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H.R. 3, the so-called "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," is back and scheduled for floor action in the House on Wednesday. And so at the risk of... whatever it is you risk when you put a giant video of yourself in a front page post... I want to take you back to the discussion of just how bad this thing is, and why it threatens American values on both the left and the right.

Among the sea of vindictive bills chasing irrelevant Republican pipe dreams, even in the face of the overwhelming demand for action on jobs, H.R. 3 stands out as the worst of the worst—a giant tax hike on people who dare to believe that abortion ought to remain a legal and available option in America, and a back-door assault on the narrow exceptions to abortion bans that even most abortion opponents accepted as morally and medically necessary.

I discussed with you back in February just how dangerous and far-reaching H.R. 3's provisions were. And we'll hear plenty today and tomorrow about how there's a Republican war on women, about how the redefinition of rape is sneaking back in, and about how federal law already bans the use of taxpayer funds for abortion. All of which is true.

But H.R. 3 is much, much worse than even all of that, combined. And what makes it so bad is that in their zeal to "get" people who believe abortion should be legal and available, Republicans (and some Democratic enablers) are betraying the supposed "small government values" they claim to live by, and doing it in the most dangerous possible way. Because in order to make their punishment scheme work, they have to redefine the generally accepted public understanding of what separates "your money" from "the government's money." And they do it in a way that ends up giving the  government the power to literally reach into every wallet in America and federalize every dollar inside.

You really couldn't gut the supposed "Tea Party values" any worse if you tried.

In order to make their "no taxpayer funding for abortion" scheme work, Republicans use H.R. 3 to disallow tax deductions for your health care expenses if your private insurance plan covers abortion. Not if you actually get an abortion. And not if a member of your family does. All it takes for you to see your taxes hiked is if the private insurance plan you selected and paid for with your own money permits coverage of abortion at all. For anyone. Even if you never get one and never plan to. If you bought a plan that agrees to cover abortion if someone else totally unrelated to you needs one, then you lose eligibility for any tax deductions for the cost of your insurance, and your tax bill shoots up. Republicans take your cash, because you agreed to buy a plan that might someday pay for someone else's abortion.

After all, fair's fair. Right?

Because if you're allowed to take a deduction for money you paid to a private insurer to cover routine check-ups for your kids, but the premiums you pay might one day cover the cost of a stranger's abortion, well... Republicans know that means that "governmen money" paid for that abortion. Because it was the government that gave you that money to pay your premiums with. If they had just kept it instead of allowing you to deduct it, well, maybe it never would have been paid to that private insurance company in the first place. So it wouldn't have been there to pay for that other person's claim.

Get it?

"Small government!"

Yes, it's the government's prerogative to favor or disfavor certain activities using the tax code. But of course, just last month, the Supreme Court's conservative wing went out of its way to preserve state tax breaks for donations made to funds that underwrite religious school tuition in Arizona by holding that tax credits aren't "government spending." And yet now, here are Congressional "conservatives" insisting that they are. And that since money is fungible, that means every dollar you have might be in your wallet only by virtue of a tax credit. Which means the government can keep every dollar you have on a string, telling you you can't spend it on things they don't like, or else they'll raise your taxes for making them mad.

Small government.

In my opinion, that's the outrage of H.R. 3.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue May 03, 2011 at 03:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by Abortion.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm nearly 62. (10+ / 0-)

    Do I get an exemption?  Because I sure as heck won't need an abortion.  Geesh.

  •  Hi. I'm from the Small Government & I'm here to... (6+ / 0-)

    noooooo.... I don't think so.......

    The Dictatorship of the Anti-Government. This does not compute, but that's who these people are, nevertheless.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Tue May 03, 2011 at 03:25:31 PM PDT

  •  Since they have not a thing in common with Tea, (7+ / 0-)

    I am hereby renaming them the Head Lice party.   (Suck on that you nit-wits).  heh

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Tue May 03, 2011 at 03:29:54 PM PDT

  •  but of course (13+ / 0-)

    those same tax breaks aren't so fungible if they're used to provide grants for tuition at religious schools in Arizona.

    oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

    Twitter: @DanteAtkins

    by Dante Atkins on Tue May 03, 2011 at 03:40:39 PM PDT

  •  This needs a closer look by repubs/conservs (6+ / 0-)

    Even the ultimate conservative, Jesse Helms, said that abortion is justified in the case of rape, incest and when the woman's life is in danger.  Now, if that's true (and I personally believe that IS true among other reasons), why would it be a problem for having "taxpayer money" paying for abortions in those events?  

    Republicans/conservatives need to take a step back and rethink this issue.  I know, I know...it's all about being "pro-life", but there is more to being pro-life than denying abortions at all costs.

    Just IMHO.

    •  Republicans/conservatives need to take a step back (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HylasBrook, Cassandra Waites, Matt Z
      Republicans/conservatives need to take a step back and rethink this issue.

      They will.  They'll have from January of 2013 on to think real hard about it.  And they won't have the pesky distraction of being in office anymore, either.

