Saturday, March 19, 2011

Right Wing Socialists do Stupid Things Too

In their Novel Hope, Aaron Zelman and L Neil Smith described a scenario for implementing abortion law that some described as too far-fetched to be believeable. I can see how it would upset the anti-abortion folks but when I read it, I interpreted it as a satire on the anti-abortion position. It took the position to a logical extreme and demonstrated absurdity by being absurd. However, it seem that the critics of Mr. Zelman and Mr. Smith underestimated the stupidity of the right wing of the Socialist Party. Mother Jones reports on new effort by the GOP to further restrict use of taxpayer funds for abortion.

Under a GOP-backed bill expected to sail through the House of Representatives, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to police how Americans have paid for their abortions. To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt?

In testimony to a House taxation subcommittee on Wednesday, Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff of the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee, confirmed that one consequence of the Republicans' "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" would be to turn IRS agents into abortion cops—that is, during an audit, they'd have to detemine [sic], from evidence provided by the taxpayer, whether any tax benefit had been inappropriately used to pay for an abortion.

I favor eliminating taxpayer funding for abortion. Not because of any opposition to abortion but becasue I favor eliminating taxpayer funding for just about everything. But getting the IRS involved? If the Republicans really wanted to do the country a good turn they would eliminate the damn agency, not give it even more power to rob the citizenry. Next time I ask, "How stupid can a politician get?" I'll remember that this one moved my estimate from pretty damned to almost unbelievably so.

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