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Should taxpayers subsidize Catholic Culture? Planned Parenthood?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 15, 2011

“The right to tax is the right to destroy,” wrote Chief Justice John Marshall in the landmark Supreme Court decision McCulloch v. Maryland. Quite true. Now what about the right not to subsidize?

A proposal now before Congress would end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Needless to say, the world’s largest abortion provider is worried by that prospect. In a new fundraising letter, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards frets: “They want to shut down every Planned Parenthood health center in America.”

Close every Planned Parenthood clinic? That sounds good to me. But that’s not what Congress is discussing. The proposal under consideration would only remove taxpayer subsidies for the clinics.

The new budget unveiled by the White House this week contains not one cent of federal funding for the Catholic Culture web site. Does that mean the federal government is trying to shut down our work? No; it only means the federal government isn’t going to force taxpayers—including those who find our work objectionable—to subsidize our project. That policy seems to us quite reasonable. But then, the Catholic Culture site hasn’t built up an international empire supported by hundreds of millions of dollars in government support.

Still, if the federal government supports Planned Parenthood, why shouldn’t the budget include some support for Catholic Culture. We’re both engaged in activities that some people regard as a public service, and others regard as abhorrent. The difference, it seems, is that Catholic Culture is quite willing to rely on the support of those who value our work, while Planned Parenthood finds that idea unthinkable. 

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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Feb. 16, 2011 10:47 AM ET USA

    I have been thinking about this all night. Actually, I have received two appeals for funding from Planned Parenthood, at least ten years ago, and nothing since. Would you support the dismemberment of unborn children on your own? Who would, other than the Gates foundation, which thinks itself to be God?

  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Feb. 15, 2011 10:49 PM ET USA

    Then there are those of us who would end tax deductions for everyone, ie. flat taxers like me. We all live in this country and each of us lives in our respective states, counties, and municipalities.

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