      One day I feel I'm ahead of the wheel / the next it's rolling over me / I can get back on / I can get back on

      by slippytoad on Tue May 03, 2011 at 03:53:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  more war on women (6+ / 0-)

      repubs just can't let go of the controll button.  it's my body but they want to be in charge!  it's evil.

    •  Republicans think ideology is reality. They are (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostinamerica, Cassandra Waites

      happy to pass laws making abortions all but impossible in many states.  They never think about the consequences of their decisions for people who live in the real world.

      Not only does ideology trump reality, but if reality happens to someone they know (like when a married representative gets his girlfriend pregant, then 'it's different, and they manage to get it done.'

      So unfortunately, they are not going to step back and re-think.  They're just going to move on to their next hot button issue making life miserable for hispanics, and suppressing the vote in poor neighborhoods.

      HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

      by HylasBrook on Tue May 03, 2011 at 04:19:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rethink?????? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marihilda
      Republicans/conservatives need to take a step back and rethink this issue.

      Wouldn't they have to think about it before they rethink it?

  •  "...that's the outrage of H.R. 3..." (0+ / 0-)

    ...I'd note that Republicans seem to be adept and deeply committed to piling outrage atop outrage atop outrage.

  •  Your Diary Misses Two Points (13+ / 0-)

    Today's Republican Party only believes in small, local government if it suits their religious beliefs.  That's exactly why I left the Republican Party.  Just think about this abortion stuff and the Terry Schaivo stuff.  The Republican Party is no longer the party of small government.  It is the party of enforcing its religious beliefs on all citizens.

    Second, your argument and the argument of the anti-choice pukes assumes that abortion coverage in insurance costs anyone money.  The fact is that abortion coverage costs no money.  It saves money.  The cost of an abortion is $300.  The cost to deliver a healthy full term baby is $3,000, not to mention what the cost is if the baby isn't full term or isn't healthy.

    So, its worse that even you thought.  Not only does this bill increase taxes, but it increases the cost of individuals' insurance policies!!

  •  HA! (7+ / 0-)

    This guy thinks the Tea Partiers have values.

    I guess, if you can call bigotry and misogyny a value... which I don't think you can.

    They don't give a crap about spending.

    Polls show Tea Partiers call for the least amount of spending cuts overall once people are actually forced to itemize - because they love their bombs and Pentagon handouts.

    Tea Partiers don't have values.

    They just want to kill things and beat up on women and minorities. Their platform has nothing to do with values or ideas, it's just hate. Good ol' fashioned hate.

    •  Don't forget hypocrisy! (0+ / 0-)

      Like claiming to hate government from the cushy comfort of scooters provided by Medicare (which they want the government OUT OF).

      If hypocrisy is a value, they sure as shit have that too.

      A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

      by METAL TREK on Tue May 03, 2011 at 04:09:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  GOP has NEVER believed in "small govt" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Techie, Pd, DR RD, Matt Z

    Between the empire, the protection and subsidization of their corporate donors, and the endless attempts to socially engineer a population of ignorant fanatics who will do what they're told, take what they're given, and be grateful for the opportunity, the Republican Party and the conservative movement have never done or advocating anything that could possibly be construed as "small government".

    With the possible exception of cutting services that the vast majority of Americans both support and depend on at some point in their lives.

  •  Excellent summary: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Techie, Eric Nelson, Matt Z
    " here are Congressional "conservatives" insisting that .... since money is fungible, that means every dollar you have might be in your wallet only by virtue of a tax credit. Which means the government can keep every dollar you have on a string, telling you you can't spend it on things they don't like, or else they'll raise your taxes for making them mad.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue May 03, 2011 at 03:53:40 PM PDT

    •  Exactly. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, Matt Z

      100% of your income and my income really belongs to "the government" and what I get to use is only by the good graces of "the government."  No wonder people hate "the government" so much.

      I woke up this morning only to realize, it's opposite day again.

      by Melanie in IA on Tue May 03, 2011 at 04:55:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Notwithstanding my distaste at this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Techie, Matt Z

    whole thing, I appreciate the clear, cogent diary that lays it out in no uncertain terms.

    No government, and kids educated only in Christian madrassas.  What a great vision.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Tue May 03, 2011 at 03:55:02 PM PDT

  •  Contributions to churches no longer tax deductible (5+ / 0-)

    After all, if allowing a tax deduction is the same as government funding for that something, it's not permissible to give people a tax deduction for contributions to their church. Government isn't allowed to fund religious establishments.

  •  I suppose it would be too much to expect the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Techie, Matt Z

    Tea Partyers to come to the conclusion that it is a betrayal of what they claim to be their principals.

    If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

    by MikePhoenix on Tue May 03, 2011 at 03:56:54 PM PDT

  •  Griswold, they are after Griswold v Conn (0+ / 0-)

    After all, Assoc Justice Scalia says there is no right of privacy in the Constitution. None. So why not tell  us what you are doing there, huh?

