Tax bill’s repeal of ‘Johnson Amendment’ could cost taxpayers more than $1 billion

By Paul Singer

A provision in the tax bill to allow churches to be more directly engaged in politics could cost the U.S. government hundreds of millions of dollars, congressional experts say, because some political donors would shift their money to tax-exempt charities.

The House Ways and Means Committee approved a sweeping overhaul of the tax code Thursday, including a provision to do away with the “Johnson Amendment,” a 1954 provision that forbids non-profit charities — called 501(c)(3)s  — from endorsing political candidates.

President Trump has also promised to undo the Johnson Amendment through his executive powers.

When the tax bill was introduced last week, it included language that would ensure churches would not be deemed to have engaged in political activity “because of the content of any homily, sermon, teaching, dialectic, or other presentation made during religious services or gatherings.” On Thursday the committee expanded that provision to all 501(c)(3) charities.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. @OP – When the tax bill was introduced last week,
    it included language that would
    ensure churches would not be deemed to have engaged in political activity
    “because of the content of any homily, sermon, teaching, dialectic, or other presentation made during religious services or gatherings.”

    Perhaps because of the “intellectual” level of “debate” offered by Trump-Base, it would be an opportune time to bring these items back from the archives!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/01/love-letters-to-richard-dawkins/#li-comment-166388

    Some of the letters look familiar!

    It’s a shame there is not a corner for them on the new site!

    Stephanie #25 – Jan 21, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    We have them still but haven’t yet added them.

    -Stephanie – Ops Dir. RDFRS

  2. I see Trump is still dredging the Earth for propaganda materials from “deplorables”, world-wide!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42166663

    Donald Trump has retweeted three inflammatory videos from a British far-right group.

    The first tweet from Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, claims to show a Muslim migrant attacking a man on crutches.

    I must admit, that despite my involvement in UK politics I had never heard of Jayda Fransen before today!

    This was followed by two more videos of people Ms Fransen claims to be Muslim.

    Britain First was founded in 2011 by former members of the far-right British National Party (BNP).

    The group has grabbed attention on social media with controversial posts about what they deem “the Islamification of the UK”.

    It has put up members to run in European elections and by-elections on anti-immigration and anti-abortion policies, but has yet to secure any seats.

    So a few angry fringe nutters vote for them – but no seats!

    It also contested the most recent London mayoral election, receiving 1.2% of the vote.

    The original video was shared by US conservative commentator Ann Coulter who Mr Trump follows

    Ms Fransen has more than 52,000 followers on Twitter.

    She responded enthusiastically to Mr Trump sharing her tweets. She posted on her account: “Donald Trump himself has retweeted these videos and has around 44 million followers!”

    “God bless you Trump! God bless America!” she added. The message was also shared on Britain First’s Twitter account.

    Britain’s fascist loony right BNP has been largely replaced by Farage’s loony right UKIP-ers!

    For those unfamiliar with Neo-Nazi politics and this little known latest reincarnation of the British National Party, here is a Wiki article!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_National_Party

    British National Party

    The British National Party (BNP) is a far-right and fascist political party in the United Kingdom.
    It is headquartered in Wigton, Cumbria, and its current leader is Adam Walker.
    A minor party, it currently has one councillor in UK local government.
    During its heyday in the 2000s, it had over fifty seats in local government, one seat on the London Assembly, and two Members of the European Parliament.

    The BNP was formed in 1982 by John Tyndall and other former members of the National Front (NF). By Tyndall’s admission, it remained ideologically identical to the NF, and took its name from that of a defunct 1960s party.
    During its first two decades, the BNP placed little emphasis on contesting elections, in which it did poorly, but rather focused on street marches and rallies.

    Very Trump-like! – Lacking any competent administrative or management abilities, but herding crowds of the angry ignorant!

    Concerns regarding financial mismanagement resulted in Griffin being ousted in 2014. By this point the BNP’s membership and vote share had declined dramatically, and former members had formed rival groups such as Britain First.

    Ideologically positioned on the extreme or far-right of British politics, the BNP has been characterised as fascist or neo-fascist by political scientists.
    Under Tyndall’s leadership, it was more specifically regarded as Neo-Nazi.
    The party is ethnic nationalist, and it espouses the view that only white people should be citizens of the United Kingdom.
    It calls for an end to non-white migration into the UK and the removal of settled non-white populations from the country.
    Initially, it called for the compulsory expulsion of non-whites, although it has since advocated voluntary removals with financial incentives.
    It promotes biological racism and the white genocide conspiracy theory, calling for global racial separatism and condemning mixed-race relationships.
    Under Tyndall, the BNP emphasised anti-semitism and Holocaust denial, although Griffin switched the party’s focus on to Islamophobia.
    It promotes economic protectionism, Euroscepticism, and a transformation away from liberal democracy, while its social policies oppose feminism, LGBT rights, and societal permissiveness.

    The BNP has a highly centralised structure that gives its chairman near-total control.

    BNP members were banned from a number of professions, and polling suggested that a majority of Britons favoured the party’s criminalisation.

    So – a group highly qualified as Trumpy Deplorables!!

    @BBC link:- Ms Fransen has more than 52,000 followers on Twitter.

    “God bless you Trump! God bless America!” she added.
    The message was also shared on Britain First’s Twitter account.

    @Wiki link:- More widely, it [The BNP] was highly unpopular and faced much opposition from anti-fascists, religious organisations, and mainstream politicians and media.

