I saw Sheriff Scott Jones speak on Monday. This is the first time I have heard him speak since announcing his run for Congress. Jones is a champion of Second Amendment issues and was comfortable talking about everything touching on this issue.
When he fielded questions on abortion and federal funding of Planned Parenthood he stumbled badly.
First Jones said he was pro-choice and later corrected himself—after some audience prompting—that he was pro-life.
When asked about Planned Parenthood funding he gave a really peculiar answer—one that frankly can’t withstand any scrutiny.
He said he would withhold funding if PP couldn’t differentiate between abortions and other services that they provide to women. If Congress could fund women’s services except abortion, he would be OK with federal funding of PP.
Jones is trying to sound reasonable to the pro-choice crowd but this answer is a steaming load of …. and he knows it. In government, it’s not what you do but what you call it. Bureaucrats think in terms of funding and categories. If Jones voted to partially fund Planned Parenthood, all PP would have to do is a few simple budget gimmicks and they could be whole with no changes to their business model.
Let’s use a real world, non-abortion example.
Several years ago, California implemented a temporary sales tax (there’s an oxymoron for you) following a serious earthquake. Then when the tax was due to expire, the Dems said, let’s extend the tax and designate the revenue for law enforcement. This of course sounded good, so it passed. (Voters are so easy to fool.) But what really happened? If you said nothing, then you’re right.
The vast majority of counties in California—and there’s 58 of ‘em—had no funding increase in law enforcement. Surprise! They took the sales tax money and gave it to law enforcement as they were supposed to but then they took away other revenue and gave it to other departments in their counties. Other counties took the funds and spent them on road improvement and things like that. Their justification was that cops need roads to respond to emergency calls.
Bottom Line: No counties hired additional officers or did anything meaningful to improve public safety.
So if Jones agrees to only partially fund Planned Parenthood, how can I claim that they will be fully funded?
It’s simple. Planned Parenthood moves some budget numbers around and then increases the amount of money they need from the government. By boosting the amount requested for the other services, Planned Parenthood will be fully funded.
Remember that in Washington, budgeting doesn’t work like the real world. You ask for money and if you get less funding than you asked for then that is a budget cut—even when you get more than last year.
Suppose Homeland Security wants a seven percent increase for the next fiscal year. They end-up getting five percent from Congress. In Washington speak; Homeland Security suffered a two percent budget cut for next year—even though they got five percent more money.
In like manner, Planned Parenthood can play budget games and still be fully funded. As a bonus they get the public relations opportunity to claim that they suffered a huge budget cut at the hands of heartless Republicans while laughing all the way to the bank.
Jones knows that this is how the game is played which is why his answer is so weak. It’s disappointing, but I think he would be better than the current officeholder.