Every day I read or hear something new that makes me scratch my head and wonder if I'm not stuck in the middle of some bizarre nightmare. One in which everything that makes sense is ignored and the craziest of ideas are championed.
Now it's the news that England will soon award honorary knighthood to ailing Sen. Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy. Look, as I've noted before, it's no secret in Washington that Kennedy is well-liked by both his Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Senate. And I don't want to kick a man when he is fighting a brain tumor.
So I'm not going to list reasons why Kennedy might not be the most deserving candidate for knighthood. Instead I'll hold up this latest bit of news as a symbol of a government that now appears week by week to be turning into something like a permanent "royal class"; and how this class seems determined to push the commoners into becoming confused, burned out and overtaxed. By "commoners" I mean, of course, those who have built small businesses, provided employment to those who wanted and needed to work, and contributed part of their hard-earned dollars towards churches, synagogues and charitable causes of all types.
We now seem headed down the road in which those at the highest end of government, along with a shrinking set of entertainers and athletes, become a special class. It's for them that most others will work to fund the growth of the elites' power.
Alternatively, the commoners will be subsidized and thus virtually owned. They'll be forever dependent on this special group to feed, house and provide them health care. And, as too many people lose interest in pursuing what used to be the American Dream of economic and political independence, they'll even be reliant on the elites to entertain them.
Let's be clear: All this talk about the various taxes being proposed under the administration's new budget will not just impact the top 5 percent of wage earners in America. There won't be any massive "tax savings" for the 97 percent of small businesses in the nation either. Why? Because a lot of small businesses are either losing money, or are having to lay off workers so that the owners of those companies can make ends meet.
There are other hidden taxes, too, such as carbon-emissions fees that will hike the price everyone pays for energy. Then there's the reduction in tax write-offs that the so called wealthy can make on mortgage payments and charitable contributions. This amounts to an indirect tax on one segment of housing in America, plus a direct attack on charities. How? Because the very people who are losing these write-offs are those who give and raise money for charities.
But, as we create this new class of underlings that government will control and keep down, we can't place all of the blamed on the new president.
Don't forget head of the Federal Reserve, who has handed out $2.2 trillion to financial institutions under the various "bailout" efforts, and yet told Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in a hearing this week that it would be "counterproductive" to disclose which banks received funds or how much they got. Unbelievable.
And there's the "post-9/11" approach government has taken. To be fair, I've heard several conservative talk show hosts blast Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her use of a private government jet, without understanding that Speaker Denny "Do Nothing" Hastert had the same access to such aircraft after 9/11. But with everyone else being told that private jets are "evil signs of abusive wealth," can't Pelosi take the same risk we all do and fly commercial?
The answer is no, because Pelosi has become an empress, and everyone in Washington knows it. In fact, she's disappointed in Obama's plans because they don't go far enough in punishing the wealthy, redistributing wealth more quickly, and completely and immediately abandoning the people of Iraq.
So let me get this straight. While Ted Kennedy becomes "Sir Teddy," President Obama is treated more like a king than a perhaps a new president who's capable of occasionally making a bad decision; the head of the Fed brushes off U.S. senators, and "Queen Nancy" goes flying around in her plane. Meanwhile, the rest of us have to hold our breath and figure out how to survive.
I can personally vouch for this much: Whatever slings and arrows he endured while Speaker, Newt Gingrich not only flew commercial airlines, he usually insisted on flying in coach. I know because I once begged him to take a seat I had in first class. He wouldn't.
And I doubt he would ever want to be referred to as "Sir Newt."