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:
How 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…
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.