ONTD Political

I swear, Texas, you are on a race to the bottom...

1:14 pm - 01/31/2013

Texas GOP wants to offer tax breaks to companies that defy contraception mandate

The bill would give businesses a state tax break if they chose not to comply with the birth control benefit

Texas Republicans have introduced a bill that would turn the state into a safe haven for corporate tax dodgers and contraception insurance benefit avoiders.

As reported y Jessica Mason Pieklo at RH Reality Check:

House Bill 649, introduced by Rep. Jonathan Strickland (R-Bedford) would give for-profit businesses like Hobby Lobby a state tax break if they chose not to comply with the birth control benefit in Obamacare. Under the rule businesses that refuse to comply with the mandate face up to a $100 penalty fine per employee per day. Strickland’s bill would allow those businesses to claim a state tax break for the amount it must pay in penalties, up to the total the business owes in its total state tax bill. In other words, Texans would subsidize for-profit businesses seeking to break the law.

As Mason Pieklo notes, besides being obvious Tea Party bait (Texas is pro-business, at any cost!), the bill also indulges in the Lone Star State GOP’s other favorite pastime: Throwing reproductive rights under the bus. Texas remains on the warpath against Planned Parenthood, and as Salon’s Irin Carmon writes, low-income women’s healthcare continues to hang in the balance.

But there may be a constitutional bump in the road ahead for Republican lawmakers:

To be considered constitutional, a state tax generally cannot discriminate against interstate commerce. Broadly speaking, th Supreme Court has taken that to mean hat any tax which, by its terms or operations, imposes greater burdens on out-of-state goods, activities, or enterprises than on any competing in-state goods, activities or enterprises violates the Commerce Clause and will be struck down. The basic logic of this conclusion is pretty clear –states shouldn’t be able to simply preference their own industries at the expense of others if those industries touch or are part of national commerce.

By offering to waive state corporate tax liability in exchange for intentionally disobeying federal law mandating the birth control benefit, Rep. Strickland’s proposal is testing the extreme limits of the 10th Amendment, Mason Pieklo argues. And if the bill does manage to pass through the Legislature, it could be struck down for that reason. If not? The bill could serve as a boon to the “ever-rightward [shift of] the national framing of state and federal power.”

Texas, we know stupid

I swear, if I could afford it, I'd move out of this state so fast I'd make the roadrunner look like a turtle.

mollywobbles867 31st-Jan-2013 09:54 pm (UTC)
I love feeling like a second class citizen.

masakochan 31st-Jan-2013 09:57 pm (UTC)
I swear, if I could afford it, I'd move out of this state so fast I'd make the roadrunner look like a turtle.

You and me both.
girl_fusion 31st-Jan-2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
ultraelectric 31st-Jan-2013 10:01 pm (UTC)
omfg wtf.... just seriously? like, fuck.

Go fuck yourselves.
vulturoso 31st-Jan-2013 10:03 pm (UTC)
The linguistic gymnastics these guys have to do to justify their bigotry... it's actually quite impressive. Imagine if they put that effort towards actually improving the lives of their constituents?
nitasee 31st-Jan-2013 10:23 pm (UTC)
What are you talking about? They do improve the lives of their constituents. It's just their constituents are corporate, not the hoi polloi. Best government money can buy.
vulturoso 31st-Jan-2013 11:19 pm (UTC)
I suppose I meant constituents of the non-sarcastic variety.
nitasee 1st-Feb-2013 07:23 pm (UTC)
I think those constituents only count during election time.
roseofjuly 31st-Jan-2013 10:24 pm (UTC)

