes!!!!

There is a lot of FOR PROFIT business and sliding around fair and just taxes that gets done in the name of public benefit educational institutions... and I have decried that in word and deed for more than 30 years. That second Al Qaeda case you mentioned is a whole different alligator, which is why you need to become Secretary of Homeland Security.

Of course, if'n their "bookstore/gift shops" got taxed on income, they'd scream bloody murder about freedom of the Press or some such drivel..."tough t---y said the kitty, but the milk's still good".

Government at every level is having to milk every mil out of tobacco, liquor, gasoline that it can to pay the bills... which says nothing at all about the expense ledger itself. Seems like the freeloaders could have most of the bennies they may deserve and still do their share for the pot.

I'd even appreciate some of these huge super-warehouse churches paying a few bucks on property taxes too... okay, commence firing.
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Old 09-15-2003, 08:18 AM
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Default I'm with you!!

I agree with you on this entirely!! and the first things that should be looked at are people like Pat Roberson and Jerry Falwell who use their churches to cover up their multimillion dollar incomes YET STILL USE THEUR CHURCHES TO PUSH THEIR POLITiCAL AGENDAS!!!
Isn't that awful? Absolutely unAmerican? Advancing their political agendas while using their churches as cover? Something should be done about it but I don't see the Bush administration and the Republivan Congress doing anything about it, now or in the future.
Theyre too busy raising the deficit to record levels--what are they thinking, anyway? So much for that old bullsht about the Republicans being the fiscally responsible ones who believe in balancing the budget. laughable, truly laughable
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Old 09-15-2003, 09:55 AM
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exlrrp -
Dang, now we're onta somethin' ain't we? (Tee Hee!)

Right on about the Falwells and the Robertsons! RIGHT ON! If'n they'd hear and see Jesus' own words... well hell, it could be an Alice's Restaurant deja view all over agin'! "I was sittin' there on the bench, on the Group W bench, cuz they wanted to know if I was moral enough to bomb women, kids, houses and villages after bein' a litter bug."

Right on about Republicans being fiscally responsible! RIGHT ON! Everybody bathes their own cat... the repubs are for individual responsibility and small gubmit, so it is said. Been tryin' to keep 'em to that for quite a spell now mineself. America is for closed primaries, electoral college and gerrymandering don't ya know. Time we started bathing the AMERICAN critters! Aha... Honorable Mr. president Bush is gettin' mighty poor advice from his Think Tank groupies... he's a good guy lrrp.

Thanks fer not opening up all batteries on a gimpy airman, but I GOT cover as best I can anyhoo. No kevlar available though...workin' on instinct.

What's a LRRP? Hell, do not fire on me quite yet, please consult with Pho... if'n you can help it, save me the public embarassment.

Can we please get Scamp and Tamaroa in on this?

Scout, you and Gimpy always get things to the point. We can handle it, gradually.
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Old 09-15-2003, 10:06 AM
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Default exLRRP

Are you saying that those who attend, worship and are in leadership positions within their church of choice should have no say in political things ? Why is it that you attack someone who is active in a Christian church organization for speaking out on a political issue, but don't do the same for those using the Islamic podium or Buddist or other platform ?
Christian people have a right to free speech too. In the early days of our nation, it was the church podiums that were the forefront for espousing the call for independence from Britain.
In the days before WW1, it was the "Christian Right" who advocated supporting our allies in Europe, while the "policticall correct" were espousing the isolationist viewpoint.
While I agree that there are those few who use the pulpit to further their own riches, these are indeed in the vast miniority. However, the vast majority of those in the pulpits and in church leadership positions, use their right of free speech to point out things that need to come to the light tom protect our nation and national offices. An example is the sexual inproprieties of Clinton, while the press and others chided the "religious right" for their "procecution" of Bill and Hillary.
Free speech must work for all or free speech will cease to be free.

My $0.02 worth.
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Old 09-15-2003, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: exLRRP

Quote:
Originally posted by Sgt_Tropo Are you saying that those who attend, worship and are in leadership positions within their church of choice should have no say in political things ?

Not at all--what is there in tht post that makes you think that? Doesn't say that at all. youre making asumptions that are not valid.