    And if there are all those strings in my wallet, how can I ever sleep with all that tugging? Hey, Pat and Chris, what did you do today? I need your papers and cash journal now! Cash, oh no, you used paper money? You may be a terrorist if you are using cash and in the underground economy trying to avoid taxes. Throw away the key!

    Regressive policies from those who claim to have seem the Invisible Pink Unicorn. Unprecedented, to use a favorite TEA Party expression.

    Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living~~Mother Jones

    by CA Berkeley WV on Tue May 03, 2011 at 03:58:37 PM PDT

  •  Republicans don't believe in small government (5+ / 0-)

    Time and time again I hear so called conservatives saying they want the government to leave them alone while at the same time they support laws that put the government right smack dab in the middle of your life.

    It takes far more government than we have right now to regulate individual behavior and monitor what you do in your bedroom, make sure you have sex with the government approved gender, or monitor and regulate the decisions you make about your own health with your doctor.

    And at the end of the day the GOP doesn't really care about this stuff. It's just a good way to get the rubes to vote against their own interests and diverting blame for the problems every day people face somewhere else even though they are a direct cause of those problems.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Tue May 03, 2011 at 04:01:52 PM PDT

  •  Tax credits are government spending when (0+ / 0-)

    Repukes SAY it's government spending. Or AREN'T. It depends on what side of their mouths the Repukes are talking out of that day.

    Just watch. The SCOTUS will probably say tax credits ARE government spending....but just in this case. Just like Bush v. Gore was ONLY for that ONE case. They swear. Honest Injun. Pinkie swears & everything. Swear to Gawd & hope to die.

    A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

    by METAL TREK on Tue May 03, 2011 at 04:05:11 PM PDT

  •  As a small employer of 20, mostly women, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Melanie in IA, bwren

    how best do I protect them? Drop the coverage which includes abortion services? Keep it and hurt them on their tax return?

    I cannot think this through. I pay for the employees coverage and half of any family they add. It doesn't have any direct impact on me as a male and I don't itemize health expenses, but alll my employees can and do.

    I guess I take a vote? What of the principle? Do I just drop that coverage despite my belief it should be offered and offer to pay for an abortion if that sad decision has to be made by an employee? What of that person's privacy? Does an employee have to then give that up to ask me for the funds for an abortion?

    I may be sorry I streamed my thoughts with out screening them, but I really am at a loss.

    This sucks.

    Roman Catholic by birth---thoroughly confused by life.

    by alasmoses on Tue May 03, 2011 at 04:06:18 PM PDT

  •  Democratic leaders need to make the most (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostinamerica

    of this opportunity handed to them by their GOP opposition.  Statutory rape of an underage girl isn't really a rape, or at least it's not one of the bad types of rape?  If a Democrat proposed a bill that redefines rape like this, he'd be eviscerated 24/7 by Fox News, Limbaugh, etc.

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Tue May 03, 2011 at 04:13:38 PM PDT

  •  rightwing AM radio is all about abortion today (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    which seems odd ,in light of the events of the past few days.
    Then again, i think this is their damn ark. this is the issue they retreat to . maybe it's all they got left.
    i listened as long as i could bear it, nnot very long. same old crap, deriding how the issue is framed as a woman's right to choose ...when really these women are killing babies.. and on and on about libral women, the downfall of society, out there killin' babies......good heavens they are even lapsing into condemnation of birth control.
    these fanatics are parasites who get into vulnerable ears and just don't let go.AM radio is still free over the air and that's how they stay alive, counting on people who just nod along with this propaganda. same old narrative.

    time to stand strong and protect  the rights we have , if we are to call ourselves a reasonable and sane  society in the 21st century

  •  well, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh
    that's the outrage of H.R. 3.

    it's ONE of them...

    :::sigh:::

  •  For Republicans, the ends always justify the means (0+ / 0-)

    We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present.

    by progdog on Tue May 03, 2011 at 05:42:10 PM PDT

  •  Teabaggers will never understand this. (0+ / 0-)

    Although many elements beside IQ contribute to success and happiness, 47.5% of the population has an IQ of between 70 and 100.  Depending on which poll you’re looking at, teabaggers are viewed positively by roughly 30% of the electorate.  My guess is that the 30% is on the right side of the bell curve.  

    The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." -- Wanda

    by the autonomist on Tue May 03, 2011 at 06:48:26 PM PDT

  •  I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

    As far as I can tell, this is entirely consistent with 'Tea Party' values.  

    Being intellectually inconsistent?  Check.

    Using the power of the government to favor their narrow cultural interests?  Check.

    Being pathetic sub human hypocrites?  Check.

  •  Oil subsidies (0+ / 0-)

    so I think that settles the tax subsidies for oil: it really is government money, and we really are spending tax dollars on oil.  No more talk of tax breaks not really being expenditures, please.

    Frankly, I blame everything on Nixon.

    by J Orygun on Tue May 03, 2011 at 07:54:04 PM PDT

  •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

    Now if only this argument can be dumbed down enough for them.

    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

    by Seneca Doane on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:47:14 AM PDT

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