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September 9, 2012

Column: Ironies of life, politics never fail to amaze

(Continued)

It is ironic, then, that some of the most vocal apostles of curbing energy use are some of the most profligate users of it. Al Gore (Where have you gone, Al?) had one of the largest carbon footprints in the country, living in an obscenely large house and jetting around the country scolding the rest of us.

It is ironic, because liberals more than conservatives embrace their message much more enthusiastically. But try to find a liberal who supports everybody making sacrifices for future generations in other areas.

Indeed, one of the major ironies is President Obama declaring that the most massive government entitlement programs in the history of the world will be solvent for generations to come if we just “stop giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.”

It is pure snake oil. Impose the so-called “Buffett rule,” to make sure no millionaire pays a lower rate of taxes than his or her secretary, and lift the 15-percent tax limit on investment income of more than $1 million, and you might have enough money to get the federal government through a day or so. It won’t come close to ensuring that those programs will be there “for the children.” That will take sacrifice from the middle class as well – something you never heard at the Democratic convention this past week.

***

Then there is the irony of how “independence” is defined these days.

Some years ago, I was assigned to cover an event at a government-funded program in a building called The Independent Living Center. Based on my brief observations, the people there did reasonably good work helping clients who had physical and mental disabilities.

But it made the sign on the building absurd. The whole reason for its existence – the reason their clientele were there – was because they could not live independently.

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