It's not enough to criminalize poverty. It's not enough to defund public radio. It's not enough to try to repeal what health care reform we were able to get. No, now we have the US House of Representatives passing legislation requiring the IRS to audit abortions. And no, I am NOT exaggerating.
Under a GOP-backed bill expected to sail through the House of Representatives, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to police how Americans have paid for their abortions. To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt?
In testimony to a House taxation subcommittee on Wednesday, Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff of the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee, confirmed that one consequence of the Republicans' "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" would be to turn IRS agents into abortion cops—that is, during an audit, they'd have to detemine, from evidence provided by the taxpayer, whether any tax benefit had been inappropriately used to pay for an abortion.
Digby has already warned about how they're using HR3 as a negotiating tool to codify the Hyde amendment, but it seems as though they're very serious about making sure not one penny of federal money goes to abortions. So serious they're writing in provisions for IRS auditors to request evidence of any abortions performed. Not only that, but in their zeal, it appears they could actually even attack payments from HSAs for it.
Yes, it is tax jihadism, right here in the US of A.