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Letter: Corporations Aren’t People

To the Editor:

Reading the May 31 op-ed article by Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane headlined “The Real IRS Scandal Is Its Attack on the First Amendment” made me quite sad. If you have a degree and have published a book, you obviously are intelligent but don’t necessarily possess common sense.

“Elections in a free country are not truly free unless all voices are allowed to enter the marketplace of ideas” write Kane and Hubbard in defense of the United Citizens ruling by the Supreme Court and the notion that corporations and businesses have voices.

No, people have voices. The Founding Fathers could not have had any other concept in mind when they expressed a “free and unfettered press” to be an inalienable right in a democracy.

Hubbard and Kane are correct when they said the IRS was not a left vs. right issue. No PACs, left or right, should be given nonprofit status so as to shield their political donors from public scrutiny. They absolutely should not be given a tax break to do so.

I agree with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., when he says that the Citizens United decision is “the single greatest threat to democracy in America.” Hubbard’s and Kane’s claim that the First Amendment protects corporations and multinationals would be laughable if it weren’t so sad. To suggest that PACs, left or right, are somehow similar to the Red Cross, the American Cancer Society or the Salvation Army is just wrong. To suggest they should qualify for tax protection is ludicrous. To allow them to shield political donors from public scrutiny strikes me as more appropriate for Vladimir Putin’s style of democracy than one envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

Matt Cardillo

Sharon

Related

Column: The Real IRS Scandal Is Its Attack on the First Amendment

Friday, May 31, 2013

Should you need a license from the government to exercise free speech? The real scandal at the Internal Revenue Service should be seen not as a left-versus-right issue but instead as infringement on the First Amendment. The people targeted were political entrepreneurs with unorthodox political voices. More to the point, IRS discrimination was consistent with 40 years of institutionalized hostility …