By Hemant Mehta
While the Republican Party’s tax scam continues being “worked” on, there’s always hope that a couple of GOP senators will come to their senses (like the entire Democratic delegation) and stop this monstrosity that benefits the wealthy at the expense of millions of Americans. But thanks to their incompetence, two wrongs might make a right.
One of the perks of this bill for the Religious Right was going to be the ability for pastors to endorse candidates from the pulpit without fearing the loss of their churches’ tax exemptions. This was better known as the repeal of the Johnson Amendment, and it was something Donald Trump had been promising them for years. He even said at a prayer breakfast in February that he would “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment.” Then, months later, he signed an executive order purporting to do just that… even though it did no such thing.
To be sure, you could count on a single hand the number of churches whose tax exemptions have been revoked by the IRS over the past decade — and that’s after a horrible accident. The IRS just never acted on these violations even when baited by the Religious Right. But Congress was determined to make sure the IRS couldn’t take action even if they wanted to.
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