Yet Another Politician Mansplains Why Tampons & Diapers Should Be Taxed

tamponsLooks like the latest battle in the war against the so-called "pink tax" has unfortunately been lost: Two bills that would have lifted the tax on diapers and tampons were vetoed on Tuesday in the state of California by Governor Jerry Brown. Why? Because of the estimated $35 million loss of revenue these tax breaks would cause, according to Brown ... but considering the fact that California doesn't tax things that are a lot less important than diapers or tampons (like candy), this decision certainly seems like an indication that Brown considers these very essential items to be nonessential -- and his excuse seems an awful lot like, well, an excuse.

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Supporters of Assembly 1561 argued that taxes on feminine hygiene products are, essentially, a tax on women, while the backers of Assembly Bill 717 pointed out that parents have no choice but to buy diapers (obviously!). But in a veto message (Brown also nixed five other measures, including one that would have given tax relief to those with mortgage debt), the governor focused solely on finances:

Tax breaks are the same as new spending -- they both cost the General Fund money. As such, they must be considered during budget deliberations so that all spending proposals are weighed against each other at the same time. This is even more important when the state's budget remains precariously balanced. Therefore, I cannot sign these measures.

Okay, saving the state money is fine, but why should women (and parents) have to suffer for it? Or as tampon bill author Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, put it on Twitter, "Please #mansplain why it's ok to balance the budget on women's backs?"

More from CafeMom: No More Taxes on Diapers & Tampons: About. Damn. Time.

Of course, it's not okay -- not at all. But the fact that it's happening is just proof that we're a long, long way from true gender equality. As Garcia said in a statement, Brown is "on the wrong side of history."

"Today Governor Brown sent a clear message to all women in California. He told us periods are a luxury for women. Let me be clear; biologically periods are not luxuries and they are definitely not something women should be ashamed of."

More from CafeMom: The Tampon Tax Is Becoming a Thing of the Past -- About Bloody Time

Governor Brown is sending another message, too -- that women's health is not a priority, that the well-being of families and children is secondary to the bottom line, and that human beings are nothing but dollar signs. Perhaps if Brown -- and other lawmakers like him -- were forced to buy diapers or feminine hygiene products on a regular basis, they'd have a different perspective. Perhaps, then, our laws would sufficiently reflect the needs of the people.

Perhaps that's why we need more women in office.

 

Image via anique/Flickr 

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