The controversy over federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which apparently has brought about the resignation of GOP House Speaker John Boehner, only goes to show how warped and perverted Republicans and conservatives have become.
Consider what the controversy involves: Republicans in Congress want to terminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which favors legalized abortions, and are threatening another government shut-down if the funding isn’t removed from a funding bill for the federal government.
Let’s first get one thing clear, even though it’s not really the principal issue: The Republicans are bluffing. They will never shut the federal government down. We know that. We have seen this trick, time and time again, when it comes to the debt-ceiling debate.
Every time the debt ceiling is approached, the Republicans threaten to refuse funding for the federal government unless the rate of increase of federal spending is decreased, and they always, without fail, surrender as soon as the mainstream news media begins to jump on them. If they’re not going to stand fast when it comes to the federal government’s debt, which threatens America with national bankruptcy, they’re certainly not going to stand fast when the mainstream media starts to jump on them with respect to funding for Planned Parenthood. It’s all a bunch of empty and meaningless hoopla.
But like I say, that’s only of secondary importance. Here’s the real moral bankruptcy of the Republican Party and the conservative movement: In their fight against funding for Planned Parenthood, Republicans aren’t questioning the fundamental premise of the welfare state, which is that the federal government should have the power to tax people in order to give the money to people who the federal government selects to receive it.
Instead, Republicans are essentially saying: “We love the welfare state. We love the fact that the IRS taxes people in order to give the money to other people. We just don’t want the federal government giving the money to Planned Parenthood. We want the federal government to give it to our cronies and buddies.”
Who are the GOP’s favored recipients of federal largess? Well, let’s see. How about that military dictatorship in Egypt — you know, the one that is receiving U.S. taxpayer money to help it kill protesters against its dictatorship? The GOP and conservatives are on the same page as President Obama, Democrats, and liberals on that recipient of the federal dole.
Or how about the makers of all those bombs, missiles, or bullets in the U.S. military-industrial complex “defense” racket that are used to kill people in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan? Same answer.
You see, in its fight to defund Planned Parenthood, the GOP wants to protect the rights of the unborn and wants the money to instead be used to kill the born in the Middle East and Afghanistan, with the aim of installing pro-U.S. regimes under the false rubric of “defending our rights and freedoms.” The much-ballyhooed concern for the sanctity of life expressed by Republicans and conservatives obviously ceases at birth, at least when the born live in the Middle East or Afghanistan.
Or how about subsidies to those big farming corporations? Or bailouts for big corporations and Wall Street political bedfellows? Or education grants? Or grants to your community. Or grants to small businesses. Republicans and conservatives love them all, just like Obama and his fellow Democrats and leftists do.
Or how about welfare for seniors (i.e., Social Security and Medicare)? Republicans and conservatives, like Democrats and leftists, especially love using federal funds to give a dole to seniors because they, like their counterparts on the left, know that it makes them hopelessly dependent on the federal government.
Thus, the GOP and conservative fight is not over the welfare state itself. They are in fundamental agreement with Obama, Democrats, and liberals on that issue. Their fight is simply over how to distribute the loot.
Compare the libertarian position. Like Republicans and conservatives, we oppose federal funding of Planned Parenthood. But we also oppose all federal funding of every other group, including foreign dictatorships, the “defense” racket, farmers, corporations, schools, businesses, seniors, the drug-war racket, and every other welfare-warfare state program.
The reason that libertarians oppose the welfare-state entirely is that it’s morally wrong for anyone, public or private, to take the money of one person by force in order to give it to another person. Government has no more business being in the charity business than it does in the religion business. That’s why we libertarians hold that it was a very bad thing, both morally and pragmatically, when 20th-century Americans grafted a welfare-state apparatus onto our federal governmental system. As 19th-century American ancestors understood so well, it is not a legitimate function of government to take money from people in order to give it to other people.
The real fight in this country is between Republicans, conservatives, Democrats, and liberals, on the one side, and libertarians on the other side. Even while fighting over how the loot is going to be doled out, those on the right and on the left are fighting fiercely to maintain the overall welfare state in society, while we libertarians are the ones fighting to dismantle the welfare state, along with all the taxes that fund it.
As long as Republicans and conservatives maintain their allegiance to the welfare-state way of life, they will continue travelling the moral low road, even while they preen about how moral they are by trying to stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The only moral position is the libertarian one — the one that calls for stopping federal funding for Planned Parenthood and everyone else.
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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