Posts Tagged 'constitutional'

Selfishness of the Pro-Abortion Movement

Does the government have the right to tell religious institutions to buy birth control and morning after abortion pills for their employees?  Is it enough to have a religious exemption for institutions whose sole goal is to spread their faith?  If you have been asking yourself these questions lately, you are asking yourself the wrong questions.

First, let’s briefly address the exemption for religious organizations who solely exist to share their faith. Those organizations are few and far between.  Very few religious organizations seek to share their faith without also offering humanitarian aid, social work with teenagers, child services, food and training for the poor.  Aid to the poor is one of the largest purposes for the church and for Christians.

The question we should be asking when it comes to the religious exemption, is what about private business owners who object to birth control and morning after pills based on religious principle?  Why don’t they get an exemption?

Here is what this debate really comes down to.  I am a Protestant Christian and we use birth control.  We oppose morning after pills.  Every month we shell out $9 for our birth control pills, and I guess we forgo a date for two to McDonalds to do it.  I would never ask anyone else to pay that $9 for me.  I especially would never ask someone who objected to birth control on religious grounds to pay for it for me.  That is the epitome of selfishness.

I guess there are people out there who can’t afford $9 a month and can’t keep it in their pants.  Don’t ask religious people to give you that birth control or morning after pill.  Don’t ask the government to violate our 1st amendment rights and force us to provide that.

As far as the pro-abortion movement, if you truly believe that “they are just going to do it anyway”, sex among 13 and 14 year olds is a free expression of love, babies are a disease that kill dreams, or whatever, then set up a foundation that collects donations and pays for birth control and morning after pills.   You could form the organization after a charitable model like Toys for Tots and deliver a year’s supply of birth control to needy teenagers every Christmas.  You could call it Kontraception for Kids.  Or how about Planned Parenthood.

Some people mistakenly think this year’s election has anything to do with banning contraception on the federal level.  No, it has to do with whether everyone will be forced to pay for each others contraception.  It has to do with whether the liberals are going to force people to go against their religious objections and pay for something they find morally reprehensible in violation of their 1st amendment rights.  Does the constitution still matter?  That is the question in this debate.  Nobody is threatening to ban birth control.

If you are on Obama’s side and think Christians, Muslims and Jews should be forced to pay for your contraception, stop and think about how selfish that request is.


Imagine No Deductions

3.8 Million.  That is the number of words in our current tax code, according to Taxpayer Advocate chief Nina Olson.  Americans spend 6.1 billion hours every year preparing their tax returns.  Tax preparation requires 3 million full time professional tax preparers and 89% of Americans either use a professional or spend an average of $50 on tax software.

Do you prepare your own return?  Should you be able to prepare your own return?  I think we can all agree tax preparation is way too complicated.  Some have proposed a Fairtax, which would be like a national sales tax.  There are other proposals to fix and shrink our tax code.  Olson proposes something much more similar to what I have advocated for a few years now.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service points out that many Americans have an effective tax rate far below their actual marginal rate.  For example, an American in the 25% tax bracket may only pay an effective rate of 9% because he has more than $15,000 in income excluded through various deductions and credits.  Olson argues that we could reduce tax rates significantly by consolidating the tax code and getting rid of all those various credits and deductions.  So who is standing in the way?  She says you are.

She’s right.  Obama’s debt panel came to the same conclusion, but could not get enough votes to send their proposal to Congress.  Let’s test this theory.  What would you say if your congressman got up at a townhall meeting and told you he was going to vote to get rid of the mortgage interest deduction?  What about the child tax credit?  How about credits and deductions for education?  What about charitable giving deductions?  Chances are, the crowd would turn into an angry mob before he could even mention lower marginal tax rates.

So far that has been the case.  Americans on both sides of the aisle are unwilling to sacrifice their credits and deductions for a simpler, revenue neutral solution.  But it’s not just Americans who want to hang on to behavior based tax reduction.

