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“Pro-Life” GOP may fund Planned Parenthood and kill the adoption tax credit

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Adoption Tax Credit

Let me get this straight. There’s a good chance that the GOP will continue to fund Planned Parenthood as they’ve done since taking over both chambers of Congress, but they’re proposing killing off the adoption tax credit that is arguably the most pro-life thing the federal government offers. This is reason #492 why I am helping to build the truly pro-life Federalist Party instead of trying to fix a party that clearly doesn’t represent policies it claims to embrace.

I appreciate that the GOP wants to cut taxes. If anything, I think they’re not going far enough, that their proposed “reforms” are mostly shifts from one pocket to the other, and the fact that they’re not drastically cutting spending simultaneously is ludicrous. However, there are a very small number of righteous tax breaks out there and the adoption tax credit is one of them.

David French, who used the credit when adopting in 2010, has a perspective that every Republican lawmaker should read:

Adoption Tax Credit: A Pro-Life Policy Republicans Must Save

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453410/adoption-tax-credit-pro-life-policy-republicans-saveHow much does it cost to adopt?  An Adoptive Families Magazine survey of 1,100 families who adopted children from 2012 to 2013 found that the average family spent $34,093 on independent adoptions and $39,966 if they went through an agency. My family adopted our youngest daughter in 2010, and those numbers match our experience.

There is, however, one thing that helps these families, and it helps a lot: It’s called the adoption tax credit, a $13,570 non-refundable credit that phases out for truly high-income families.

They GOP could cut $300 million (the amount on paper the credit costs in federal revenue annually) worth of budget by slashing the EPA’s wasteful spending by less than 4%. The taxes that Apple alone pays is enough to cover the credit over 40-fold. Last year, Senator James Lankford released a list of 100 examples of truly wasteful spending by the government that accounted for nearly a quarter trillion dollars; that’s over 8 centuries worth of adoption tax credits.

By no means am I suggesting that $300 million is a small amount of money even by U.S. government standards, but with all of the ludicrous things DC does with our money, surely the “pro-life” GOP could have found better things to cut.

Why would this even be a consideration? There’s one simple reason…

Most GOP representatives do not consider life to be a vote-losing issue

When I first started researching the three options (fixing the GOP, helping a preexisting third party, or starting a new party), I was given some very important information by an unnamed adviser. Abortion is not a vote-changer. A plurality considers the economy the most important factor. Some look at foreign policy. Millions will vote based specifically on the 2nd Amendment, immigration policy, or healthcare, but very few vote based upon the abortion issue.

The reason for this is pretty straightforward. While a large number of people are polarized by the issue, few are actually directly involved. Being pro-life is a plus for Republicans, but not the thing that gets them the votes. Someone could be pro-life, but if they are perceived to be hurting an economic factor that affects their voters, they’ll lose.

Does that mean that people don’t consider it to be important? No. They view the issue as one with very little movement one way or the other. Representatives don’t need to champion the pro-life movement. They simply have to claim to be pro-life and they’re a Republican. No action required.

The adoption tax credit is a pro-life credit. It’s a statement that the government is willing to help promote more adoptions, giving people with unwanted pregnancies more options than simply aborting the pre-born child. The flip-side is true as well. By continuing to fund Planned Parenthood, we’re signaling as a nation that we support abortions with taxpayer money. Don’t tell me none of the money goes towards abortions. Just don’t.

Keep in mind that there are many representatives who are truly pro-life, who will fight to defund Planned Parenthood, and who would love to protect the adoption tax credit. Unfortunately, they’re being given very little reason by their constituents to do so in the tax plan. Not enough pundits are speaking out. Too few people are calling to let them know. Most Republicans on Capitol Hill are doing anything they can to register their first win during the Trump era and most GOP voters who would normally scream about this issue are willfully ignoring it so as not to derail the first sign of progress the party might make.

Funding Planned Parenthood and killing the adoption tax credit should be hung as albatrosses around the necks of every Republican on Capitol Hill if they go through with these plans. It’s an issue of convenience to them right now. More people need to speak up and tell them they should be ashamed for even considering it.

Update: Just as I thought there were too few in conservative media calling this out, I found another…

I Cannot Support the GOP’s Tax Reform Plan As It Stands

http://theresurgent.com/i-cannot-support-the-gops-tax-reform-plan-as-it-stands/The GOP calls itself a pro-life party. But it continues to fund Planned Parenthood and now wants to kill the adoption tax credit.

I’d rather kill the tax reform plan.

This really is a hill to die on in the fight for tax reform and you should call on your member of congress to oppose this plan unless the adoption tax credit is restored.

Christian, husband, father. EIC, NOQ Report. Co-Founder, the Federalist Party. Just a normal guy who will no longer sit around while the country heads in the wrong direction.

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Culture and Religion

Alexander Hamilton was right about the Bill of Rights, 2nd Amendment

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It’s amazing how many people have a fundamental misunderstanding about the Founding Fathers and the US Constitution. It’s less surprising, however in the context of how bad our public schools are failing our children and by extension, the country as a whole. Now, this isn’t an article on why it’s not the solution. I believe Torcer was eye-opening in explaining why gun control is a dead solution. This isn’t a defense if the 2nd Amendment or a statement of the impracticality of its repeal. Rather this is more focused on the context of the Bill of Rights as a whole.

