Carroll County Times

Tom Zirpoli: We deserve same rights as corporations

Many Republicans in Congress want to pass a law allowing corporations the right to deny contraceptive services to women on their health insurance plans if the corporation is morally opposed to birth control. The law they are trying to pass is not limited to religious groups. Indeed, according to the House version of the bill, any corporation may deny contraceptive coverage in their health-care plans based upon a moral objection.

Interestingly, Republicans have not discussed giving corporations the right to deny coverage for Viagra or other medications for men. But I digress.

If Congress allows corporations to avoid providing contraceptive services to women in their insurance plans, I think they should allow the rest of us to avoid paying for things with our tax dollars that we morally oppose. After all, Mitt Romney said that corporations are people.

If A equals B, then B must equal A, and that can only mean that people are corporations.

Thus, according to the Romney rule, we should all enjoy the rights and privileges that Congress wants corporations to enjoy.

If corporations can object to how their money is spent, certainly we should have the same rights.

For example, I'm morally against spending $600 billion on the Pentagon year after year as we cut funding for education programs for our children and health services for our elderly.

I also have a moral objection to purchasing billions of dollars for tanks and jets the Pentagon says it doesn't need.

If Congress is concerned about moral objections, it should give me, and everyone else, the right of opting out of paying for objectionable items in the federal budget. My personal religion calls me to care for the poor. Thus, I want to direct most of my tax dollars to social services to better care for the poor.

If corporations have the right to opt out of paying for birth control as part of their health insurance plans, what other options will Congress allow them? After all, some religions don't believe in medical interventions at all. Will CEOs become more religious as a way to save their corporations money on health insurance plans?

I'm morally against sending international aid to countries that discriminate against women.

Can I have my tax dollars excluded from these payments? I'd rather target some of my tax dollars to health-care clinics for poor women in Texas, where Republicans, in their continued war against women, just voted to cut all funding for Planned Parenthood clinics, even those that don't perform abortions.

Also, I don't want my tax dollars going to pay for elaborate health-care plans for members of Congress who voted against the Affordable Care Act. After all, if they don't want to help the poor among us to secure appropriate health care, why should I help pay for their very generous government health-care plan?

Americans should be given a checklist of items and services that our government funds with our tax dollars. Each of us would then have the choice of checking which items and services we find objectionable. Then, that money can be redirected to the items and services we support.

I find the current system of paying for things I'm morally against, morally objectionable. It is only fair that Congress give each of us the same options they want to provide corporations.