Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 17, 2011

WHEN COMPETING CONSERVATIVE PRIORITIES COLLIDE.... The House GOP effort to redefine rape generated the bulk of the attention about the bill, but the rest of the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act" is still a mess.

Of particular interest today, is the fact that the Republican legislation appears to (cue scary music) raise taxes.

Today, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on H.R.3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, which would "prevent women from using itemized medical deductions, certain tax-advantaged health care accounts or tax credits included in last year's health care law to pay for abortions or for health insurance plans that cover abortion." Doing so would force both women and small businesses that provide health insurance that covers abortion to pay more in taxes than they would otherwise.

As Bloomberg News's Richard Rubin points out, under "common Republican definitions," this can be "viewed as a tax increase -- which is anathema to the House majority." Even economic conservative Grover Norquist was "concerned" that the policy, "however well-intentioned or virtuous," would "mask a net tax increase."

And voting for a tax increase simply isn't allowed.

Or at least, isn't supposed to be. At the same time, though, Republicans are supposed to make it as difficult as possible for American women to exercise their reproductive rights, regardless of the fiscal implications.

What's a far-right party to do?

"H.R. 3 takes the unprecedented step of manipulating the federal tax code to push an extreme anti-choice agenda, which is why the House's tax-writing committee is granting it a hearing," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "This bill imposes tax penalties on small businesses and many individuals who purchase private insurance plans that cover abortion care. This begs the question - what incentive does a private-insurance company have to provide coverage for this safe and legal procedure if their customers are going to suffer a tax hike? Since 87 percent of private-insurance plans currently cover abortion care, the effects of H.R.3 would be devastating."

Steve Benen 9:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (12)

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Steve,
"And voting for a tax increase simply isn't allowed."

It certainly is - for the poor and middle class.

ONLY!

Tax increases for the wealthy and corporations are, however, now our 3rd rail of politics.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on March 17, 2011 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Norquist is the guy who likes to say he wants to shrink government to the size that will fit in his bathtub. So droll. Today's GOP wants a federal government sized to fit neatly inside a woman's uterus.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on March 17, 2011 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

More of their "less government".

Posted by: ComradeAnon on March 17, 2011 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

It isn't a tax increase if the teabaggers say it isn't a tax increase.

Posted by: Bulworth on March 17, 2011 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

Since none of the men who are promoting this bill will have their own taxes increased, then it doesn't count as having a tax increase.

Posted by: atlliberal on March 17, 2011 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Everyone wants to raise taxes on people they hate. Republicans just hate 98% of the American people.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on March 17, 2011 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

How's that's newbie jobby thingy comin' Republicans?

Posted by: max on March 17, 2011 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

How is it Constitutional to target the exercise of a human right with restrictive legislation?

What if they had tax penalties for voting?

Posted by: cld on March 17, 2011 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

I'm somehow pleased by Norquist's consistency.
As much as I may disagree with someone, nothing drives me nuts like a hypocrite. Say what you want, Norquist sticks to his guns.

On to the bill, don't conservatives also decry "social engineering"???

How does THIS not qualify?

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on March 17, 2011 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't that a "bill of attainder" as is explicitly forbidden? If you do this thing we don't want you to then you have to pay, but if you don't do this thing we don't want you to do you do not. I guess they figure that by the time they are made to stop breaking the law it won't matter any more because their mission will be accomplished.

Posted by: thebewilderness on March 17, 2011 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to comment, as a woman, I get a creepy feeling that the GOP have too much of a fixation on womens bodies. In fact, I think it is some kind of sickness with them!

Posted by: j on March 17, 2011 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

"On to the bill, don't conservatives also decry 'social engineering'??? How does THIS not qualify?"
Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on March 17, 2011 at 11:27 AM

It's only "social engineering" if it works against their concerns; it if works toward their concerns, why, that's just common sense -- occasionally mixed with "maintaining our traditions," and, when necessary, "God's law" (that last one usually deployed only to audiences known to be entirely of their own).
See also: "activism, judicial;" "law, rule of;" "democracy," "freedom," and "torture."

"the GOP have too much of a fixation on womens bodies."
Posted by: j on March 17, 2011 at 2:17 PM

To be fair, you do have to recognize that they have an equal or even greater fixation on men's bodies -- whenever there are two of them together, or the possibility thereof.
And hey, you do have to give them credit as well for recognizing the existence of lesbians (albeit they seem focused only on the ostensible threats thereof) -- they've beaten some of the biggest and best-known liberals and liberal organizations in doing so.
(See: invisibility, lesbian.)

Posted by: smartalek on March 17, 2011 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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