Congress has apparently been considering a “Bo-Tax” on cosmetic surgeries. It should come as no surprise to anyone who pays attention to politics that the average person undergoing such a procedure is not a wealthy socialite, and the idea that this would be a tax on the rich is ridiculous.
Roth, a plastic surgeon at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., said it “would be a discriminatory tax against women,” noting that 86 percent of patients are female and 91 percent are of working age between 19 and 64.
He also disputed the notion it would be a “tax on the wealthy,” noting most patients earn less than $100,000 a year. “People put money aside for years, sometimes weekly under-the-mattress deductions” to get the surgery they want, he said.
If it is permissible for Congress to tax particular medical procedure, then what’s preventing a special tax on abortions? How much meddling in private affairs are citizens willing to put up with before it becomes too much?
…Susan R. Estrich and Kathleen M. Sullivan have stated: “Whatever position one takes on the decision to [publicly fund abortions], it is surely different than a state policy which seeks to ‘encourage childbirth’ by taxing abortion. Even assuming that rewards may be appropriate to secure the end of childbirth, punishments should not.”
Legally, it seems the government is allowed to levy a tax as long as it doesn’t impose a substantial burden.
…under current law, a tax targeted at abortions would be difficult to sustain. Under Casey, states may not impose regulations that place an “undue burden” on a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy. A law creates an “undue burden” where it has “the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.” Any abortion tax large enough to raise a meaningful amount of revenue would likely increase the cost of abortions sufficiently to constitute an “undue burden” under this test.
In other words, if the tax was high enough to raise enough money so it would be worth pissing off constituents, it would be too high to be legal. Some people might go as far as saying that Congress should concentrate on ways to spend less money, rather than try to squeeze more and more of it from people who don’t have any.