The Fairness Delusion

American Spectator, October 1984.


Democrats have been bludgeoning the Reagan Administration with “the fairness issue” since 1981. The fairness issue covers a variety of sins, generally falling under the headings of rewarding the rich and cutting programs for the poor. For those who have been raising the clamor, citing specifics has often seemed unnecessary. Every fair-minded person should be able to see, we are given to believe, that the Administration has been palpably, obviously “unfair.”

The people in charge of making the Administration’s case have never quite made up their minds how to respond to these allegations. The President usually takes the line that the cuts in social programs affected only those who didn’t need the benefits anyway; the truly needy were not hurt. I have listened to other Republican officials point proudly to how much money the government continues to spend, arguing that the Reagan Administration is spending unacknowledged and unappreciated billions to help the poor, even more than the Democrats spent.

American Spectator