Politics & Policy

Spreading the Wealth?

Random thoughts on the passing scene

Like so many people, in so many countries, who started out to “spread the wealth,” Barack Obama has ended up spreading poverty.

Have you ever heard anyone as incoherent as the people staging protests across the country? Taxpayers ought to be protesting against having their money spent to educate people who end up unable to say anything beyond repeating political catchphrases.

#ad# It is hard to understand politics if you are hung up on reality. Politicians leave reality to others. What matters in politics is what you can get the voters to believe, whether it bears any resemblance to reality or not.

I hate getting bills that show a zero balance. If I don’t owe anything, why bother me with a bill? There is too much junk mail already.

Radical feminists seem to assume that men are hostile to women. But what would they say to the fact that most of the women on the Titanic were saved, and most of the men perished — due to rules written by men and enforced by men on the sinking ship?

If he were debating Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich could chew him up and spit him out.

Whether the particular issue is housing, medical care, or anything in between, the agenda of the Left is to take the decision out of the hands of those directly involved and transfer that decision to third parties, who pay no price for making decisions that turn out to be counterproductive.

It is truly the era of the New Math when a couple making $125,000 a year each are taxed at rates that are said to apply to “millionaires and billionaires.”

On many issues, the strongest argument of the Left is that there is no argument. This has been the Left’s party line on the issue of man-made global warming and the calamities they claim will follow. But there are many scientists — some with Nobel Prizes — who have repudiated the global-warming hysteria.

With professional athletes earning megabucks incomes, it is a farce to punish their violations of rules with fines. When Serena Williams was fined $2,000 for misconduct during a tennis match, that was like fining you or me a nickel or a dime. Suspensions are something that even the highest-paid athletes can feel.

Most of us may lament the fact that so many more people are today dependent on food stamps and other government subsidies. But dependency usually translates into votes for whoever is handing out the benefits, so an economic disaster can be a political bonanza, as it was for Franklin D. Roosevelt. Don’t count Obama out in 2012.

Politicians can solve almost any problem — usually by creating a bigger problem. But, so long as the voters are aware of the problem that the politicians have solved, and unaware of the bigger problems they have created, political “solutions” are a political success.

Do people who advocate special government programs for blacks realize that the federal government has had special programs for American Indians, including affirmative action, since the early 19th century — and that American Indians remain one of the few groups worse off than blacks?

I hope the people who are challenging Obamacare in the Supreme Court point out that the equal application of the laws, mandated by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, is violated when the president can arbitrarily grant hundreds of waivers to the Obamacare law to his political favorites, while everyone else has to follow its costly provisions.

People who live within their means are increasingly being forced to pay for people who didn’t live within their means — whether individual home buyers here or whole nations in Europe.

Regardless of how the current Republican presidential nomination process ends, I hope that they will never again have these televised “debates” among a crowd of candidates, which just turn into a circular firing squad — damaging whoever ends up with the nomination, and leaving the voters knowing only who is quickest with glib answers.

Have you noticed that we no longer seem to be hearing the old familiar argument that illegal aliens are just taking jobs that Americans won’t do?

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. © 2011 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Thomas Sowell — Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author, whose books include Basic Economics. He is currently senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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