2. Even if it did, you don't get to decide what I do with my body, *I* get to decide
3. It is also not an affront to your religious freedom. Even if you were actually paying for contraception (which you aren't - my labor is paying), there is nothing in Catholic or Protestant Christian tenets that says that you are not allowed to pay for someone else's contraception, only that you aren't supposed to use it yourself.
4. It is certainly not an affront to your free speech. The government is NOT penalizing you for thinking that contraception is bad. You can think and say that until you're blue in the face for all I care. (Hobby Lobby is using freedom of speech as an argument in their lawsuit against the Obama administration.)
5. This is why employer-provided health insurance sucks, because it makes employers think that they get to decide what kind of health I am entitled to and mistakenly believe that they are entitled to paternalistically make healthcare decisions for me
6. They also believe that we are supposed to be gratefully groveling on the floor, thanking them for the generosity to give us health insurance at all.

and best of all

7. How the fuck are you going to give someone a tax break for breaking the law?
emofordino 31st-Jan-2013 11:07 pm (UTC)
this is a beautiful comment.
tabaqui 31st-Jan-2013 11:25 pm (UTC)
+1 million.
moonshaz 31st-Jan-2013 10:26 pm (UTC)
I think this could use more tags. Suggestions:

birth control
reproductive rights
women's health

Edited at 2013-01-31 10:28 pm (UTC)
nitasee 31st-Jan-2013 10:33 pm (UTC)
Birth control was already there, but I added the other tags.
moonshaz 1st-Feb-2013 07:16 am (UTC)
Oh, sorry! I should have read more carefully. Glad you used the other suggestions, though! :)
moonshaz 31st-Jan-2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't this amount to the state of TX offering financial rewards for breaking Federal law?

If so, I'm thinking the Feds will probably take them to court IF this is enacted into law. At least, I certainly hope so!
carmy_w 31st-Jan-2013 10:36 pm (UTC)
1. I am so glad I don't live in Texas any more. Not that Kansas is much, if any, better on the reproductive justice scale, but still.

2. If I did still live there, I'd be having very pleasant dreams of taking a carpet knife (you know, with that nice hooked blade!) to all these assholes and ensuring that their interest in reproduction of any sort is only theoretical.

(my apologies to anyone who winces at that metaphor)
nitasee 31st-Jan-2013 10:47 pm (UTC)
1. You have Sam Brownback, so I can't see that Kansas is an improvement. Your governor and mine (Perry) and Jindal are in a three-way-tie for Who's the Biggest Asshole.

You have my sympathies.

2. Your metaphor is no worse than my usual: castration with a rusty sardine can lid. I find the additional threat of tetanus to be a nice added touch.
carmy_w 31st-Jan-2013 10:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks, and right back at you on the sympathy!

layweed 31st-Jan-2013 10:53 pm (UTC)
I am so fucking glad that I am so busy with work that I am too tired to read/deal with anything from the 83rd Legislature.
tabaqui 31st-Jan-2013 11:27 pm (UTC)
Pretty much every petty, bullshite bill, law, mandate, WHATEVER that the GOP has introduced for the last friggin...i dunno...decade just makes me want to scream and smack people.

Just...FUCK. YOU.
foureyedgirl 1st-Feb-2013 12:38 am (UTC)
I hate living here SFM. Please accept me colorado state. I need to gtfo of here. I'm not even surprised by this shit.
rainbow_fish 1st-Feb-2013 12:42 am (UTC)
Lmao and just yesterday I was kinda missing Texas because of that post on the mothership.

I was rooting for you, Tejas!
effervescent 1st-Feb-2013 01:57 am (UTC)
How can they not understand that this is to the BENEFIT of the whole country and society? No country needs unwanted babies, especially ones that are likely being born to people who probably have very good reasons for not having them!

Ugh, I am so fucking TIRED of these politicians (mostly men) who make it clear that obviously women should stop being such slutty sluts who want to have sex without babies!
ljtaylor 1st-Feb-2013 09:47 am (UTC)
all babies are a precious gift from god! a precious future taxpaying gift!

or they would be, if these folks actually gave a damn about them once they were out of the womb.
sarien 1st-Feb-2013 03:01 am (UTC)
Moving back to California at the end of this year. Seriously, fuck this state.
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