Even movie villians aren’t this twisted. And, no, I’m not making this up (italics mine):
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, from evidence provided by the taxpayer, whether any tax benefit had been inappropriately used to pay for an abortion.
And let’s see what that really means:
Under standard audit procedure, a woman would have to provide evidence to corroborate facts about abortions, rapes, and cases of incest, says Marcus Owens, an accountant and former longtime IRS official. 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,” Owens says. “It would be fairly intrusive for the woman.”
Combine this with the Texas Republicans’ ‘Vaginal Intrusion Act‘ (it’s not really called that, but it should be), and this is a full-frontal assault on the civil liberties of women. As I’ve noted before about H.R. 3 (which contains this stupid IRS auditing), this is a complete waste of time:
So what’s the second most awful thing about the Republican ‘Have Your Rapist’s Baby If You’re Poor’ Act?
We shouldn’t have to be fucking dealing with this. At all.
We are a nation beset with problems, and fixing those problems is going to require a lot of work. Now, the Republicans dump one more problem–once again, of their own making–onto the pandimensional clusterfuck that is our body politic.
The left, such as it is, will have to oppose this odious legislation because it’s awful. We shouldn’t be surprised by this either: after legitimizing torture, it’s pretty clear we fell off the moral arc of history a while ago. Meanwhile, our attention and energy will be diverted from economic issues.
I’m not arguing this is an unimportant ‘social’ issue: far from it. But we’ll have to work hard, and, when it’s all said and done, the best we can hope for is that we’re right back where we started.
It’s all the more stupid since it won’t pass the Senate or a presidential veto–in fact, Obama would relish the opportunity to score some points by vetoing such a horrendous bill. This is nothing more than political theater. Meanwhile, unemployment is still at nine percent, there isn’t any real movement to help underwater homeowners, and our national infrastructure is still decaying. Oh yeah, global warming too.
This is not winning the future.