Rick Perry is making noise about finding money to continue the Women’s Health Program (minus Planned Parenthood, natch). He has assured people, however, that the money will not come from raising taxes or the rainy day fund, but from cuts and changes to current Health & Human Services programs. Programs that have already been hit with major cuts in recent sessions.
There’s a quilt pattern named for this strategy: robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Given the tone of this conversation, safe to say that Rush, Perry, et al. would like to re-name this pattern the robbing Mary to pay Mary Magdalene. Or perhaps the other way around.
Anyway … safe to say that Perry will continue to try to place the blame on Obama and Planned Parenthood, and that women will suffer because of Perry’s sick need to play politics at any cost.
A few days ago, I was running around in circles at the gym listening to This American Life, an Ira Glass interview with Grover Norquist. Anti-tax/anti-government activists are the natural bed-partners (presumably they’re bundling) of anti-woman/feminist-haters (cf. Randall Terry), so this was not my first introduction to Grover.
I pounded the track, listening to Grover. Let me tell you, it is hard to run while your toes are curling. And they curled up like my feet were being bound when I heard this:
Grover Norquist: There’s nothing you can’t do in the United States over a 25-year period. With enough time—that’s our committee’s lever, time—you can do a lot of stuff over time.
Ira Glass: A generation, Norquist says, that’s his time frame. Give him 25 years to radically reduce the size of government.
This exchange comes at 29:25 in the program, but it is worth listening to the whole episode, which explores the ramifications of how the lower/no-tax mantra has affected tax-driven services in places like Colorado Springs and Trenton, New Jersey. Spoiler alert: when you cut your police force by more than a third, violent crime goes up.
A generation. The time it takes for a person to grow up and become a parent him or herself. Unless that person is using birth control.
A generation. The time Grover Norquist needs to make sure that more people are paying taxes to make up for the fact that all of us are paying lower or no taxes.
I realize I sound more than a little paranoid by trying to link the movement for smaller government with a movement to force women to have more children in order to raise revenue from taxes down the line, but given how crazy things have gotten, is it really so farfetched to imagine this connection?
I mean, rewarding women for motherhood while punishing them for things like abortion or contraception usage is a strategy that others have explored. And by others, I mean Hitler.
OK, look, I’m loathe to play the Nazi card, because I truly hope that nothing in our current political system is even remotely analogous to the heinous, cruel, delusional, and catastrophic hate carried out by that raving madman. I do not believe that women in America in 2012 need to be afraid that we will be rounded up, herded into train cars, and taken to extermination camps.
I’ve noticed, however, that the GOP and the GOP info-tainment industrial complex never hesitate to whip out the Nazi charge over far less serious issues. So, I’m going there, because some scary business is going down. Women’s autonomy is under attack on every front, and the #waronwomen has all but been declared:
- Arizona wants to make it the law that an employer can fire an employee who is having non-procreational sex, AND wants to give doctors the green light to LIE to their patients in order to prevent those patients from having abortions.
- Native American women are denied access to critical health services.
- Texas refuses to play by the rules of the highly advantageous, money-saving Women’s Health Program, then tries to blame the federal government for cutting 130,000+ women off from basic preventive health care services, all to score a political point against Planned Parenthood. Um, nobody’s buying that, Rick.
- Komen for the Cure sacrificed any credibility it had left in an attempt to score the same political point against Planned Parenthood. (And women aren’t going to forget that any time soon. Trust me. I guarantee that you can still find committed feminists who, even though they know the real story, still can’t bring themselves to order Domino’s because of the founder’s political contributions to anti-choice organizations. It isn’t logical and it isn’t fair, but hell hath no fury.)
- Virginia, Texas, and Iowa are forcing doctors and patients to take part in a medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure complete with a coercive script after a non-medically necessary waiting period in order to obtain a legal medical procedure.
- Rick Santorum signed a petition in Oklahoma that endows a fertilized egg with personhood, thus outlawing abortion and some methods of birth control. Ron Paul signed it, too, as did Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann.
- Mitt Romney casually tosses off that yeah, Planned Parenthood, he’ll get rid of that.
- A Georgia state legislator thinks that women, like livestock, should be forced to carry stillborn fetuses until they are delivered, and has proposed a bill to make that happen.
Yes, in 2012, a state legislator stands up and compares women to cows and horses. Think of the other illustrious times in our history when the government has equated humans with livestock. Yeah, our proudest moments, amirite?
First, they came for abortion. Now, they’re coming for birth control.
They’re coming for birth control, which approximately 99% of women have used at some point. They’re coming for our health insurance, and they’re coming for our jobs.
The only other time you hear about politicians being willing to ignore the needs of the 99%? Surprise! The 99% also gets the shaft when it comes to our tax rate relative to the wealthiest 1%.
Birth control and taxes. Both vitally important to the American democracy. Which side are you on? What are you going to do about it?
In Rick’s pandering answer to the caller’s request that he promise that he won’t raise taxes to pay for the Women’s Health Program, he says:
“We send billions of dollars to Washington, D.C., every year, and, uh, the idea that they, uh, get to mandate to the people of the state of Texas ‘here’s how you’re gonna spend your money … here’s your money, but, here are the strings that are attached.’ And the fact is, that’s not what our founding fathers saw. That’s not what our founding fathers believed in, uh, believed in, and I don’t believe in it, either. So, I hope Texans, and people all across this country, will rise up here over the next six to eight months and really push back on this administration. I can assure you one thing, that relative to this program [WHP], we’re not gonna raise taxes, and we’re not going in the rainy day fund. We will make do with the, uh, programmatic items I’ve already instructed the, uh, Tom Seuhs to find the uh, uh, the dollars to make this program function within the budget that we have.”
So, Perry thinks that the feds shouldn’t mess with Texas.
Does that mean that if Texans tell Rick Perry to restore funding for family planning in the HHS budget and include Planned Parenthood as a provider of the WHP that he’ll do it, because then it would be Texans mandating Texans?
Well, if you’re a Texan, tell him that’s what you want. Tell him that as a registered voter, you are mandating that he return our state to compliance with the Women’s Health Program, which means including Planned Parenthood and re-securing the 9-to-1 match.
Click on the take action button on the right-hand side of this website to tell him, or write a letter, or post on his Facebook page. Tell him, and tell others how to tell him.
People, this is going to be hard work. This won’t be the last petition you sign, the last time you have to post an angry rant as your Facebook status, the last time you have to send a check to help make up the gap. But if Grover Norquist is looking over a 25-year time horizon, then we have to be there, every day, for 26 years and beyond.