Bill Neinast


Last week’s column was a play with words.  Under discussion was the news media’s unabashed preference for “progressive” movements toward total government control under socialist principles in lieu of “radical” beliefs in individual responsibility and freedom under smaller governments.

Fair, another word, also fits into this discussion.  This is another favorite of liberal or “progressive” class warriors.  Oddly, however, it rarely stands alone.

In progressive terminology, there is always a modifier like “un” or “not,” as in unfair or not fair.  So to be fair, let’s define the basic term.  The simplest definition is that fair is just or appropriate in the circumstances or is in accordance with the rules or standards.

For progressive class warriors, the distribution of wealth of this country is unfair.  In their opinion, the only way that wealth can be distributed in a fair way is to tax it. Bring in the tax money from the greedy wealthy, give 50% or more of it to bureaucrats to study how to distribute it fairly, then pass the remainder to those who pass muster with the bureaucrats.

Under this philosophy, the wealthy never pay their fair share of taxes.  The better off among us indulge themselves with money that should go to the government in taxes.

Rarely will this group acknowledge that those whom they disdain often do a better job of distributing their wealth in a fairer way than could ever be done by bureaucrats.  This better sharing of wealth is frequently illustrated in this paper.

Just last week, for instance, there was an account of the Ed Kruse family’s gift of over 100 acres of expensive land to the city of Brenham for development into a multi-use public park.  How much of that property would end up in a park to be used by citizens from all walks of life if it first had to go through bureaucratic hands?

This gift is just the last of a long list of Kruse benevolence, including Brenham Blue Bell Aquatic Center, an athletic field at Texas A&M, and support of Texas Lutheran University.

A few days later, there was the $200,000+ donation of Gary and Sandi Applet to construct a permanent home for the Washington County Healthy Living Association.  This association is better known as the Senior Citizen Center, and has been moving from pillar to post for several years.

The new, permanent center will be built on four acres of land previously donated for that purpose to the city of Brenham by the John Kenjura family.

About the time that the Kenjuras were donating land to the city, Dr. Wilfred Dietrich donated the quarter million dollar Dr. Bobbie M. Dietrich Memorial Amphitheater at Hohlt Park to the city of Brenham.  Then, just a few months ago, Wilfred received the Distinguished Service Award from Sam Houston State University in recognition of his gifts of endowed scholarships at seven universities.  As Wilfred noted, “All of us know the act of giving gives a greater pleasure than receiving.”

Not to be forgotten are Leon and Mimmie Toubin and their gift of a lot in the business district of Brenham for the construction of the historically significant Toubin Park telling the story of The Burning of Brenham.  The Toubins are also single handily preserving Brenham’s Jewish Synagogue, the oldest Orthodox Jewish Synagogue in the state, and the Jewish section of Prairie Lee Cemetery.

These are just five local families who are giving generously on a continuing basis to help or comfort all of their neighbors without regard to circumstances. There are countless others quietly assisting in different ways.  Consider, for example, the numerous lists of benefactors adorning the entry halls of Scott and White Hospital, Brenham.

All of this in just one small city in one of the 254 counties in Texas.  How much is it replicated in other small towns and counties around the nation?

Many, if not most, of the donors of this largesse are among that group disdained by “progressives” as unfair because they do not pay their fair share of taxes.  They are, however, among that 53% of taxpayers who pay taxes to pay the salaries of bureaucrats to decide how the taxes will be spent.  Only part of what is left over after all the bureaucratic decision making winds up helping the “less fortunate.”

So here’s the perspective.

Progressive class warriors are fighting a losing battle.  They are striving to make the world fair.

That is not possible.  The world is not fair and never will be.  It is not fair that some are born in wealthy countries like the U.S., much of Europe, and Japan while others are born in countries impoverished for various reasons.  It is not fair that some are born with natural athletic abilities while so many others are just klutzes.  It is not fair that some are born with healthy bodies and minds while others are never able to care for themselves.  It is not fair that some are born and reared in loving, two-parent  families while others have to endure an abusive single parent household.

This list could go on and on.  Enough has been written, however, to paint the picture.

There is no amount of taxes or wealth controlled by any government that could change this picture.  Trying to change it by taking more money out of the pockets of philanthropists through taxes might result in even more unfairness, as too much would go to making government even bigger.

Let’s leave it to those who some believe are not paying a fair share of taxes to decide which group or program would benefit most from their largesse.


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