Ever pooled money with a group of people for pizza? Five bucks a head and someone calls out a big order. It can be a little tricky since not everyone likes the same toppings, but with a little effort, it can be made to work. A veggie pizza here, a pepperoni there, maybe the chicken pizza has olives only on one half of it. Pretty soon everyone who's pitched in their five dollars is satisfied.
Of course, the guy who wants the veggie might be irritated that someone in the group was eating meat. But what's he going to do? Force his ethics on others? No matter how morally sure he is of his beliefs, it wouldn't fly for him to try to control what others are doing. His $5 hardly buys him the right to tell everyone else what they can or can't eat. Chipping in buys him the right to ask that a little bit of the pizza is something he'd enjoy, but it doesn't give him the right to veto what others might like.
So now let's talk about another kind of pie: The national budget.
Why do people say silly things like “I don't want my tax dollars going toward abortion”? Why aren't they laughed out of town for such a ridiculous statement? It's fine for them to say something like “I want a few of my tax dollars to go to funding something I do like,” but unless they're paying a lot more than I'm sure they are in taxes, they just haven't bought the right to control what others are chipping in for.
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Originally published September 30, 2009 at Open Salon, where I wrote under my own name, Kent Pitman.
Tags (from Open Salon): taking responsibility, overpopulation, pregnancy, unwanted pregnancy, pro-choice, pro-life, anti-choice, anti-abortion, pro-abortion, short-sighted, selfish, separately coded, separate account, federal funds, state funds, tax deduction, tax credit, my tax dollars, single payer, health care, public option, abortion rights, abortion, sharing, pizza, economics, funding, pluralism, politics, family planning, planned parenthood