Applying the Principle

by Don Boudreaux on January 4, 2011

in Hubris and humility, Law

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Arguing that the U.S. Constitution is simply a “collection of shrewd political compromises,” E.J. Dionne ridicules persons who demand strict adherence to its text (“What a GOP Congress might bring,” Jan. 3).

If being a collection of shrewd political compromises justifies a document’s text being interpreted loosely, why stop with the Constitution?  Extend this principle to all legislation.  And let’s begin with history’s greatest collection of shrewd political compromises, the U.S. tax code.

Interpreting that code as a living document, it strikes me that the word “income” is best read as “bunny rabbits.”  I will remit to Uncle Sam approximately 25 percent of all bunny rabbits that I acquire this year.  And I will cite Mr. Dionne to defend my interpretation against persons who are so dull-witted as to insist on a wooden, literal interpretation of “income.”

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

Comments

93 comments    Share Share    Print    Email

Previous post:

Next post: