A famous but unattributed saying goes "No good deed goes unpunished". In last week's column, I thought it would be a good idea to pay tribute to a friend and his family who, during their first run for elected office, have had some once-in-a-blue moon experiences but have shown tremendous grace under pressure.
While that was my only intent, I inadvertently angered the supporters of another candidate by recounting one of those experiences. I'm offering my sincere and heartfelt apology to them and their candidate because I genuinely hold no animus or personal grudge against them whatsoever, and I ask for their forgiveness. I can count on one hand the number of people I truly dislike, and it's for what they do, not who they are.
Which leads me to someone who has truly stepped on my last nerve as of late, and that's the increasingly strident, no longer faux moderate, Nancy Pelosi mimicking House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer.
For a man who spent years perfecting the craft of bamboozling the voters of southern Maryland, saying all the right things at home while quietly doing his own thing in Washington, and buying their loyalty with prodigious pounds of pork, he sure has said some dumb things lately.
Only his running buddy, Nancy "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it" Pelosi, has stolen his thunder in that department. Witness his latest gem:
We have no intention of allowing the Republican tax increase - that their policies would lead to - to go into effect for working Americans. Period . We're going to act and make sure that the Republican phase out and increase in taxes does not end as they provided for in the laws they passed.
A little background is in order here. Early in President Bush's first term, he pushed through a series of tax cuts, all over the objection of one Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, who voted against them. The Republicans didn't have enough votes to make the tax cuts permanent, and the Democrats insisted on an expiration date of December 31, 2010 before they would let them pass.
Now that the expiration date upon which they insisted is near, and economists are warning them of dire consequences should they increase taxes while our economy is still weak, one of their bright lights has decided it would be clever to refer to the Democrat-imposed expiration date as a "Republican tax increase."
I said previously that Mr. Hoyer has said some dumb things, but this is more than dumb. This is condescending and insulting, two character traits that he's exercised with great vigor since he became House Majority Leader. He assumes we're too stupid to know that this impending tax increase is their doing, not the Republicans, or that our memories or attention spans aren't long enough for us to recall that fact. His contempt for everyday Americans in general and his constituents in particular seemingly has no limit.
At least when they lied and said they would never increase taxes on "working Americans", they were in expected Democratic territory - that is, rich people demagoging other rich people, and inciting class warfare against innovators, employers and producers, the "makers" who generate our nation's wealth and make the quality of our lives in this nation possible.
To say that it's the Republicans who deliberately planned to raise taxes is the height of chutzpah. It's indisputable that during the years when the Bush Administration and a Republican-controlled Congress coexisted, they spent like drunken sailors, which is not fair to the sailors because at least they spend their own money. It's also beyond dispute that since the Democrats took Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, they've been spending like an entire fleet - but I digress.
One thing that's also undeniable, however, is that committed conservative Republicans are unabashed tax cutters. The late columnist and pundit Robert Novak once said, "God put the Republican Party on Earth to cut taxes. If they don't do that, they have no useful function."
They believe that the people, including "working Americans", should keep as much of what they earn as possible, and that government should confine itself to its constitutionally enumerated duties, the only ones, in my opinion, for which Americans should have to pay taxes. If government did only what it was supposed to do, maybe it could perform those functions more efficiently and effectively than it has.
One other "demagogue alert" - what's up with the "working Americans" phrase, anyway? It's a liberal favorite, but it doesn't mean anything. Most people I know work, or would like to work.
Most of the people who don't want to work are Democrats - since they're not "working Americans", does that mean the Democrats despise them? Not likely - they are among their most reliable voters because they know who's best at spending other people's money on their behalf.
Most people, including financially successful people, work, and work hard for their money. Sensational stories of greed and corruption aside, the vast majority of Americans who work have earned their keep. It's not a "rich vs. everybody else" dichotomy as the Democrats would have you believe.
Please give the "working Americans" rhetoric a rest, Mr. Hoyer. Given the typical congressional work schedule compared to how long and hard most Americans work, you ought to hang your head in shame.
And thank God for rich people because, without them, no one would have jobs, and thank God for the United States of America, where the opportunity exists for anyone to become rich - at least so far.
Ron Miller is a conservative writer and commentator, author of the book, SELLOUT: Musings from Uncle Toms Porch, and the president of Regular Folks United, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of individual liberty, free markets and our nation's founding principles. The nine-year plus veteran of the U.S. Air Force and married father of three writes columns for several online sites and print publications, and his own website, TeamRonMiller.com. Join him on Facebook and Twitter.