Having always had a healthy respect for the proper use and etymology of words, I get a bit miffed when a perfectly decent word becomes inextricably linked to some current fad, ruining it for the foreseeable future. You know, like “Twilight”.
Now, a word that we’ve all used since grammar school, a word that meant “freedom from bias or dishonesty”, has now been morphed into something radically different. That word is “fairness”.
And its new definition is “stuff Obama likes”.
Our Wordsmith-in-Chief has been pushing the fairness thing so hard I’m surprised that Wikipedia hasn’t updated their entry. But its usage allows him to continually carp about the Bush tax cuts, and tax breaks for oil companies. It lets him turn a blind eye to religious freedom being destroyed by Obamacare. It’s why his budgets (which keep getting voted down by both parties) spend trillions more than we possess. And it’s why he is now pushing for the so-called Buffett Rule (named in honor of Warren Buffett, for those of you that didn’t know) with such fervor.
In each instance, he’s being “fair”, you see, …and his ever-growing list of targets isn’t:
- religiously-affiliated companies,
- the Supreme Court,
- small businesses,
- Wall Street,
- coal companies,
- David & Charles Koch,
- Las Vegas,
- Rush Limbaugh,
- South Carolina,
- people who put gas in their cars,
- and stay-at-home moms…just to name a very few.
***Speaking of the Buffet Rule: if you suspected by now that it won’t make a fig of difference to our debt or deficit, you’d be right.***
President Fairness’ fascination with populist fluff like the Buffett Rule merely keeps us from addressing the Godzilla-sized problem in the room: we spend too much $$$$$. We could take every dime from the wealthiest among us and it wouldn’t even come close to fixing our problem, which was illustrated in Bill Whittle’s classic take-down, Eat The Rich (…it’s really, really good. Bring popcorn…..)
Spending more than you have is not being “fair”; it’s called being a spendthrift. We’re broke and getting broker every day, …and a hundred Buffett Rules won’t fix that. When, and ONLY when, we actually face-up to our squandering ways will this change. Otherwise, we will have doomed our kids and grand-kids to harder, leaner existences than ones with which we’ve been blessed.
And there’s nothing “fair” about that.
UPDATE – There is an old analogy which lays out the inherent unfairness of our current tax system, but a better (though much more complex) explanation was written last year by Kip Hagopian, which you can read here.
Take your time: it is not a quick read, but it’s worth it.
UPDATE #2 – The Buffett Rule was just voted down in the Senate, as expected. It was never truly in doubt, which backs up my main point: Obama just wanted to use this as a talking point for the campaign.