NPR wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea about tax exempt entities that seem to threaten the very solvency of the republic according to the likes of Representatives McDermott or Kaptur. Aside from the legalistic parsing between c3's and c4's there is an overriding principle that confers moral superiority on some tax exempts that allows them to revel in opulence that would be unbecoming even for a for profit corporation such as Goldman Sachs or British Petroleum. NPR is a tax exempt entity just as, say, Tea Party Patriots, but unlike the white trashy Tea Party Patriots, NPR is a tax exempt entity that accepts government grants, ergo superior. Slopping at the public trough, aside from the monetary aspects that make conspicuous consumption possible, also confers on the grant recipient a sanctimonious moral rectitude that can only come from spending other people's money.
Keeping up with the Googles has always been a challenge for not for profit entities. Wealthy donors tend to look askance at institutions that look wealthier than themselves but government grants seem to flow eternal to institutions where the help is pampered with large salaries and ostentatious perquisites similar to IRS employees.
NPR recently moved into its new 400,000 square-foot, $200 million home and they’re really excited about it. If it did not keep with Google and Microsoft in the conspicuous consumption department it's not for lack of trying. Now at last NPR can boast of its very own in house chefs to better pamper top management. It has bee hives on the roof to pollinate the greenery. They not only have all the mindless administrative positions common in public bureaucracies they have a Chief People Officer to keep the extremely diverse 800-person staff extremely happy.
Lest the public get the idea that Gwen Ifill, Mark Shields, David Brooks and the rest of the extremely competent, extremely diverse, and extremely environmentally conscious workforce are the moral equivalents of welfare moms NPR explains that public funding accounts for an insignificant portion of its bloated budget. Yes, but what about the tax exempt status? Even someone as churlish as myself, who couldn't give a damn about owning a frigging bee hive let alone an elevator whose voice tells riders which floor they’re on and which direction they’re going, can figure that the pittance of lost revenue the IRS could gain from shaking down Tea Party groups pales in comparison to NPR's tax break. Keep NPR in mind the next time you hear a Democrat bemoaning the lost tax revenue from Tea Party groups.