Context

Believe it or not, the idea of placing a Bill of Rights in the US Constitution was controversial. There was a huge divide when the United States was transferring from a confederacy to a federalist form of a republic (not a democracy). A stronger central government was and still is a grave danger to the rights of the people. Then Thomas Jefferson, anti-Federalist, side of the spectrum sought to have a Bill of Rights in order to place explicit limitations on the government. The Bill of Rights was a compromise on the Alexander Hamilton, Federalist, side of the spectrum. The 9th Amendment was the compromise on the anti-Federalists part:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Danger to Freedom

You might be wondering why a Bill of Rights was so controversial? What seemed like a no-brainer really wasn’t. Despite favoring a larger government than Thomas Jefferson, rivals like Alexander Hamilton did not want to explicitly protect rights through a Bill of Rights because the protection of some would lead to the exclusion of others. Hamilton pens Federalist 84 arguing:

I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colourable pretext to claim more than were granted.

Hamilton follows the logic whereby if rights are given extra protection, the Constitution would then invite tyrants to use these provisions as mere limitations. Thus these tyrants would be assuming power that the Constitution did not grant. He uses free press as his primary example.

For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?

It’s amazing, looking back, how valid Hamilton’s arguments are in modern contexts. The danger he describes, we see today in various forms. The protection of free speech has led to the regulation of speech. The protection of religion invited the regulation of the pulpit

This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.

Threats to unenumerated rights

The 9th Amendment is hard to use in defense of a freedom. Though to their credit, I do see liberals claim it more often, while conservatives champion the 1st, 2nd, and 10th Amendments. In truth, we see the 9th Amendment in action all the time. The Amendment defends a person’s right to be gay without government intrusion. This Amendment is succeeding for leftists wants on multiple fronts. However, on a broader scale, the government has regulated and in some instances outright banned freedoms.

In theory, a person should be able to donate money towards causes they believe in yet campaign finances are highly regulated which is why we have Super PACs. Courts are ruling that Christians can’t act on their religious beliefs regarding homosexuality. The right to life can be taken away from the unborn because apparently, the right to life wasn’t clear enough (though to be fair Roe v Wade had virtually no Constitutional pretext for their decision.) The government could penalize you for not purchasing healthcare. The list goes on but I’m sure you see the point about an overreaching federal government.

Jefferson was right also

In the end, we truly do need a Bill of Rights. Many abusers have threatened the freedoms of others on speech, guns, and investigations. Conservatives hold the lesson that freedom is a generation away from extinction as Ronald Reagan said. The culture during the time of the Constitution valued natural freedoms. How else would rivals of politics both seek the same goal? If that same culture existed today, Alexander Hamilton would be right that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary. But today, a prominent belief is that natural God-given rights derive from the government. A culture that believes rights come from the government necessitates a Bill of Rights to protect from the government taking away from those freedoms.

Second Amendment

I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretence for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority, which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it, was intended to be vested in the national government. 

The Second Amendment is under fire, and if we had, Hamilton’s way, the battle may have been lost already because our view of government has changed. Though luckily the prevailing Heller v DC case solidified the right to private gun ownership ending leftist hopes to confiscate our guns. But Hamilton’s point remains that the protection of the right to firearms has encouraged the regulation of them. How many gun control arguments begin by stating that the founding fathers hadn’t envisioned “AR-15 military-style assault rifles?” A good amount these days. These may be the semblance of reason that Hamilton was referring to.

Moving Forward

  1. The advancement of conservatism needs to be done emphasizing that the source of our freedom is not the government, rather they are natural and God-given.
  2. The 9th Amendment is largely what we make of it because of how open-ended it is. We need to strive to protect implicit freedoms whether or not we agree with them.

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Culture and Religion

Empty Churches: Roman Catholic Cardinals Push Activism on Immigration And Trump

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Even the Roman Catholic Church’s top American leaders are not immune from the earthly allure to virtue signal on immigration. Both ordained and lay Catholic voices, have argued that people of faith have a moral duty to accept the “Dreamers,” to support DACA, and indeed, to oppose the Trump Administration’s policies on immigration.

This weekend, one American cardinal, Joseph Cardinal Tobin of the Archdiocese of Newark (New Jersey), declared that American Catholics have a “duty” to call their elected representatives to support the Dreamers.

However, truth can be inconvenient. Even for learned Church prelates. Tobin and others have selectively picked and chosen from Church teachings. In so doing, they’ve ignored concepts of duty and responsibility.

A careful reading of comments on actual Catholic social teaching from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, reveals that the current Catholic Church’s embrace of open borders is, ahem, misplaced.

While individuals have the right to move in search of a safe and humane life, no country is bound to accept all those who wish to resettle there. By this principle the Church recognizes that most immigration is ultimately not something to celebrate. Ordinarily, people do not leave the security of their own land and culture just to seek adventure in a new place or merely to enhance their standard of living. Instead, they migrate because they are desperate and the opportunity for a safe and secure life does not exist in their own land. Immigrants and refugees endure many hardships and often long for the homes they left behind. As Americans we should cherish and celebrate the contributions of immigrants and their cultures; however, we should work to make it unnecessary for people to leave their own land.

