Whoah! Spin alert...

jbone at place.org jbone at place.org
Mon Nov 24 15:41:09 PST 2003


I've got to take issue with Whump's (admittedly light-hearted) little 
play:

> Not for long. It's [the estate tax] been determined by our new 
> conservative overlords to
> be even more evil than the Holocaust. [1] [2]

on a thread on commondreams:

	http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1008-07.htm

--

Short version:  the authors of that little propaganda piece go to town 
to make it sound like Grover Norquist is saying that the estate tax is 
morally comparable to the Holocaust in effect.  That's a heinous 
distortion.  If you read the man's words, what he's saying is merely 
that the rationale that it's okay to do something to a small minority 
of the population because it only effects a few is the same in both 
cases.

He's making a cogent, totally sound argument, IMHO.  The rationale *is* 
identical.  And this underscores a grave difference in interpretation 
of one of the most dangerous words in the English language:  "fair."  
To some, "fair" means equivalent outcome.  To others, it means 
equivalent treatment.  To Grover - and to me - "fair" is not fair 
unless all are treated equally.

To others - notably knee-jerk class warfare liberals who can't 
distinguish between "we the people" and the behemoth government we've 
accreted over 200 years - "fair" means equivalent outcome.  Why NOT 
steal from the children of the economically successful?  After all, 
it's just a small minority...

Mokhiber and Weissman then come out swinging, but it seems to me they 
manage only to clock themselves.  This little bit:

"First of all, Grover, the morality underpinning the estate tax is the 
not same as the "morality" underpinning the holocaust.  The holocaust 
was mass killing driven by a racist ideology. There is no morality 
there.  The estate tax is a moral tax -- taxing the wealth of the 
super-rich to help the not so super-rich -- it's called progressive 
taxation."

...underscores a fundamental bias coupled with a willingness to 
distort.  They imply a distinction of "kinds" of morality that isn't 
very helpful.  They then further make the definitive claim that, 
dammit, THE ESTATE TAX IS A MORAL TAX.  Well, sirs, I reject that.  No 
tax is moral.  And they go on to prove their moral confusion and 
corruption by spinning out the very line that Grover was objecting to:

"It's okay, the super-rich are a tiny minority, and it's for the good 
of the majority."

jb

---

To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that 
of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, 
who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is 
to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association--the 
guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the 
fruits acquired by it.

	- Thomas Jefferson



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