Why is it that you attack someone who is active in a Christian church organization for speaking out on a political issue, but don't do the same for those using the Islamic podium or Buddist or other platform ?
"and the first things that should be looked at are people like Pat Roberson and Jerry Falwell who use their churches to cover up their multimillion dollar incomes YET STILL USE THEUR CHURCHES TO PUSH THEIR POLITiCAL AGENDAS!!! "
Thats an atack?? I was a paratrooper and thats what we called talking nice. You DON'T think the immense wealth and power of threse men are worth looking into?? You certainly have a lot more faith in extremely wealthy men than I do--Gosh, I bet you would if we were talking about Jesse Jackson.
And I hope you don't think these two men in particular aren't using their religious pulpit for political purposes--that would be to confound reality, they have whole tv channels that do nothing but slam liberals all.
I don't really have all that much problem with them doing it--it IS freedom of speech, including their political dontions as the Republicans have made so clear--I just don't think they should have their tax exempt status
That IWS what the original post was talking about, wasn't it?

Christian people have a right to free speech too.

Give me a break, Sarge--do you really think Christians don't have free speech in this country, gobs of it, tons of it?? Its all over the airwaves



In the days before WW1, it was the "Christian Right" who advocated supporting our allies in Europe, while the "policticall correct" were espousing the isolationist viewpoint.

You must know that the opposition from the war came primaily from conservatives who were th main isolationists
There was plenty of good reason not to enter the wa, this i a complex subject not to be dealt with in a few entences


While I agree that there are those few who use the pulpit to further their own riches, these are indeed in the vast miniority.

I'll wait the judgement call on more scientific data

However, the vast majority of those in the pulpits and in church leadership positions, use their right of free speech to point out things that need to come to the light tom protect our nation and national offices. An example is the sexual inproprieties of Clinton, while the press and others chided the "religious right" for their "procecution" of Bill and Hillary.t

Again, not at all--the media jumped on this one right away--it was really the firstbig triumph of conservative media, ala Fox, owned by Rupert Murdoch, sleaze magnate to th world.
It was a whole big media circus right from the beginning. It was the conservative media and conservatives themselves who kept the lipsmacking over semen stained dresses going.



Free speech must work for all or free speech will cease to be free.

I'll be the first to agree with that, it's a very liberal notion

My $0.02 worth.
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Old 09-15-2003, 10:54 AM
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What's a LRRP?


It's in the history books
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Old 09-15-2003, 11:44 AM
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exlRRP -
WHICH history books?
Help me out here, please.

Tropo -
Tender territory you're treading on there... gonna have to give in order to get; and so is the other side, eh?
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:05 PM
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Default Tax Code changes

As orignally posted, I was advocating a revision in the US Tax Code that would either abolish or severely restrict the 501(c)[3] designation, an artifice that has allowed countless (it seems) organizations to avoid paying taxes. But some off-the-wall comments slunk in that should be addressed: Charles Lindbergh, probably the most famous isolationist, as a conservative? Hate to shatter your little bubble of fantasy out there, but the conservative movement as is identified today wasn't even much of a thought when Lindbergh advocated his hands-off approach. Rupert Murdoch as sleaze merchant? Tut tut. To paraphrase a political spin-meister, It's about perjury and obstruction of justice, stupid, not about sex. Get it? Felonies and as opposed to philandering.

Let's start by taking away the tax-exempt status for the ADA, the Ford Foundation, the labor unions, the NEA, as well as the Roman Catholic church and other denominations.

Tsk, Tsk - somebody has a million-dollar income. Oh, the shame of somebody having success, especially if he happens to be a preacher. Quick, the Income Police to the rescue, save us, save us, but let us overlook the publicly sanctioned and approved extortion of Jesse Jackson. Better yet, let's examine and remove his tax-exempt status as well, and make him get a real job for a change, the first one he ever had in his life.

Keeping it on topic, I advocate abolishing the tax-exempt status period, and after that, we'll see who really are the philantropically driven folks, who will give irrespective of the deductibility. Kinda like my work with Habitat for Humanity - my reward is seeing the unbelievable smiles on the faces on new homeowners!
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