But they sound so comforting, so safe. Who could be against fairness, justice and community?
Meanwhile, conservatives talk about independence, personal responsibility, self-reliance – all things President Obama and his supporters say amounts to telling the poor, elderly and disabled, “Good luck. You’re on your own.”
If Romney doesn’t challenge this feel-good, Orwell-speak, he will be in trouble. It shouldn’t be that difficult.
When the president says he wants everybody to play by the same rules, he means the opposite. He wants one set of rules for the poor and middle class, and another, more punitive set of rules for “millionaires and billionaires,” who he defines as those who make more than one-fifth of a million dollars.
Yes, both parties have signed on to the so-called “progressive” tax code. But it is more than disingenuous to say that this amounts to “the same set of rules.”
Then there is “fair.” Is it fair for unionized government employees to be able to retire in their mid-50s with a defined benefit pension and gold-plated health benefits for life, while the average private-sector worker has to stay on the job at least 10 years longer for lower pay and much lower benefits?
Columnist Mark Steyn has correctly pointed out that trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, with a $16 trillion-and-growing debt, amount to, “looting the future to bribe the present.”
How is that fair, or compassionate, to the coming generations?
How does that amount to, “We’re all in this together”?
Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org