Thursday, February 22, 2007

Taxed for Death

I filed my income tax return last week. Of course I'm looking forward to getting a small portion of the taxes I paid back, but that doesn't make me like them. While I dislike paying taxes as much as the next guy, I do recognize the need for taxation and the benefits received. We must fund our courts, prisons, and military if we want freedom and security.

It's the funding for various social programs that upsets most people. Emily Bazelon wrote a bias-filled pro-abortion article in the New York Times Magazine lately, questioning the existence of Post-Abortion Syndrome. She wrote: "[T]he Bush administration, in its first four years, spent more than $30 million on the 50-some crisis pregnancy centers [that receive federal funds], according to a report by Representative Henry A. Waxman, a Democrat from California."

That sounds like a lot of money, even if it was spread over four years ($7.5 million per year on average)--at least until you find out that Planned Parenthood received $265.2 million in taxpayer funds in 2004 alone. (Bazelon's article didn't mention that detail.) Planned Parenthood is, of course, Big Abortion, reportedly killing 244,628 babies by surgical abortion in 2003. That number does not include other forms of abortion or referrals to non-affiliated clinics.

While federal funding for neither the social programs of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) nor Planned Parenthood is strictly constitutional, I would much rather fund CPCs that provide vital services to their communities than Planned Parenthood.

Of course the current debate on embryonic stem cell research is also about taxpayer funding, not over its legality.

The pro-life side wants to defund Planned Parenthood, and the pro-abortion side wants to defund CPCs. Fine. Let's defund all the social programs funded by the government and allow individuals to keep and give more of their income. The people of God have taken care of the needy long before the government starting helping (and mismanaging). And if liberals want to fund Planned Parenthood, pornography masquerading as art, and needle exchange programs, let them do it with their money, not yours and mine.

I don't hear politicians talking this way. They win points by promising to give more money to the programs voters like. Whichever political party returns to the conservative principles of limiting the role of government will at least gain support from the libertarian middle.

Instead of splitting our tax dollars 97-3 between support of death and support of life lets stop playing tug of war over the checkbook and empower the American people to support the causes of their consciences. But don't expect this Congress to do it.

Wesley Wilson

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