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Public Stem-Cell Research July 17, 2006

Posted by federalist in Government Spending, Social Politics, Taxation.

Liberal hubris on display again today on the Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial page.  Today’s editorial addresses the subject of Stem-Cell Legislation with the revealing title, “So what’s left to debate?”:

The Bush rules were morally inconsistent, hamstringing five years of U.S. academic research while letting drug companies do what they pleased. Reasserting this stand now ignores the big changes since 2001 in the politics and science of stem cells.

This is not moral inconsistency.  It is revealing that the left-wing can’t see the nuance in rejecting public funding for something while letting private entities engage in that practice.  We have seen this myopia before: Liberals couldn’t understand why taxpayers would object to NEA funding of art that offends many people.  Or why taxpayers shouldn’t be required to fund abortions even though abortion is legal.

“So what’s left to debate” on federal stem-cell research funding? Simple: Should we coerce every citizen into funding a practice that many consider morally repugnant?

Granted, that would not be without precedent: Defense funding is morally repugnant to many citizens, yet we tax individuals to provide for that public good.

However, I would point out that only our federal government can provide for the common defense, whereas there are already many private, state, and foreign institutions funding stem-cell research in ways that violate the rules for federal funding.

So here’s the debate: Is stem-cell research both such a compelling public good and so difficult to undertake without federal funding that federal government should force all citizens to contribute to it regardless of their ethical objections?



1. federalist - July 23, 2006

WSJ, July 23 page A9, says five states have created specific human embryonic stem-cell research funds: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey. It’s federalism in action!

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