Because there seems to be no end to poverty, war, and misery in the world, developed nations will continue to experience pressure from many peoples who desire to resettle in their lands. Catholic social teaching is realistic: While people have the right to move, no country has the duty to receive so many immigrants that its social and economic life are jeopardized.

Recent years have seen the Roman Catholic Church demonstrate its worldly fallibility as an institution, while on doctrinal issues, under the current Pope (Francis I), the Church has moved clearly to the Left.

Yet as recently as 1996, Pope Saint John Paul II wrote:

When no solution is foreseen, these same [social and charitable] institutions should direct those they are helping, perhaps also providing them with material assistance, either to seek acceptance in other countries, or to return to their own country.

The rejection of some unconditional duty to receive refugees is clear. The individual’s plight is not ignored; it is, however, not treated as the only factor to be considered to the deliberate exclusion of the hosts. The current Church would do well to follow it. Its own faithful — and its own benefactors — deserve to be ministered to as well, and not viewed solely as a silent audience of putative sinners (and donors) whose Americanism equates to irredeemability.

In societies where cultural traditions emphasis liberty over obedience, freedom over force, and the individual over the collective, shaming your faithful is a recipe for falling Church attendance, falling Church donations and closing institutions. Indeed, in many places, the Church has been closing schools and hospitals, merging parishes and selling off its properties — often bought eagerly by growing Moslem congregations. It’s alarming that Roman Catholic Church leaders are increasingly electing to attack America’s faithful, in favor of pursuing acceptance by “the world.”

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Culture and Religion

Kamala Harris: “Stop slaughtering babies! Abortions OK”

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You may have missed it amid the wall-to-wall coverage of the Parkland shooting and the CNN Town Hall, but Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has become pro-life — she just hasn’t realized it yet.

Two days after the massacre, Senator Harris told MSNBC, “We cannot tolerate a society and live in a country with any level of pride when our babies are being slaughtered.” This just two weeks after she helped defeat a 20-week abortion ban in the Senate.

Apparently, Senator Harris, a staunch pro-abortion advocate and Planned Parenthood donation recipient, couldn’t hear the cognitive dissonance, referring to deceased teenagers as “babies,” while almost one million actual babies are literally being slaughtered every year.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, the United States saw 926,200 abortions in 2014, of which Planned Parenthood claims 323,999 — about one-third. In the same year, total gun homicides (including gang and drug related, all age groups, and the tiny fraction that is mass shootings) totalled only 11,000.

926,200 to 11,000 — even 323,999 to 11,000 — is not even a close contest. Babies are being slaughtered, Kamala, but not the ones you care about.

(And to anyone claiming that unborn children are not babies or human beings or living things, I recommend Ben Shapiro, as usual, and I’ve already covered whether an unborn baby has rights).

Harris’s appeals to deceased children contributed to increasing cries for a boycott of the NRA, but pro-lifers on Twitter such as Steven Crowder and Devin Sena were quick to point out the irony of supporting a murder mill that receives over $540 million in taxpayer funding while berating a much less influential group whose purpose lies in defending basic constitutional rights and has never killed a single human being.

But let’s take Senator Harris at her word; in the aforementioned interview, she insisted, “When you see the effect of this extreme violence on a human body, and especially the body of a child, maybe it will shock some people into understanding, this cannot be a political issue. We have to be practical.”

All right then, let’s look at what happens to a baby when it’s aborted.

Below there are diagrams of abortion procedures, but no actual photographs, as even I can hardly stomach looking at that horror or putting it on my website. Here’s one in an article on partial-birth abortions, and I’m sure you can find othersfairly easily if you really want to “shock some people into understanding.”

Let’s start with partial-birth abortions, also known as “dilation and extraction,” wherein the baby (read: living human child with its own DNA) is partially delivered through the birth canal until its head gets in the way, at which stage the abortionist stabs the baby through the back of the head, vacuums out the child’s brains, causes the skull to collapse, and removes the baby-shaped tumor, deeming the operation a success.

Next up is dilation and evacuation, a slight variant of the previous process, whereby the clump-of-cells-with-a-unique-heartbeat-and-pain-receptors is arbitrarily snipped to pieces by an abortionist with a toothy clamp and the leech’s body parts are ripped from the womb one at a time until he (or most likely “she” in many cultures) has fully exited the birth canal.

You may notice that I employed varying levels of sarcasm throughout that discussion, as this is and ought to be an intensely difficult topic to discuss. It’s disturbing, horrifying, and disheartening.

But Senator Harris is right, even if in the wrong way. We cannot just stand by as babies are being slaughtered, and if takes brutally direct language and agonizing photographs to “shock some people into understanding,” then so be it.

Almost one million babies are murdered in the United States every year. If that fact is less viscerally disgusting to me than seeing a picture of a premature child, then that’s a problem I need to work on.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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