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Editorial: No More Tax Money for Tax Cheats

“Every political movement starts out as a cause, turns into a business, and then becomes a racket.”—Eric Hoffer

ACORN, the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now, has achieved well-earned infamy for its unrelenting efforts to corrupt America's political system. The hard-left group is now under investigation for electoral fraud in 12 states during the most recent election cycle alone. And it's malfeasance dates back at least to 1998, when its Project Vote contractor was arrested in Arkansas for falsifying 400 voter registration cards.

Little wonder that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) each are fighting hard to bar ACORN from receiving any further federal funding until the organization has cleared its name. In the past 12 years, ACORN has been handed some $19,502,273 in government grants. Every penny of which, of course, has come out of the pockets of hardworking, law-abiding taxpayers.

What makes this all the more egregious is that, according to a definitive study by the highly respected Capital Research Center (CRC), during much of this same period, ACORN and its associated groups were cheating the federal, state, and local governments out of more than $3.7 million in taxes due. The most recent tax lien, according the CRC, is in the amount of $23,383, filed by the IRS in September of 2008 against an ACORN affiliate called the American Workers Associates. The largest lien – for $547,312 – was filed against ACORN, again by the IRS, in March of 2008.

So, what Americans are now faced with is a rogue leftwing organization that, on the one hand, is cheating the American people out of millions of dollars in taxes due, while, on the other hand, it is being handed tens of millions of additional tax dollars by its Washington political cronies. And, despite this and other nefarious behavior, it is being allowed to return to the federal tax trough for millions of dollars more.

Americans for Limited government president, Bill Wilson, has called ACORN “little more than a criminal enterprise.” He has suggested that not only should it be deprived of further tax dollars, it should be investigated under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act for criminal conspiracy.

As a former organizer, instructor, and attorney for ACORN, President Barack Obama knows well what the organization has done and is doing. In December, 2007, after declaring his intention to run for president, Obama told his ACORN cohorts, “I have been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career … and we appreciate your work.” A month earlier, he had promised ACORN lieutenants, “Before I even get inaugurated, during the transition, we're going to be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda.” And during the primaries – even as ACORN was committing the acts for which it is currently being investigated – the Obama campaign paid $832,598 to ACORN affiliate Citizens Services, Inc.

Mr. Obama now needs to join with Rep. Bachmann and Sen. Vitter in calling for the suspension of all further tax grants to ACORN. It is the least he could do to help solve a problem he labored so mightily to create.


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