Boots & Sabers

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1924, 15 Dec 22

Senator Backbencher

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News this week:

Wisconsin has a long, annoying history of electing and re-electing relatively benign, but equally useless Democrat politicians. Herb Kohl, Russ Feingold, Tony Evers, virtually every mayor of Milwaukee in the modern era, and so many more were quite happy to keep their heads down, eschew controversial issues, and enjoy a light schedule. Perhaps this has never been as true as it is with Wisconsin’s current junior United States Senator, Tammy Baldwin.


After spending eight years in the Wisconsin Assembly without an accomplishment to her name, Democrat voters sent her to the U.S. House of Representatives where she spent fourteen years doing just as little. In 2012, Wisconsin’s voters sent her to the U.S. Senate. After six years without any accomplishments, the voters reelected her in 2018 to serve a second term. Rarely has someone risen so high having accomplished so little.


The last two weeks have been a good example of Baldwin’s style. She championed the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in the Senate in the lame duck session. It is a useless feel-good law since the Supreme Court has already required states to recognize same-sex marriages.


Fresh off that emotional high, Baldwin has authored a bill that would use taxpayer dollars to fund a $350 million annual grant program to pay for travel expenses for women who have to travel to get an abortion. It is a bill that is as offensive as it is unserious.


The bill comes in the wake of the landmark Supreme Court case that consigned the regulation of abortion to the states. Baldwin wants federal taxpayers to pay for travel costs for women who live in states that have chosen strict restrictions on killing babies to travel to states that are more willing to kill babies. Let us take the bill at face value.


First, consider how morally offensive it is to force taxpayers who oppose abortion to pay for women to travel to get one. For many of us, abortion is the act of killing a child. It is an atrocity. Baldwin’s bill would force a substantial plurality, if not a majority, of taxpayers to pay for something that fundamentally violates their conscience. It is one thing to allow something that others find morally abhorrent. It is quite another to make them pay for it.


Second, liberals like Baldwin have long asserted that on the issue of abortion, they want the government to not be involved. Yet Baldwin would have abortionists and abortion facilitators apply to the federal government to pay for expenses. Surely, if there is to be any serious attempt to prevent fraud, the women traveling to get an abortion would have to be identified and verified before federal funds are distributed, right? Does Baldwin consider it good public policy for the federal government to collect the names of women getting abortions? Would not the IRS need to know that they received material income so that it could be appropriately taxed?


Third, Baldwin completely ignores the rights of state voters to regulate abortion as they see fit. While Baldwin may disagree with how some states restrict abortion, it is not the role of the federal government or taxpayers to pay people to travel to states where the laws are to her personal liking. By that same logic, there should be a federal program to bus people to the marijuana dispensaries of Michigan or the heroin dens of California.


Finally, consider how unserious this bill is in the face of all of the problems currently facing our nation. Wisconsinites are suffering under the weight of inflation. Heating bills are way up as the winter is just getting started. Housing, food, clothing, fuel, medical care, and almost everything else that people need are far more expensive than they were even a year ago as their paychecks are not keeping up.


The southern border is awash with a soft invasion of people from all over the world. China is choking supply chains. Russia is rattling their nuclear saber. There is a rabid assault on free speech by government and business elites. Economic inequity continues to surge as billionaires consolidate wealth. Left unchecked, the national debt will destabilize our nation and the entitlements upon which many Americans rely are on the brink of insolvency.


With all of that going on, Baldwin is spending her time trying to get taxpayers to pay the travel expenses of women to get abortions. Wisconsin deserves better.


1924, 15 December 2022


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