  3. As usual Trump learns NOTHING from constructive criticism or competent informed advice, but simply retaliates with personal abusive comments directed at critics!
    As we know, the prime objective of Trump messages is for Trump to pander to right-wing extremists, show his contempt for expert opinion, and to demonstrate to his sheepish fan-base, that HE “knows better” that the world’s leading experts on any subject!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42176507

    Trump hits out at UK PM Theresa May after far-right video tweets

    Donald Trump has told Prime Minister Theresa May to focus on “terrorism” in the UK after she criticised his sharing of far-right videos.

    “Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom,” Mr Trump tweeted

    Ah! “Islamic terrorism” – as distinct from the radical neo-NAZI terrorism which he is using his presidential badge of authority to endorse!

    The US president had earlier retweeted three inflammatory videos posted online by a British far-right group.

    Mrs May’s spokesman said it was “wrong for the president to have done this”.

    The US and the UK are close allies and often described as having a “special relationship”. Theresa May was the first foreign leader to visit the Trump White House.

    The speaker of the House of Commons has granted a request for an urgent question on the matter from Labour MP Stephen Doughty.

    MPs have been reacting to the tweet, with Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke backing Mrs May and calling Britain First a “ghastly, obnoxious organisation”.

    But while Education Secretary Justine Greening said she disagreed with Mr Trump’s actions, they should not be allowed to damage the special relationship between the two countries.

    The videos shared by Mr Trump, who has more than 40 million followers, were initially posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, a group founded by former members of the far-right British National Party (BNP).

    Ms Fransen, 31, has been charged in the UK with using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” over speeches she made at a rally in Belfast.

    Several leading UK politicians have criticised the president for retweeting her posts, as has the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who said it was “deeply disturbing” that Mr Trump had “chosen to amplify the voice of far-right extremists”.

    As the Nazi Ms Fransen/Ann Coulter say, –
    “God bless you Trump! God bless America!”

    However in England where we actually know what the BNP and its “Britain First” faction, stand for, the CofE Archbishop’s God, does NOT seem to be offering a blessing!
    Still! Individual god-delusions, can support anything their delusional human hosts want to believe!

    And it has led to renewed calls for Mr Trump’s planned state visit to the UK to be cancelled, although Downing Street said on Wednesday that the invitation still stood.

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has previously called for the “ill-judged” trip to be cancelled, said: “It beggars belief that the president of our closest ally doesn’t see that his support of this extremist group actively undermines the values of tolerance and diversity that makes Britain so great.

    “After this latest incident, it is increasingly clear that any official visit at all from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed.”

    In hitting out at Mrs May, Mr Trump first tagged the wrong Twitter account, sending his statement to a different user with just six followers. He then deleted the tweet and posted it again, this time directing the message to the UK PM’s official account.

    After already condemning Mr Trump’s actions on Wednesday, Brendan Cox – whose wife, MP Jo Cox, was murdered by a right-wing extremist who shouted “Britain first” before committing the act – told the US president to focus on problems in his own country.

    So while the world debates whether Trump is a fit and proper person to hold the US presidency, the UK parliament is now debating if he is a fit and proper person, to invite for a state visit to the UK!

  4. The spineless May is in a tough spot because of Brexit. After turning our back on the EU she is desperate not to lose the USA as a trading partner so she’ll stick with Trump no matter how vile he becomes. This could have ramifications for Iran though. Trump is starting to beat the same war drums over Iran as Bush did over Iraq and telling similar lies. If in the second or third year of his term Trump fancies becoming a war president to bolster his chances of re-election it’s looking more likely that Iran will be the choice rather than North Korea. If so who will stand up for Iran if Trump declares war on it?

  5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-42180895

    A Wales Office minister has said he feels “unable to welcome” Donald Trump on a state visit to the UK after he retweeted three inflammatory videos by a British far-right group.

    Conservative peer Lord Bourne said “millions” of Britons were “appalled” by the US president’s conduct.

    On Thursday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Mr Trump had been invited to make a state visit and he had accepted.

    Welsh MP Stephen Doughty said: “We must all take a stand against hatred.”

    Putting an urgent question to Ms Rudd about Mr Trump’s retweeting of videos posted by *Britain First**, the Cardiff South and Penarth MP joined a series of politicians from Wales in calling for any plans for a state visit to be abandoned.

    She repeated Downing Street’s condemnation of Mr Trump’s actions, saying had been “wrong” to share the Britain First posts.

    Ms Rudd said the UK government would “not tolerate any groups who spread hate by demonising those of other faiths or ethnicities”.

    Lord Bourne tweeted: “Millions of fellow Britons of all races and religions and none appalled by conduct of @realDonaldTrump – understandable that they feel unable to welcome him here under these circumstances nor could I.”

    So let’s see what Trump has to say to criticism from a CONSERVATIVE PEER in THE House of Lords!

  6. Arkrid,

    You’re right about picking on Iran, but for all their historical ills they are moving in the right direction (albeit slowly to not frighten the Ayotollahs). President Rouhani is popular and a cautious force for liberalisation. The non proliferation deal was good and a model for other such. Doha and Tehran will form an increasingly benign axis in the region I suspect.

  7. In his personal attacks on Theresa May, Trump has shown his usual contempt for leaders of other countries who offer him constructive advice – as he demonstrated with his stupid incompetent letters to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/12/climate-change-skeptic-to-head-epa-mcmorris-rodgers-as-interior-secretary/#li-comment-216230

    With his characteristic psychological projection, having incompetently butted into UK politics promoting nutty fascists, HE the tells Theresa May to mind HER own business, when she tells him to butt out!

    In terms of demonstrating “his skills at international diplomacy”, Trump consistently scores between 0% and a perverse minus 200%!

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