SOCIAL ISSUES & THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
Recently there was feed back from a Republican voter about social issues and the Republican Party. This person wished that the Party would drop all discussion of social issues and just focus on fiscal issues. That is a constant complaint heard throughout the Party. Before we review some history it is certainly true that not every citizen agrees with how government spends money or mandates how money is spent. However, for most expenditures, there is majority consensus.
The social issue that has been the most controversial is abortion. Prior to 1973, states decided on abortion law and services. In 1973, the Supreme Court stepped in and declared that abortion was legal throughout the United States. There was no opportunity for citizens to mobilize in individual states regarding abortion rights and have a vote on the issue. Something else happened after the court decision.
Planned Parenthood started receiving money from the government in 1970 for provision of contraceptive services. In 1973, the money started going toward abortion services. The Government Accountability Office found that between 2010 and 2012 Planned Parenthood and its affiliates received $1.5 Billion in taxpayer money overall when state funds received through Medicaid are included.
Clinics in Iowa, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Montana and New Hampshire received $655,192 in grants from the Department of Health and Human Services to serve as Obamacare Navigators. Money is fungible. Income at Planned Parenthood can be used for whatever the organization wants.
Planned Parenthood has revenues in excess of $87.4M and total assets of $1.2B. When government is funding Planned Parenthood, this is a fiscal issue. This is also a Democrat issue. The Democrat Party has pushed this “social” issue. The only problem is that this social issue costs money which all citizens pay regardless of their beliefs about the issue. It is never publicized that a majority of
Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
Obamacare has created more controversial social issues. Private companies that as a matter of conscience do not want to provide abortifacient medications have been ordered by the government to provide such medications. The issue has gone to the courts. Again, this social issue requires that someone pay for someone else’s agenda in matters of conscience.
Gay marriage is a social issue. Again, this issue has been pushed by courts. Individual states have voted on this issue. The result of their votes has been negated. Judges have made the decision for millions of people. The “social” issue becomes an issue for citizens who are in disagreement with court decisions and whose votes are ignored.
The social issues that Republicans are constantly hammered on are issues because they have been pushed by the Democrat Party and they either cost money and/or go against the deeply held beliefs of many citizens.
When a deeper study of “social” issues is made it becomes apparent that all of these issues are the result of incremental government interference in the lives of citizens and a continual elimination of states rights.
MOSQUITO VECTOR ASSESSMENT
Property Owners in Sonoma and Marin Counties have received ballots regarding a proposed Mosquito, Vector and Disease Control Assessment by the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District. The plan, which requires a majority vote for approval, increases the tax for most people by $12.86 per year. Existing assessments average $22 per year. The proposed plan could also increase the assessment by five percent a year.
The District is governed by a Board of Trustees from Sonoma and Marin counties and the cities within the counties. The top executive is Phil Smith who earns $161,000 a year.
Mr. Smith reports that next year’s budget includes $2.8 Million to pay for pension and retiree health liability with $2 Million going for retiree health.
Two members of the board are protesting the ballot effort. They state that the tax increase is being asked for because of the unfunded liability of the Marin County pension fund. The mosquito district is a member of the county retirement system.
The assessment would result in property owners paying 59% more to finance the operations of the District and includes paying down $13.1 Million in retiree liability.
Using the facade of “improved mosquito, vector and disease control services” to pay retiree liability” is absolutely wrong.
The District should address the pension problem directly with a sustainable proposed solution.
The Sonoma County Republican Central Committee has a resolution in place against tax increases. This Assessment is a tax increase to cover retiree liabilities masquerading as mosquito control.
Voters in Sonoma County are urged to vote NO on the proposed assessment.