MADISON, Wis. - Of all the crazy provisions of the “tax reform” proposals now before Congress, the craziest is one to remove the tax credit families receive when they adopt a child.
The deduction is currently worth about $13,000 a year. It helps defray adoption expenses that can run about $30,000 a year (I have no idea why it costs this much, but the credit helps defray the initial cost; the upkeep of a kid is, of course, more expensive).
The proposal may not exist by the time you read this. The Senate released its tax plan Thursday and leaves the credit alone. The House of Representatives is thinking of scrapping the proposal.
But, at least at the time I'm writing this, the proposal is here. The House Republicans want to take away the incentive for adopting a kid.
What I want to know is how such an insane idea ever got into Republican heads in the first place. Democrats don't count in this issue because the Republicans are freezing them out of the tax debate.
I get most Republican reasoning on taxes. The reasoning suggests that if you give corporations and wealthy individuals enough money they will invest it in new businesses that will hire Americans to produce new products and we will all be better off financially.
I see no evidence that this is true, but I do understand the concept.
But Republicans also stand for something else: they, almost to a candidate, oppose abortion. That hasn't always been true. It is true today.
What they don't want to do, apparently, is to lift a finger to help a woman who chooses not to have an abortion.
They are doing what they can to assist corporations that refuse to include birth control in company insurance programs. They have, for the time being, at least, killed a federal insurance program that protects children once they are born.
And, now, they want to make it more expensive for families who do want children to adopt.
You have to excuse me if I don't take all this sanctimonious talk about how Republicans love the unborn terribly seriously.
They may like the political issue. But when it comes to a choice between the well-being of a baby and the well-being of a corporation, they'll choose the corporation every time.
Or, at least, until they get caught.
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