One of the more comical features of the budget debate is to watch the ways in which Republicans refuse to engage on the issue of economic fairness.No, what's comical is someone who actually believes that "economic fairness" means anything.
Is it fair that the market economy has directed virtually all of the benefits of economic growth to the top 10 percent of households? No answer.The answer is a combination of who cares, and that's a ridiculous question.
Given this increasingly unequal distribution of incomes, isn’t there room to make the tax code slightly more progressive? No answer.This question illustrates the silliness and lack of logical reasoning capacity of the "fairness" crowd. It's just as easy to ask why it is fair that successful people have more of their money taken by force and redistributed to the less successful. Is it fair that nearly half the country pays no income taxes, and that the tax burden is already borne disproportionately by the wealthy? Is it fair that people who have worked hard all their lives have to support a significant number of people who won't work, do nothing to better their situations, and view the government as a never-ending source of money that they are entitled to?
In deciding what to spend and whom to tax, lawmakers’ fights over budgets are always fights about values and priorities in which fairness has as rightful a place as fiscal rectitude and economic efficiency.No, it doesn't. Economic fairness is a purely arbitrary concept that depends entirely on your point of view. Obviously if you are the one being taxed to pay for other people, your viewpoint on economic fairness might differ greatly from someone who thinks they are entitled to more of your money. People who don't understand that fairness depends on perspective, and that many aspects of life are fundamentally unfair -- for good reason -- are fools. When those fools want to use the government to force others to conform to an arbitrary conception of fairness they become dangerous fools.