Lobbyists, and by extension the government, would hate to lose the ability to increase or reduce your taxes based on your behavior.  Right now the government can reward you for going to college, buying a house, being a teacher or performing artist, saving for retirement, having kids, working and getting childcare for those kids, working even if you can’t make a lot of money, making energy efficient improvements to your home, buying health insurance, buying energy efficient vehicles, giving to charity, paying union dues, adopting kids, hiring people who can’t get jobs ever since they raised the minimum wage, and so much more.  They can penalize you for taking early retirement distributions, not buying insurance, and of course, making too much money.  The government has more control over your personal life on your annual tax return than through any other venue.

Olson proposes a zero-based budget where we start with nothing and add back only the credits and deductions that Congress considers absolutely necessary.  Then consolidate the tax rates into two brackets.  Here’s the problem, if Congress didn’t think those credits and deductions were necessary, they wouldn’t have enacted them in the first place.  No Congressman is going to proudly announce that he voted against a tax deduction for teachers who pay for supplies out of pocket, or a credit for a student who goes to college.

The constitutional solution is a tax that is fair and equal for each individual.  It is a tax that does not reward or punish individual behavior.  It is a tax that does not take into account relations, status, and is flat based on income.  If you want a simple tax system with a return that you can file yourself with a pencil and a calculator, you will have to kiss your credits and deductions goodbye.

Interesting. Unconstitutional, But Still Interesting.

Obama’s milky smooth voice poured forth ideas such as tort reform and limiting the Public Option to high risk areas during his speech before a joint session of the Congress.  At other times he appeared angry as he swore that his health plan would not cover abortions, would not encourage seniors to forgo expensive health care, and would not harm private insurance.  In town hall fashion someone from the crowd called out that Obama was lying.  I suppose that’s a fair charge, since Obama basically accused half the country of lying and making up those things.  I suppose we will have to see the final bill.

Obama’s idea of a government non-profit public option that is self-sustaining through the premiums it receives is somewhat interesting.  But here is my question:  if this is such a moral imperative that we have a public option and it will be self sustaining and so on, why don’t Americans get together and start one?  In fact, they have.  The big difference between private co-ops and Obama’s idea of a public option is that private co-ops are not unconstitutional.  Obama spent a great deal of time in his speech talking about how people are scared of big government and government overstepping its bounds.  Do you think that might have anything to do with Obama’s healthcare plan overstepping its constitutional bounds?

In fact, our government is going to fine us if we don’t buy health insurance.  Our government is going to fine our employers if they don’t buy our health insurance for us.  Our government is going to fine insurance companies who offer high price plans.  So much for finding the fine line between too much government and too little.

Obama said that we need a public option to provide competition.  He cited how in some states, like Alabama, the majority of healthcare is covered by just a couple insurance companies.  That is a perfect argument for letting people buy health insurance across state lines, not for a public option designed to undercut private insurance companies.  I’m all for competition, but we can do it without billing the American people for it.

I like the idea of an exchange where people can easily compare insurance plans, costs, and benefits.  The Auto Insurance industry somehow manages to do that without the government.  In fact, will give you quotes from other car insurance companies.  It seems like we could have something like this without paying the government to run it.

Obama offered some hope when he said his bill will not fund abortion.  When Obama says that federal dollars will not be used to fund abortion, I wonder if he thinks that because he doesn’t think federal dollars will be paying for the public option?  My prediction is that Republicans will offer another amendment saying that the public option will not cover abortions and the amendment will be voted down just like all the others.  I am also skeptical on the tort reform…suggestion.  I wouldn’t exactly call Obama’s tort comments a promise.

Perhaps the biggest issue with this unicorn of a bill that Obama is selling is the credibility issue.  Obama continues to insist that he can offer this healthcare bill, cover everyone, increase spending by $900 billion, but not increase the deficit.  I’m not sure if he realizes that we are out of money already and every new dollar of spending is an increase to the deficit.

He also said that much of the bill would be paid for by cutting billions in waste from Medicare.  Mr. President, I hate to break it to you, but Medicare is going to be broke by the end of your administration.  If he cuts billions of dollars in waste from Medicare, which is certainly a good idea, he just might be able to make Medicare sustainable.  He is dreaming if he actually thinks he will have anything left over to fund a government subsidized healthcare industry.

Once again, we will need to see the final bill.  Judging from what Obama said tonight, HR3200 is not it.

Share This Blog

Bookmark and Share