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The one and fairness

Armstrong Williams | 5/23/2012, 7:12 p.m.
At Thanksgiving, embracing the winds of change and increasing our faith

As grateful as I am for President Barack Obama's profound, nonsensical meditations on the meaning of hope, I am even more grateful that the one has come to make the world fair and to tell us what fairness really means.

Obama has spent a lot of his time lately discussing fairness, and if you're completely ignorant of the facts of this world, it sounds great. However, like with his babbling about hope and change, the whole point of it is vagueness so that he can once again be all things to all men; the clearer he is about what he wants, the more uncomfortable the American people get.

Even in the hope and change days--ah, those heady days of wine and roses, they are not long--he claimed to have some exclusive access to fairness, some unique understanding of it that others simply do not possess. Take, for example, that infamous back-and-forth with Charlie Gibson in which he said that, even if it would bring in less revenue, he would still raise taxes on the wealthy for the sake of "fairness." He has no qualms about the fairness of willingly hurting the economy--just so long as he punishes those who have been blessed with material prosperity; his contribution to the justice of the world is to hurt people.

As with so many other concepts--hope, equality, morality--the Democrats equivocate and change what it means.

Traditionally, fairness means giving everyone equal treatment--equal protection under the law or, as conservatives often specify, equality of opportunity. The rule of law is inherently fair because the law, like God, is no respecter of persons. Obama frequently says that he supports "everyone playing by the same rules" in order to justify making everyone play by different rules.

Proportionality should take a pinnacle position in fairness policies. A person who has very little should be required to give very little. A person who has very much should be required to give very much, but on a proportional basis. If a person has $100 billion and they're required to give 10 percent of it, then they will give $10 billion. If they have only $100 and are required to give 10 percent, than they will give $10. Each would have been required to give an equal proportion of their means and each should be entitled to the same rights and privileges.

The president says these things in the context of raising taxes on the wealthy--and not all the wealthy, just wealthy investors whose income primarily comes from capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate than other forms of income. How much more dishonest can one man be?! It's not just class warfare, but even within the upper class, he is dividing people up! You cannot say "everyone should play by the same rules" and then advocate a punishing, redistributive, progressive income tax in which people are divided up by classes, with different rules for each class.

But, as I've written before, the Democrats take their complaints with God to the altar of government. To say that it is not "fair" that someone live in poverty while others are wealthy or--to use a more melodramatic example from Nancy Pelosi--that "women die on the floor," is a complaint to God; it is to ask for a theodicy.