The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

11 April 2006

Can you stop at ten?

Human Events Online has issued its list of the 10 Most Harmful Government Programs, and even if you're way over on the conservative side, you might find it more than slightly arguable. Tied for fifth, for instance, is "contraception funding," with the ominous notation that "Planned Parenthood, a major recipient of Title X funding, is also a major abortion provider." Which is true, but which doesn't have any particular bearing on Title X itself, unless you see contraception and abortion as merely two aspects of the same process, which strikes me as something of an oversimplification. I suspect the social conservatives rated this as highly heinous, the fiscal conservatives blew it off, and it wound up in the middle by default.

More startling than the inclusions, though, are some of the exclusions. Farm subsidies are mentioned, but farm subsidies are only a small subset of corporate welfare generally. And there's no reference at all to the way-beyond-futile Drug War.

The best thing about the list, I think, is the fact that they actually asked the offices in charge of the programs to cite their Constitutional authority. Some of them didn't even try.

(Spotted at Reason's Hit & Run.)

Posted at 4:14 PM to Political Science Fiction

Even if one doesn't have a problem with government funding of contraception, money is fungible, and the money PP receives from taxpayers for less controversial programs frees up funds from PP donors to be used for providing abortions, lobbying against pro-life legislation, and other more controversial activities.

Posted by: Michael Bates at 11:40 AM on 12 April 2006

Which is also true; however, this would be true were PP getting funding from any Federal program, not just Title X. I have no fondness for Planned Parenthood, but absent any indication to the contrary, I'm assuming they're adhering to the letter (if not necessarily the spirit) of the law.

Posted by: CGHill at 11:50 AM on 12 April 2006