Monday, August 10, 2015

Our Pick-Pocket Nation

One of the issues that occupied the 10 Republicans at their presidential debate was taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. The New Jersey Star-Ledger had something to say about the Planned Parenthood funding, which it equates to poor women’s health spending. In its editorial What Republicans really think about Planned Parenthood, The Star-Ledger wrote:

All of these men are using their opposition to abortion as a cover to defund women's health care.

[NJ Governor Chris Christie] slashed New Jersey's budget for low income women's exams and life-saving cancer screenings, an action he now says was motivated by his anti-abortion beliefs — even though only two of the six family planning centers forced to close were even run by Planned Parenthood.

[Jeb] Bush did the same as governor of Florida. He gutted state funding for women's health care, and instead, pushed the state to direct the money to crisis pregnancy support centers, which quote the Bible, give out false medical information and tell women they're going to hell for having abortions — all while being federally funded with our tax dollars.

The Star-Ledger noted that our tax dollars also fund Catholic Charities and “many other things people personally oppose, like drone strikes or unnecessary wars.”

I left these comments:

The question is, why should taxpayers be forced to fund Planned Parenthood, “crisis pregnancy support centers,” Catholic Charities, or the like?

We’ve become a nation of pick-pockets. These days, every two-bit do-gooder with a pet cause turns to government—i.e., their neighbors’ wallets—to pay for their schemes. The result is that our government confiscates vast amounts of our wealth through taxes, borrowing, and inflation, and ever-proliferating factions then come out from all manner of woodwork to fight each other to get their hands on some of the loot. Hence, liberals want some of the loot for “women’s health,” conservatives want some for abortion-prevention services, etc., etc., etc. Everyone fights to not be forced to financially support causes they disagree with, while simultaneously pushing for spending on things they want, forcing others to fund what they don’t agree with. It’s a prescription for perpetual conflict.

The Star-Ledger is no more right to push for Planned Parenthood tax-funding than Republicans are to push for anti-abortion tax-funding causes. The Star-Ledger is the pot calling the kettle black.

Leaving aside national defense—which is a separate issue related to the proper function of government to protect Americans from foreign threats to their rights, property, and safety—government shouldn’t be funding these “social welfare” things. People should be left free to spend their own money as they see fit, which is their fundamental right.

Related Reading:

Privilege, Servitude, and the GOP Budget

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