Have you ever been called a “special interest”?
It’s not a term of endearment. It’s an attack and it gets thrown around a lot these days.
One reason is that the career politicians in Washington do indeed cater to special interests, at the expense of the rest of us. Some argue that every group and every individual is a special interest. Their goal is to cloud the issue, not clarify it.
If that were true the phrase would have no meaning. It would be what Ayn Rand called an “anti-concept.” But it’s not true. There are special interests and general interests and a big difference between the two.
Term limits supporters have been derided as just another special interest. But where term limits are in effect all across the country no one receives a unique benefit unavailable to others. Term limits apply equally to all.
So what’s an example of a special interest?
We pay subsidies to sugar growers. That doesn’t benefit everyone. It benefits the few. Nor did the rest of us ever approve it. Special interests get their way in the backroom, not in the light of day. The White House and various congressmen have begun pushing a special tax law that would give only one man Abe Pollin, owner of the NBA basketball team in Washington a $238 million dollar tax break.
No doubt like the rest of us, Pollin is over-taxed. But he is also a special interest. Taxes should be reduced for everybody, not just Abe. When the general interest is served, we all benefit.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.