In my role as a weekly columnist, I spend an immense amount of time reading about topics of the day and doing research. Reading 25 to 30 columns in a single day is not an unusual occurence. I have my favorites like Krauthammer and Sowell. Two other favorites, Dennis Prager and Larry Elder, are also personal friends. Then there is Ben Shapiro who I have known since his days at UCLA.
I also read a tremendous number of opinion columns written by liberals. The Huffington Post can be very enlightening as well as the op-ed pages of the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. I am often fascinated how some of these pieces get published. One recent column by Bob Herbert who writes for the New York Times was so strikingly bad that I had to interrupt my wife and read it to her because it was so banal. You would have thought the column appeared in a high school newspaper, except the principal would have edited out the name-calling as inappropriate.
Occasionally, there is a column that tickles my public policy bone so much that I have to mouth off about it. E.J. Dionne, Jr., wrote this particular column in the Washington Post on Thursday, September 24, 2009. Mr. Dionne can be quite entertaining at times with his perception of how our society should be organized, but his commentary on how charity heads were reacting to proposed tax law changes sparkled in new and untold ways.
After the defeat of their attempt to insert a public option into the Senate Finance Committee health care bill, Senators Jay Rockefeller and John Kerry moved to reduce the tax deduction for charitable contributions for what Mr. Dionne calls the “well-to-do.” As a means to help pay for the cost of this new health care plan, these extremely well-to-do senators want to stick it to the successful in our society once again.
There are so many things wrong with this concept it could take a small book to define. First, Rockefeller and Kerry are actually very well-to-do. They have never actually worked; unless you include Kerry’s short term in the military and that was forty years ago. The two senators have been living off the hard-earned dollars of others, either through inheritance or marriage. The vast majority of high-income people work their tails off for the money these men want to grab for their scheme.