Communities

Here’s 7 Ridiculous Things Congress Should Defund Instead of Planned Parenthood

by Heather Dockray

September 3, 2015
Image via Flickr user Women's eNews

Yesterday, anti-abortion group The Center for Medical Progress released its ninth video, accusing Planned Parenthood of selling intact aborted fetuses that just “fell out of the womb.” And while nearly all of CMP’s claims have been debunked, the videos have had serious, and costly, consequences for the healthcare provider. Earlier this summer, Senate Republicans embarked on a vicious campaign to defund the organization, and Congressional hearings begin next week. Multiple presidential candidates have pledged to defund Planned Parenthood, and state assaults are already well underway.

But many question why Planned Parenthood—the organization allegedly responsible for 11.4 million women’s health services in 2011—is the program being targeted. After all, only 3 percent of the services Planned Parenthood provides are (reportedly, controversially) abortions. 35 percent of all services are STI screenings, and another 35 percent involve contraception. 79 percent of the women the organization serves live at the poverty level. Close to a million women every year reportedly receive pap smear and breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. Are there some organizations that might—just might—be more worthy of defunding?

Of course. Here’s a look at seven of them. 

 

Image via Wikimedia

Peanuts. Yes, peanuts. Subsidies to the dairy, peanuts, and sugar industry cost taxpayers close to $2.85 billion a year. But this assistance doesn’t go to mom-and-pop peanut farmers. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, most of the subsidies benefit the wealthiest 1% of farmers.

Direct federal subsidies to corporations. According to The Cato Institute, federal subsidies to corporations cost taxpayers close to $100 billion per year. Among the recipients? Low-income companies like Boeing, Alcoa, and General Motors.

Dead people. Close to 6.5 million people who are over 112-years-old have Social Security numbers and collect payments from the government. Yet, according to The Washington Post, only 35 people worldwide had achieved that age as of October 2013. Logical conclusion: they are vampires.

Image via Wikimedia

Corporate jets. Every year, Congress looks deep into their hearts, and makes the compassionate choice to fund the long-struggling corporate jet industry, costing taxpayers approximately $3 billion per year.

Second Homes. Tax deductions for second homes cost an estimated $8 billion dollars a year. But can Americans really be expected to live on just one home alone? What kind of life is that?

Tax breaks for people who make more than $465,000 per year. Hedge fund managers receive special tax breaks allowing them to pay just a 15% rate, whereas the people who work for them usually pay around 35%. According to the The National Priorities Project, this costs taxpayers more than $83 billion annually, and 68 percent of these managers are in the top 1%, earning more than $462,500 annually.

Image via Wikimedia

Turkey Hunts. During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, USAID (United States Agency for International Development) spent close to $1.1 million on the all-important “staff party with snacks.” Parties and agency retreats included such critical agenda items as carriage rides, private safari tours, and guided turkey hunts.The Washington Post reports that attendees were also able to use taxpayer money to take Xtreme driving courses.

The first Planned Parenthood hearing begins next week, but at least we can sleep easy tonight, knowing that our turkey hunts have been, and will be, protected.

 

(h/t The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post)

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Here’s 7 Ridiculous Things Congress Should Defund Instead of Planned Parenthood