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Jewish World Review August 15, 2005 / 10 Av, 5765

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http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Class warfare and victimology have been around a long time, and no one is better at using these political techniques than Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. The senator leads the league in "tax cuts for rich" references, and is now taking to the streets because Treasury Secretary John Snow admits that the American economy does not benefit less-educated Americans as much as those with a solid education.

Is that a bulletin? No economy will benefit people who are ill educated unless it's run by Fidel Castro.

Kennedy immediately seized on Snow's comment to say this: "The Bush economy does not work for everyone — particularly the millions of Americans who work hard every day at low wages ... it won't be 'mission accomplished' on the economy until average Americans are secure in their jobs and can provide for their families."

So the senator wants to raise the minimum wage (OK with me) and further tax the rich folk so the poor folk can have more government entitlements. The same old song.

The truth is that the U.S. economy should be moribund like economies of France and Germany. After 9/11, American commerce took a tremendous hit but bounced back fast because of across-the-board tax cuts. When Americans have money to spend, everybody wins because jobs are created by that spending.

But politicians like Kennedy want the government to dole out the money to people who "should get it." They believe in income redistribution — the taking of one person's assets and transferring it to another person. Benjamin Franklin would be horrified. There is nothing in 'Poor Richard's Almanac" about that.

The federal government is spending record amounts of money on public education even as local property taxes continue to rise almost everywhere. But no matter how much is spent on the schools, some kids will not respond in the classroom. Take it from this former teacher. Those slacker children must be identified and put on another track — they must be taught a skill so they can make a decent living in a competitive society.

Sen. Kennedy likes to portray less-educated Americans as "victims." Some of them are — victims of stupid, irresponsible parents. But many simply don't care for one reason or another. Add to the equation addiction, mental incapacities and other serious maladies, and you have a full explanation as to why some Americans fail in the marketplace.

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Kennedy and his cohorts in government cannot force individual Americans to become educated. Those who make the choice to live in intellectual chaos will pay a price for that foolish decision, and all the "welfare" programs in the world won't change that. And, by the way, these are not "average" Americans who are earning $6 bucks an hour. These are adults who most likely sleepwalked through their school years.

American life is complicated but simple at the same time. If you become educated, work hard and live an honest life — the heavy odds are you will become self-sufficient and won't need to take other people's stuff. If you buy into Edward Kennedy's view of life — that the system is screwing you and rewarding the fat cats — that you are entitled to be handed things — than you will surely fail no matter how many press releases Kennedy stuffs in your pocket.

So here's my press release to Kennedy: Hard work and self-reliance lead to success on the job, Senator. Wise up, spread the word, and get your hand out of my pocket.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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