What else isn’t “the same for everyone”? A lot of things, these days. The president has a point about “tax breaks.” We have too many. And on the scale of the present tax code that’s a dagger at the heart of one of the most basic principles of free societies — equality before the law. But, of course, the president is not opposed to exemptions and exceptions and special privileges on principle: After all, he’s issued — what is it now? — over a thousand “waivers” for his own Obamacare law. If you knew who to call in Washington, maybe you got one. If you didn’t, tough.
But that’s the point. Big Government on America’s unprecedented money-no-object scale will always be profoundly wasteful (as on that Williamsburg flight), stupid (as at the TSA), and arbitrary (as in those waivers). But it’s not republican in any sense the Founders would recognize. If (like Obama) you’re a lifetime member of the government class, you can survive it. For the rest, it ought to be a source of shame to today’s Americans that this will be the first generation in U.S. history to bequeath its children the certainty of poorer, meaner lives — if not a broader decay into a fetid swamp divided between a well-connected Latin American–style elite enjoying their waivers and a vast downwardly mobile morass. On Independence Day 2011, debt-ridden America is now dependent, not on far-off kings but on global bond and currency markets, which fulfill the same role the cliff edge does in a Wile E. Coyote cartoon. At some point, Wile looks down and realizes he’s outrun solid ground. You know what happens next.
That’s all, folks!