Monday, March 28, 2011

IRS vs. Rape

It seems that the hot new trend for politics in Spring 2011 is to break unions, undermine human and Constitutional rights, and institute the American version of Sharia law on private citizens in order to control every aspect of their lives including the expression and management of their own sexuality. First, it was a law in Michican criminalizing adulterey, second, it was Alaska Judiciary Council nominee Don Haase voicing support for the criminalization of premarital sex, and now it's an attempt to put through a bill that would require rape and incest survivors to prove to the IRS that they were assaulted.

Excuse me?

The bill comes on the back of attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, Title X, and is being put forth by anti-choice proponents within Congress. According to the language of the document, it would impose penalties on small businesses and private citizens who buy abortion coverage with their own money, but it does allow for exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is in danger. There's just one catch, to avoid the penalties, the survivors need to provide proof to the IRS that they were actually assaulted. First of all, according to every Republican I've ever heard campaign over the years, their number one priority is getting big government out of the way of small businesses, and out of the lives of private citizens.

This legislation doesn't exactly line up with that philosophy.

Two, if we are supposed to be keeping the government out of the lives of private citizens, then why is it that we are creating and passing laws that are minority-based (anti-choice laws specifically target women), and involve some lawmaker telling said private citizens what medical choices they can and cannot make with their provider. If that is the business of the private citizen, then how come factions within the United States government want to make it their business? This seems to be a direct affront towards everything Republicans and the U.S. Constutition stands for. I don't see any laws stating that I need to turn in proof to the IRS to support the removal of my gallbladder, or face fiscal penalties and sanctions. In fact, the IRS could care less about my gallbladder, and I can go to my physician of choice without fear of penalty to have it out. So, if that is a private medical choice between myself and my physician, then why is it that if I want an abortion after being brutally raped and beaten, I need permission from the "nanny government", which is the current catch-phrase being used by Republicans to describe the growing dependence of private citizens on the government, to do so?

You can't have it both ways.

That said, let's look at the language of this law, shall we? Best known by its official title, H.R. 3, it's goal is to further extend the Republican "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" which supports the Hyde Amendment prohibiting the use of federal funding for abortions unless it involves rape, incest, or endangerment of the mother's life. This new law would require IRS agents to audit individuals who have used federal funding such as Medicare or Medicaid to pay for an abortion? Why? To make sure the monies haven't been used inappropriately, leaving the burden of proof on the taxpayer who will have to provide documentation proving that her abortion was covered by the rape, incest, or life endangerment clauses; or that her personal insurance did not provide abortion coverage.

Wow.

According to a statement made by Marcus Owens, an accountant and former IRS official inteviewed by Mother Jones, the process would look something like this:

"Under standard audit procedure, a woman would have to provide evidence to corroborate facts about abortions, rapes, and cases of incest. If a taxpayer received a deduction or tax credit for abortion costs related to a case of rape or incest, or because her life was endangered, then on audit [she] would have to demonstrate or prove, ideally by contemporaneous written documentation, that it was incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger. It would be fairly intrusive for the woman."


If that's not bad enough, H.R. 3 contains absolutely no instruction on how the IRS is supposed to enforce it, and the language is so vague that the Joint Tax Committee who specializes in vauge tax language was unable to come up with an accurate interpretation of H.R. 3! If anything, this bill is an attack on the most fundamental of human and Constitutional rights since it interferes with a private citizen's ability to make important health care decisions free of government sanction and regulation.

Again I ask, why is a personal medical decision the government's business? A government who claims it want no part of any law or regulation that interferes in the lives of private citizens, and limits the freedom of small businesses owners to adequately contribute to the local, state, and federal economies?

Think about it.

***

Michigan Criminalizes Adulterey
http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/adultery_could_carry_life_sentence_in_michigan/

Don Haase Believes Premarital Sex Should Be Against The Law
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/25/alaska-governors-pick-for-key-post-wants-to-criminalize-adultery-premarital-sex/

GOP Wants IRS To Audit Rape Victims
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/gop-bill-irs-abortion-audits

6 comments:

  1. Great, intelligent, well researched and written article!

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  2. Wonderful job with this! I am in Michigan, and it seems that we are being assaulted on all sides. It's hard to keep up with all the vicious attacks on teachers, other public employees, and women and kids. I can't for the life of me understand why the GOP hates people so much, and what they hope to accomplish. Do they not know that they are now hated and that no one is going to vote GOP again? Ever? Or do they plan to take over the country entirely before 2012 and ban voting too?

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  3. It seems like no matter where you turn, a new rule is being tricked out to cause new problems!

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  4. Nice article, thanks for the information.

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  5. First, if you wish to discuss something intelligently, cite it:
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-3

    Second, if you want to attack another's inconsistency or lack of credibility, then do that. But arguing there is no reason for government to protect those unable to protect themselves is simply foolishness.

    Third, while I am not going to try to defend the loonies who wrote this inanity, clearly we do require a license to drive, and I would have to argue that sex is much more dangerous than driving..... so while I think no one should drive before they are 40, I rather think you should not be allowed to have sex until you can post a $200K BOND securing the state from the adverse impacts of your progeny.

    Fourth, for most in this state, the term "teacher" is a term of art which references persons who have met the requirements set forth by the State of Alaska (though it is also at times reserved by those of age as epithets of honor for their masters.) It is highly unlikely that a senior at UAA is a teacher. The term "educator" is often used by persons who are not teachers who wish to be regarded as teachers.... teaching assistants, teacher aides, and those that provide religious indoctrination to the poor innocent children forced to suffer same. Which exactly are you?

    Lastly, as many a person your age, your perspective is narrow and your voice shrill. Take a deep breath.... the world as you know it will not end with a bang.....

    BTW, the bit about interfering with someone rights to make decision free of government interference - that is about the same malarkey espoused by the GOP as a basis to find Reid's Health Care reform legislation unconstitutional, isn't it.....

    If people friendly to your position feel you should work at this a bit, maybe that is cause for reflection?

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