Friday, March 25, 2011

The Insane Logic of Republican Lawmakers

"Children Are Victims of Adults Vices"Mikhail Chemiakin
From David Sirota’s List of Sadistic State Laws (published in the OB Rag)

The Pro-lifers’ Anti-Life Exemption: The use of “pro-life” to mean anti-abortion is a brilliant propaganda tactic. Anyone who is against life, particularly an innocent child’s, must surely be demented or evil. There are several problems with this however. First, while certain religions may define life as beginning at conception, scientists and doctors do not agree. There are numerous natural phenomena that can halt fetal development before it is viable, drawing into question whether it can truly be considered life. Indeed, 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage (most during the first 2 weeks, before women even realize they are pregnant), which means that 50% of all pregnancies were, in fact, not viable lives.

A second problem is that many who call themselves “pro-life” are not at all pro-life. Some support the death penalty. Many support U.S. wars of aggression. And some even support murder. South Dakota passed HB 1171 which would legalize homicide by a person attempting to protect an “unborn child.” They later shelved the bill. Then Nebraska Republican state Sen. Mark Christensen introduced a nearly identical bill in his state that would legitimize the murder of abortion providers.

The Let Them Eat Corporate Tax Cuts Act: The Georgia Legislature has introduced a bill that would create a regressive sales tax on food in order to finance a new corporate tax cut. Sirota writes as if Georgia is uniquely evil in this. However, California’s Democratic Governor Jerry Brown has been attempting more or less the same. The wealthiest Californians have been enjoying numerous tax breaks and pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than the poorest Californians, which is a major reason why California has such a terrible budget deficit. Rather than raising taxes on the rich (who can certainly afford it), Brown’s solution is to extend regressive sales taxes and vehicle licensing fees that would disproportionately affect the poor and working class.

Right to Make Kids Work (Modern School also reported this one, but it was so nutty, I though it worth repeating here): Missouri state Sen. Jane Cunningham’s is trying to eliminate child labor laws and allow corporations to hire kids under 14. The law would end restrictions on the number of hours that kids can be forced to work.

The Obesity and Deficit Encouragement Act: Colorado’s childhood obesity rate grew at the second-fastest rate in the country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has shown that higher soda taxes can drive down obesity. (Higher gas prices reduce the amount of driving and higher cigarette taxes drive down smoking.) Colorado as has a budget deficit of over $1 billion. Yet instead of doing the obvious and levying a soda tax to raise revenues and help reduce obesity, their new Republican House is pushing a special sales tax exemption exclusively for soda.

Climate Deniers Hall of Fame: According to Sirota, Montana has been pushing a host of idiotic laws, like trying to legalize hunting with hand-thrown spears and eliminating education requirements for the state superintendent of schools. Perhaps the craziest is Rep. Joe Read’s bill that declares “global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana.”

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